2003 Honda CR-V

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2003 Honda CR-V Review

Fun-to-drive and practical mini-SUV.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The Honda CR-V was introduced in 1997, becoming one of the first mini-SUV models on the market. Since that time, there have been a slew of new mini-SUVs. Honda has gone on the offensive to attempt to keep its line competitive in the flooded market. The vehicle was re-launched in 2001 with a bunch of improvements. It boasted a better appearance and fantastic drivability. Further changes were made in 2002, such as the interior was enlarged by eight cubic feet and the cargo area behind the back seat was increased by 3.8 inches.

The CR-V quickly became one of the best-selling SUVs on the market. It has a lot to offer. First, the ride is usually enough to convince people to buy it. Smooth and responsive are just some of the adjectives we could use to describe the vehicle’s ride. Also, crash tests show the CR-V to be one of the safest on the market (although one test in 2001 showed poor results, Honda has since solved the problem). If you are looking for an exceptional ride at an exceptional price, you can go wrong with the 2003 Honda CR-V.

The Range

Body Styles: CR-V
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Honda CR-V LX, Honda CR-V EX

What's New

The 2003 Honda CR-V remains pretty much unchanged.

Exterior

The Honda CR-V is that of a traditional CR-V. This exterior hides the fact that the CR-V is built on a car chassis, which keeps it nimble, while also giving it lots of interior room. It has slightly larger exterior dimensions than previous models, riding on a 103.2-inch wheelbase and measuring 178.6 inches overall. It has a short nose that drops off suddenly and includes high-visibility head lights perched at the end of the nose.

The 2003 Honda CR-V is also redesigned with greater rigidity in mind. It is 30 percent more rigid, bend-wise, than in previous models. The torsional rigidity is 50 percent stronger than in previous models as well. This all translates to a smooth and confident ride.

Interior

The 2003 Honda CR-V has room for five passengers. It is equipped with two bucket seats up front and a bench seat in the rear that fits three passengers. The rear bench folds flat to create a greater storage area. It also reclines if you don’t want to fold it flat. The rear storage area is 33.5 cubic feet with the seat up. With the seat folded flat, the storage area increases to 72 cubic feet total. For extra room in the front, the transmission is fitted underneath the instrument panel instead of on the floor. This allows for extra storage area between the two bucket seats.

Performance & Handling

The 2003 Honda CR-V comes with 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that has i-VTEC intelligent valve control. The engine produces 160 horsepower with 162 lb-ft of torque. The engine has reduced emissions from previous models, nearly an eighth less than before. It also meets 2004 emission standards. The engine is wed to a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual transmission. The Honda CR-V is available as a front-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive model.

The 2003 Honda CR-V is one pleasant vehicle to drive. It is quiet, smooth, and comfortable. Maneuvering is easy and responsive, although the ride is sometimes a bit rough. It is more fun when wed with the manual transmission, but feels a bit sluggish when going up steep inclines. The manual gearbox does shift effortlessly; however, while the automatic sometimes feels a bit abrupt when downshifting.

Safety

The 2003 Honda CR-V EX receives all-disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist, as well as side-impact airbags. Side-impact airbags are optional on the LX model. A bumper beam is also installed on all models at the same height as a standard car to prevent damage.

EPA Fuel Economy

Honda CR-V LX: 20/26 mpg city/highway
Honda CR-V EX: 19/24 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Big and versatile interior
  • Stable handling
  • Comfortable ride
  • Crash test scores are impressive

You Won't Like

  • Not made for off-roading

Sum Up

Fun-to-drive and practical mini-SUV.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chevrolet Tracker
  • Chrysler PT Cruiser
  • Ford Escape

See the New 2014 CR-V.

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