This week at the track we have the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid, we share our first impressions and discuss whether or not hybridizing the CR-V improved the model. Also we dip into the mailbag and answer audience questions about why Subarus are so popular with car reviewers and enthusiasts, whether filling up your car with lower octane fuel than recommended by the manufacturer could damage your vehicle or void the warranty, and how to make a long road trip as pleasant and comfortable as possible.
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01:25 – 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid First Impressions
12:44 – Question #1: Why are Subarus so popular among car reviewers and enthusiasts?
19:29 – Question #2: Will putting lower octane fuel than recommended by the manufacturer damage a vehicle or void the warranty?
21:56 – Question #3: Is the new Toyota Venza considered a first year model even though it has been previously sold in Japan as the Harrier?
23:30 – Question #4: What is the best solution for a cross-country road trip in terms of seat comfort?
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I ran my 91 NSX on regular and I could still hit 145 on route 684. Yes the top speed was not there but after 91,000 miles I never had one repair. Therefore, I would love you to show a study where engine damage has resulted. If there is no engine knock, there is no mechanical damage.
I’m happy to see the question about “ Subaru popularity with reviewers” addressed here. I bought my wife a new 2015 Subaru in December 2014. While it is a good car and has overall served us well—especially in winter driving, it certainly has its flaws. The CD player failed just after the warranty lapsed. Turns out that problem is well-known. The winter package is over-rated—the defrosters aren’t very good at clearing the windshield. I could go on. Again, it is a good car, but I don’t understand the overwhelming love for Subaru by many reviewers, including CR.
The beard is a huge improvement Mike. Never shave again…but I digress: Subarus are way overrated. Sure, they’re sure-footed in the snow but that doesn’t outweigh the transmission and head gasket problems that most Subarus are famous for. The fact that Stockburger’s parents have owned 7 over the relatively short life span of the Forester gives me pause. Even CRs reliability ratings drop as the cars age . Take a look at the 2010 Forester which made CR’s recommended list. You guys are just part of the collective. P.S. Cross-country trips are a lot easier with frequent hotel stops. Don’t be too ambitious in terms of hours on the road.
Unless you live in a completely flat area in the middle of nowhere (no mountains, no traffic) where the only time you need to brake is when approaching your destination, the hybrid system absolutely helps highway driving. Sure the gain in highway mpg is less dramatic than the gain in city mpg, but those highway gains are accumulated at a much higher speed and hence much greater number of miles. 12mpg gain in the city over ~5 miles of driving, vs 1+ mpg gain on the highway over potentially hundreds of miles of driving.
Starting in 1984, I’ve had only 3 Toyotas up to now. Enough said.
At first I was like “who’s the new guy?”
Come on Consumer Reports. You guys need to do more than just ask your chief mechanic about octane. In certain regions where there is high elevations- Octane is reduced 2 points everywhere. 91 is the highest you can find. So surprised at you guys.
Cant believe you dont know this.
Higher altitude areas offer different octane gasoline than in lower altitudes. Please address this.
You will be fine buying the new Venza, it will be reliable.
While i also hate my cvt transmission i believe that a CVT transmission should act like a CVT. When you get a CVT that does the fake shifting it defeats the purpose of having the car maximize efficiency and the powerband of the engine. Cars that fake shift and play engine noise through the speakers are more lame than any “honest” car.
We got our first Subaru in late 2017. Now we traded in our other cars for a subaru, bringing the total to 4 Subarus 😆
According to the Costco site, octane varies by location: https://www.costco.com/gasoline-q-and-a.html
A: Regular unleaded and premium unleaded gasoline, and diesel at select locations. Gasoline octane can vary by state, but at Costco, it’s typically 87 octane for Regular Unleaded and 91 octane for Premium Unleaded Gasoline.
It’s not the CVT that’s the problems it’s the loud intrusive engine and the horrible reliability ( from Nissan). I have a CVT in my Lexus ls600hl and it is extremely smooth, engine noise is incredibly quiet and reliability is bulletproof.
I believe octane requirements go down with altitude. I remember 85 octane gasoline when I traveled to higher altitude areas of the country.
The CR-V doesn’t have a CVT in the conventional sense. It is driven by an electric motor until you get up to highway speeds then a clutch will connect the engine, just like the Insight. If there’s a noise issue it may be because they removed some sound insulation in the hybrid or tuned the exhaust to maximize fuel economy and power instead minimizing noise.
Mountain region regular is 85 octane
It doesn’t have a CVT. Alex on Auto explains Honda hybrid very well if anyone interested.
thedriversseat mentioned the extra noise 2 months ago.
Higher octane at sea-level than at altitude. Any South African who’s bought petrol in both Cape Town (yay!) and Johannesburg knows that 😀🇿🇦
I live at sea level but travel to northern Nevada 5000ft plus and all stations have octane ratings a few points lower than where I live. The thinking is less dense air at altitude lowers compression and the car can run on lower octane.