Since last year, the rumors of Honda’s withdrawal from the Korean market have spread to the industry. There was not a clear basis, but the rumors were remarkable when looking at the surrounding situation. Nissan Korea also announced its withdrawal from last year’s boycott, a situation where the sales volume of Japanese brands fell sharply and the sales were severely damaged.(Nissan Korea side had a strong will to continue its domestic business, Having decided to clear it up and had to follow it), anyone could speculate that Honda Korea will leave only the profitable motorcycle business unit and close the automobile business unit, which has significantly deteriorated profits. Honda Korea has not reviewed any withdrawal of the automobile business, and officially announced that it will continue its business in the future, but rumors have not ceased.
Perhaps that is why Honda Korea introduced two new models of CR-V hybrid and Accord hybrid at once and held a massive media test drive. Of course, there is also an environmental factor called Corona-19, but the fact that a test drive was conducted for a large number of media along with the simultaneous release of the two models may be thought to be the intention to shut the mouth of those who spread rumors. . From February 1st to 5th, a test drive of the CR-V hybrid was held at Yeongam Korea International Circuit in Jeollanam-do and nearby areas. The purpose of testing a hybrid SUV on the circuit, not a high-performance SUV, is to safely experience the various driving modes of the Honda Hybrid System. It is not the first hybrid model that Honda introduced to the Korean market, but as it is Honda’s first hybrid SUV, it is understandable why it is elaborate.
The overall appearance makes the thickness extending from the engine section through the door to the rear look much larger than the figures. In the front, the combination of the raised-eyed headlights, the two rows of grilles, and the lower bumper decoration gives a sharp look. The reason why I feel modest despite being stylish enough is because domestic brands have recently introduced models with very radical designs. The huge 19-inch wheels are harmonized with the oversized body, giving a visual sense of stability and expecting an excellent ride.
The interior focuses on practicality rather than splendor, but emphasizes the point with wood-textured materials and chrome decoration to add luxury. In particular, unlike the recent trend of organizing the center console to form a single surface smoothly, the focus is on ease of use by arranging control units such as shift buttons in a protruding shape under the center screen. On the left and right of the shift button, parking brake, auto hold, and driving mode change buttons are provided, and a wireless charging pad and USB charging port for smartphones are also arranged below. Smartphones can be connected wirelessly as well as wired, so the interior can be kept neat.
Both the boarding space and the loading space are spacious enough to suit the vehicle class. A lithium-ion battery for hybrid systems is built in the bottom of the trunk, but thanks to its well-designed backrest, a large and flat space of 1,945L is created when the rear seat backrest is folded, making it suitable for’car thin’. The backrest can be easily folded by flipping the lever from the rear seat, and the hands-free power tailgate allows you to conveniently use the trunk even when carrying luggage.
If it wasn’t for the logos all over the body, it wouldn’t be easy to see this car and realize it’s a hybrid model. On the day of the test drive, when the temperature is low and the engine is started (when the temperature is below a certain temperature, the engine is operated until the battery and motor reach the proper temperature).’Is this really a hybrid? I wondered,’Isn’t it an artificial engine sound?’, I opened the bonnet and touched the engine cover directly to check the vibration. After starting the driving in earnest and the temperature rises to some extent, it shows the quiet movement of the hybrid down. At low speeds, artificial noise is generated for pedestrian safety, but the amount of inflow into the room is not large.
The powertrain is a combination of two motors and a 2.0L V-TEC engine. When it comes to the recent general’hybrid system (or mild hybrid)’, the internal combustion engine is the main power source and the electric motor is the auxiliary power source in many cases, but Honda’s i-MMD hybrid system has changed roles and the motor is the main power source. do. Therefore, it is possible to drive in a pure electric mode at low speeds, and at high speeds, the engine power is directly transmitted to the axle through a direct clutch, as the efficiency of the internal combustion engine is better than that of an electric motor. In this field, Toyota, which is a rival, has been leading the way by holding patents for most related technologies, but Honda was able to introduce hybrid products while avoiding patent infringement by developing in its own way. The power flow can be checked through the digital instrument panel, and a change in the power source does not change the driving sensation, it is just the difference between whether or not the exhaust sound is loud. The real-time 4WD system also maximizes efficiency by switching between 2WD (front wheel) and 4WD according to the situation.
Of course, hybrids don’t just have advantages. Because it is an efficiency-oriented setting, it is far from a powerful driving sense. In particular, when it enters the high-speed section, it is driven by an in-line four-cylinder naturally aspirated gasoline engine, so it lacks a lot of sense to stretch out. The exhaust sound is also very much suppressed, so don’t expect this part. However, as a high-efficiency SUV, the CR-V hybrid is a good choice. And this car is not a high-performance SUV, but a family SUV. Let the beautiful exhaust sound yield to high-performance models like the Civic Type R.
The transmission is equipped with the e-CVT, which transfers power smoothly between the electric motor and the internal combustion engine. The fact that a separate manual mode is not installed seems to mean that the program has been set up so that the optimum efficiency can be achieved. The paddle behind the steering wheel is not for shifting, but for changing the stage of the regenerative braking function. EV mode, ECON mode, and sport mode can be selected, but purchasing a CR-V hybrid also means that efficiency is important, and because Honda’s hybrid system intelligently changes driving modes, the EV in situations where quietness is required. I wonder if you really need the rest except for the mode.
When I tested the Driver Assistance Function (ADAS) on a test ride on the general road from Korea International Circuit to Haenam Ttangeok Village, it works without a large sense of heterogeneity overall. The degree of steering involvement of the lane keeping function (LKAS) is quite high, but there are cases where it does not work on a one-lane road, which is considered a good choice for safety as well. Features such as adaptive cruise control and rear vehicle warning are also smooth. When changing lanes to the right, the built-in camera removes blind spots and draws attention when changing lanes to the right, but just in case, do a shoulder check together. It means that safety is not’overpayment’ but’more interests’. Although the head-up display uses a reflector method, it has excellent brightness and displays information clearly, so there is not much to see through the instrument panel, which is helpful for safe driving.
Considering the fuel economy, efficiency, interior space, safety and convenience specifications, the CR-V hybrid is a good enough option, but the price is disappointing. The domestic price of 47.7 million won (4WD Touring) is high compared to the representative rival Toyota Rav 4 Hybrid (46.27 million won). As such, I wonder if it would have been better if we set a price that would match the domestic model as well as the Japanese rival model at a lower price than now.
For Honda Korea, the CR-V is an important model in the past and present. This is because Honda Korea played an important role in establishing itself in the market in the early days when it started the automobile business, and it still has to play a role in driving the brand along with Accord. Unlike in the past, at this point in which sales volume has declined sharply, and in the global electrification trend, the appearance of the Honda CR-V hybrid has a feeling of being late. It is expected that the electrification of Honda, which was introduced together with the CR-V hybrid, and followed by the pure electric car Honda E, will accelerate further in the future.
| Reporter Ji-san Song firstname.lastname@example.org