Q: What is a CRV?

December 17, 2013 12:53 PM

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Introduced by Honda in 1995 as the name for its car-based utility vehicle, the acronym "CRV" (as in Honda CR-V) represents a mix between a car or minivan and a sport utility vehicle, or SUV. There are at least two official definitions of its meaning. Some say its stands for "compact recreation vehicle," while others insist it's short for "comfortable runabout vehicle."

The acronym hasn't caught on. Consumers and car manufacturers have gravitated instead toward the more generic term "crossover SUV" to describe all of these vehicles. While technically in use since 1987, the term "crossover" shows no signs of catching on with car buyers, although marketing agencies seem determined to ram it down consumers' throats.

Emboldened with modern styling and sleek lines, crossover SUVs like the Honda CR-V appeal to consumers who want to carry cargo and passengers, and at least look like they can go off-road. They offer interior comfort and luxury features minivan owners want, without the lunch-box, mom-and-pop looks. They ride higher and help make people feel safe on the road, without the incredibly low fuel efficiency that come with the biggest SUVs.

Today, crossover SUVs like the Honda CR-V have become very popular, and the truck-based hardcore SUVs seem to getting rarer every year. The biggest differences between car-based crossovers and the hardcore SUVs in today's market fall in off-roading and towing capabilities. Both styles of vehicle can fit five to nine passengers. Both tend to have limited trunk space (though they often have generous cargo space and seats that fold down to increase that capacity even more), and lower fuel efficiency rates than passenger cars.

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