Editors note: The Sidney Daily News recently sent a reporter to a tour and unveiling of the new Honda 2017 CR-V. This story includes several opinions concluded from the event.
EAST LIBERTY — Honda’s all-new 2017 CR-V offers improved quality and luxury in the fifth generation of America’s best selling SUV.
As a part of Honda’s celebration of the global launch of mass production of the 2017 CR-V, The Sidney Daily News was invited to tour the East Liberty Auto Plant (ELP) in East Liberty, Ohio, and be one of the first to drive the all-new CR-V.
After having the opportunity to get behind the wheel, we can see why its popularity has reined for the past 20 years from its style and comfort to fuel efficiency.
ELP recently announced that it is not only the first plant to launch the model into global production, but that it also “developed the processes and technologies that will form the manufacturing base” for 10 other plants worldwide. Honda said this is the first time a U.S. Honda plant has led mass global production. — It’s a big deal and they are excited to share the news with Ohioans.
“Our Ohio team did an incredible job as the lead plant for the global launch of this new Honda CR-V and we look forward to sharing this world-class 2017 CR-V with our customers in the U.S., North America and around the world,” said East Liberty Auto Plant Manager Tim Myers. “With a first-ever available turbocharged engine that is also built right here in Ohio we believe the CR-V will continue to set the standard for compact SUVs.”
The maze-like tour, during the unveiling, revealed Honda’s huge facility intentionally utilizes every square-inch and the floors are clean enough to eat off of. We witnessed production lines in action and viewed the radically new high-strength/low weight bone-structure frame up-close before having the opportunity to test drive the newest model.
Vehicle experts said the new frame reduces weight and therefore improves fuel efficiency. The new 2.4-liter LX model achieves 26 mpg on city roads and 32 mpg on the highway with a front-wheel drive.
Experts explained the other revolutionary change with the new frame is how the 2017 CR-V is assembled. The process is flipped “inside-out versus outside-in” compared to the traditional manufacturing process. The new method allows workers unprecedented access for installing the engine — which is built at Honda’s Anna Engine Plant, in Anna, Ohio.
Previously, workers had to duck under the frame, or negotiate awkward positions for reaching during installation. Now, the front of the frame is open for walking into or accessing the motor area with ease. Tour guides explained this allows more precise leverage for creating better consistency and a higher quality finished product. The front part of the frame is attached after the engine is installed.
Our first impression of the fully assembled 2017 CR-V was that it was sporty with touches of luxury. The interior is upscale with everything right at your finger tips, starting with a push button start, instead of a key. The vehicle offers 7-inch touch-screen system and offers Android Auto/Apple CarPlay compatibility and Garmin navigation. It includes a rear view camera and advanced safety features such as forward-collision warning and blind-spot warnings. Also, there are plenty of spots to plug-in and charge digital devices. The rear seats are very roomy, as well as the hatch area. The ride was smooth, comfortable, and quiet.
The 2017 CR-V goes on sale in December, starting at $24,045 for manufacturer’s suggested retail price.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.