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SUVs have taken over the streets of the Middle East and offerings such as the Honda CR-V and Honda Pilot are extremely popular with small and large families respectively. Be it for the space they offer, their intimidating stance, or quite simply their elevated ride height, SUVs are a popular choice and, in this article, we’re going to help you with purchasing your next mid-size/full-size SUV. Before we proceed, if you haven’t gone through our guide on purchasing a new compact SUV, read that first by clicking HERE!
Whether it’s taking that gravel shortcut to avoid some traffic in the morning or a road trip to the mountains, you need to know that your SUV can handle some rough terrain. An important number to look out for is ground clearance, which is essentially the distance between the lowest part of the vehicle’s frame and the ground.
The Honda CR-V has a ground clearance of up to 20.9-centimeters and the Honda Pilot gets up to 20-centimeters, which is more than what both their main competitors (the Toyota RAV-4 and Nissan Pathfinder) have to offer. The basic rule of thumb when it comes to ground clearance, is more the merrier, so that you can tread paths that sedans, hatchbacks, and anything apart from an SUV would hesitate to travel.
In addition to ground clearance, another important aspect especially if you enjoy exploring routes less travelled, is learning the difference between ‘FWD’ and ‘AWD’. FWD stands for Front Wheel Drive and AWD stands for All Wheel Drive. Essentially, it is the difference in where the power from the engine is delivered.
It’s simple, when all four wheels receive power, there’s more grip and it makes the SUV more capable on unpaved roads. Both the CR-V and the Pilot offer you All Wheel Drive in mid-and-full option trims and that’s worth highlighting since not all other SUVs do. In fact, the Pilot takes it up a notch by also offering four different All Wheel Drive modes to suit all terrain.
If you’ve ever walked up to your car with your hands full and wished the boot would magically open as you approached it, then you’re going to want to read the following lines very closely. The Honda CR-V offers handsfree tailgate operation, which essentially allows you to open the boot by simply waving your foot under the rear bumper.
While features such as the handsfree tailgate operation are extremely handy, they remind us to look for more than an electronically opening and closing tailgate when shopping for an SUV. Speaking of cool tech related to the boot, the CR-V also offers a height adjustable feature that lets you set how high you want the tailgate to open. It’s extremely useful if you’ve got a low garage ceiling or aren’t particularly tall.
Most people purchase SUVs for greater interior space and occupant comfort, but what exactly should you look out for? Two important numbers to compare when shopping for your next SUV are legroom and headroom. Legroom in the second row of the Honda CR-V measures in at 40.4-inches which is significantly more than what its rival the Toyota RAV-4 has to offer. On the other hand, headroom in the Honda Pilot measures in at 39.9-inches which is more than what you’d find in other full-size SUVs such as the Nissan Pathfinder. Simply put, greater headroom and legroom mean more space for you and your passengers which equates to greater comfort.
Several SUVs tend to lure buyers with the promise of ‘three-row seating’ but what’s important is for you to check whether the third-row seats fit adults and how easy they are to access. The next time you’re in the showroom checking your next SUV, make sure to sit in the last row, possibly even with a family member or friend, and see if you have enough headroom and legroom.
Using the Honda Pilot as an example, it offers One Touch Easy Access to the third row. Meaning, with the press of a single button the second-row slides and tilts forward making it easy to get into the last row. Once there, it offers A/C vents and two cupholders on each side making it a pleasant place to be.
When scrutinizing the spec sheet of your next SUV, you’re likely to compare what one SUV has to offer over the other. While going over the entertainment and comfort features, also spend some time examining the quality of materials used by touching and knocking parts of the cabin. Afterall, nobody wants to drive a car that’s flimsily built, right?
Another factor to look for, is what is offered by the infotainment system. Both the Honda CR-V and Pilot get a touchscreen that has built-in navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and being in 2019, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Also, look for convenience features such as Honda Sensing, which is essentially a combination of Lane Keeping, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Collision Mitigation allowing the Pilot to virtually drive itself down a highway.
Horsepower and torque figures are numbers you’ll find on every spec sheet but understanding them is what’s truly important. Higher horsepower means a higher top speed, but higher torque means quicker acceleration. The CR-V gets a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower and 244 Nm of torque. Compare this is to one of its main competitors, the Toyota RAV4, and you find that the CR-V is producing more power from a smaller engine.
Being a bigger car, the Pilot receives a bigger engine. The Pilot’s 3.5-liter V6 engine produces a healthy 280 horsepower and 355 Nm of torque. Compare this to the Nissan Pathfinder and you’ll see that the Pilot benefits from more horsepower and torque. What’s important to remember is that higher horsepower and torque don’t only mean higher top speeds and faster acceleration but also a smoother driving experience as it makes overtaking easier and puts less strain on the engine.
On the fuel economy front, the CR-V returns a fabulous average of 14.7-kilometers per liter and the Pilot being a bigger car, fares just as well at 9.7-kilometers per liter. What’s worth highlighting is that both these figures are very, very good for these segments.
When purchasing an SUV there are plenty of factors to look out for as they affect usability, practicality, and everyday functionality. We hope this guide makes purchasing your next SUV a little easier and helps you with things to look out for. Two important numbers to keep in mind are the starting price of the CR-V and the Pilot which stand at AED 92,900 and AED 129,900 respectively.