The second-generation Honda CR-V entry-level sport utility vehicle, which set an all-time sales record in 2002 and grabbed a spot on Car and Driver Magazine's "5Best Trucks" list, returns for 2003 with additional interior enhancements.
The CR-V boasts more standard features, more power, enhanced safety technology and all-around utility for an entry-level SUV. Inside, the CR-V's spacious interior seats five comfortably and features more standard luxury features.
The 2003 CR-V is powered by a 2.4-liter, 16-valve, DOHC 4-cylinder, "intelligent" i-VTEC engine. The i-VTEC system takes Honda's patented VTEC system to the next level by combining it with Variable Timing Control (VTEC) to produce 160-horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. or torque. Low- and mid-range torque was increased to deliver better overall acceleration. Even with the increased power of the new engine system, fuel economy remains an impressive EPA estimated 22/26 mpg city/hwy. All 2003 CR-V models are certified to meet the new LEV-II emission standards.
Inside the CR-V, the designers and engineers went to great lengths to introduce the highest level of innovative standard features and amenities. The cargo area of the CR-V measures a spacious 72.0 cu. ft., and with the exclusive fold-and-tumble rearseats stowed, the CR-V now accommodates two full-size mountain bikes with ease - something rarely seen in this class of vehicle. The reclining 60/40 rear seat moves independently and features a center armrest with drink holders, and all rear passengers have three-point seat belts and headrests. The larger rear cargo floor also doubles as a picnic table. For 2003, rear coat hooks have been added. In front, the center console-mounted storage area has been enlarged to better accommodate items such as CDs and cassettes.
The CR-V features a newly developed chassis with increased torsional rigidity and bending rigidity. Additional safety features include advanced dual-stage driver's and front passenger's airbags, standard side airbags on EX models (available on LX), front seatbelts with load limiters and buckle pre-tensioners. For added safety, the lower front side frame and lower bumper beam have been specially engineered to engage the structural elements of cars, trucks and SUV's in the event of a crash. These advanced features, and more, helped the CR-V earn 5-star ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for both front and side impact, the highest rating possible. In addition, the CR-V received a "good" designation, also the highest rating possible, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and was named a "Best Pick" following the agency's frontal offset crash testing of the vehicle.
The CR-V employs a 4-wheel independent suspension system. This system utilizes a Toe Control Link MacPherson Strut suspension in the front for outstanding handling, ride and packaging. In the rear, the CR-V is equipped with a reactive compact double wishbone suspension that helps provide additional cargo space.
The 2003 CR-V is available in well-equipped LX, LX 4WD, and EX 4WD trims. All models feature dual power mirrors, intermittent front and rear window wipers and washers, air conditioning with Micron Air-Filtration, power windows with auto down and up driver's window, power door locks, floormats, and engine immobilizer and anti-theft system, cruise control, two-texture seating surfaces, sunglass holder, and a front driver and passenger armrest (on automatic models). The LX trim includes an AM/FM/cassette/CD player with four speakers. The EX trim adds standard Real Time 4WD, AM/FM/cassette/6-CD changer with six speakers, a power moonroof and rear privacy glass. New colors for 2003 include a black interior color scheme available on models with Taffeta White exteriors.