What is the most efficient AWD vehicle available in North America today?

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] The Honda 1.5L turbo does it again.

    [​IMG]Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Mar. 14, 2017

    This week's ride is courtesy of Honda in the form of the refreshed 2017 Honda CR-V.

    As a FWD in EX-T trim, it starts at $27,635 incl. the $940 D&H charge and includes the award winning 1.5L turbo which offers owners an incredible 28/34 mpgUS city/highway rating.

    We are driving a fully loaded AWD Touring trim with all the fixins incl. the efficiency robbing 18" alloys and 235/60R18 tires. As driven, $34,595 incl. D&H while rated at 27/33 mpgUS city/highway.

    2017 Honda CR-V Exterior Design

    The new CR-V incorporates horizontal chrome upper grille work flowing into new LEDs on this Touring trim. The headlamps are surrounded by a wing-shaped LED DRL on all trims. An Active Shutter Grille lowers drag while a lower bright chin spoiler tops off its new face.

    A longer wheelbase, short rear overhang, a thick chrome sill inlay and dual exhausts add to its curb appeal.

    A hard black plastic cladding surrounding the entire lower edge of the vehicle adds both real world and perceived toughness.

    To go along with its more muscular exterior, some niceties have been added.

    A Hands-Free powered hatch, Auto High Beam with High Beam Support (HSS) headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, and roof rails.

    2017 Honda CR-V Interior


    Inside features a larger interior volume and the best rear seat legroom in the midsize CUV segment. My knees have an honest to goodness 1+ inches to the front seat back with the front seat adjusted to my frame.

    Full extending sun visors and even a conversation mirror are part of the package.


    A new soft-touch dash, a ton more exposed stitching in the seats and door inserts, interesting plasti-wood door and dash inserts, and softer foam seats with far less intrusive bolstering provide a nicer place to sit.


    Its passenger volume is 105.9 cu. ft. for the LX, 102.9 cu. ft. for the EX and EX-L (sunroof), and 101.6 cu. ft. for the Touring (sunroof plus other "stuff"). This is up 1.8, 1.4, and .1 cu. ft. over the 2016 MY LX, EX/EX-L, and Touring respectively.

    Cargo volume with the rear seats up is 39.2 cu ft., up 2 cu. ft. over the previous 2016 model.


    2017 Honda CR-V Drivetrain


    The 190 hp and 179 lb-ft. of torque, direct injected and turbo charged 1.5L-T mated to the wide ratio, fake shifting (G-logic) CVT is what makes the CR-V. It is even more efficient than its 27/33 mpgUS city/highway ratings suggest.

    2017 Honda CR-V Chassis

    The all-new body and chassis features struts up front and a multi-link w/ low-friction dampers out back, both with stabilizer bars. A dual-pinion, variable ratio Electric Power Steering (EPS) provide improved steering feel over the previous CR-V iterations.

    104.7" wheelbase vs. last year’s 103.1” shows up right here.​

    2017 Honda CR-V Infotainment

    Regarding infotainment, a 7” Display Audio touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is std. on the EX on up. Honda also sort of fixed a mistake they continue to make with their most recent offerings. An honest to goodness physical volume knob is standard. Missing however is a tuning knob? How did that get through the product planners again?

    The NAVI back end is all Garmin and it is great other than the traffic ahead on-screen mimics.

    2017 Honda CR-V Safety

    Regarding safety, Honda is almost always in the hunt for the safest vehicles on the road and the bestselling model in their lineup was not left behind.

    2017 Honda CR-V IIHS Top Safety Pick + Crash Test Rating

    The best crash test rating when equipped with the Honda Sensing system.​

    Honda Sensing is standard on EX and above trims and includes Collision Mitigation Braking (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and pedestrian sensing capability, Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with low-speed follow and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS). Additional new driver-assist technologies include the available Blind Spot Information (BSI), Rear Cross Traffic Monitor (CTM) and Auto High Beam (HSS) headlights.

    The National Highway and Traffic Administration (NHTSA) has not yet tested the 2017 Honda CR-V.

    Some may remember my extreme disappointment with the 16 Civics RCC. The 17 CR-V RCC has been reworked and is actually now quite usable in heavy traffic. Once set- I used the max 4 bars distance from the car in front, it accelerated relatively smoothly and decelerated soft enough to use every day. From 25 mph on up, the acceleration from a previous slowdown could be a bit harsh but acceptable compared to the 16 Civic Touring we first experienced the system in.

    The system will bring the CR-V to a complete stop and relaunch back up to speed if you are not stopped for more than approximately 5-seconds. At that point, the driver display requests that you reapply the accelerator pedal to reinitiate the RCC system again.

    2017 Honda CR-V Efficiency

    From full when I picked her up, she took another 1.6 gallons with about 30 short clicks to an assumed top off???

    Not a fan.​

    Although the capless refuel system does not allow any kind of calibration and you can still get the nozzle stuck in the damn thing, the first drive results blow out the previous best midsize CUV offerings by a big margin. Those being the now defunct 14 Audi Q5 with the 3.0L TDI at 52 mpg and 15 Nissan Rogue with its 2.5L I4 mated to an extremely wide ratio CVT at 51 mpg.

    2017 Honda CR-V Initial Fill

    LAX Shell on Aviation and Century

    Typical early afternoon LA rush. LA to Long Beach was a bear!!!

    Final fill at Del Mar, Calif. Shell – 56.5 mpg actual over 104.0 miles.​

    After the 104.0 mile actual distance drive - 102.2 miles indicated, she took in what appears to be 1.841 gallons to top off for a 56.5 mpg actual result. Yeah, that Honda 1.5T proved it is worth its weight in gold yet again.

    What about the Model S D variants? Of the electricity produced today, the vast majority of electrical production - 86 percent w/ 33 percent coal, 33 percent natural gas, and 20 percent nuclear - wastes 60 to 70 percent of the energy to produce a given kW as waste heat vs 25 percent of the input wasted to make a gallon of gasoline.

    For the 2017 Honda CR-V AWD Touring Trim Speed vs FE data, temps ranged from 58 to 60 degrees F with just a touch of wind out of the East during my NB/SB runs.

    The RPM at 60 is just 1,650 RPM with any slight rise or acceleration spinning the CVT up another 50 to 100 RPM.

    Actual speed as measured per the Garmin was showing .5 to 1 mph lower than actual at 55, 60, 65 and 70 mph.

    Regarding the offset, remember the CR-V has a new even worse capless refueling system – see above – so accuracy of the offset is totally suspect. I have never seen a Honda with a 3.3 percent negative offset in years and I suspect the offset is like the Civics and Accords, much closer to 1.0 than what I calculated over my std. 104 mile California drive loop.

    2017 Honda CR-V Touring Trim Speed vs FE Results


    The EPA 33 mpg speed crossover occurs at 67.7 mph which is in line with its ratings. Again with the asterisk of a negative calibration which is probably to negative given our recent history with various Honda's. I wish I had the chance to drive over 1,000 miles to lock in that offset. :(

    At 56.5+ mpg, the CR-V makes everything else in the segment look like fuel sucking pigs by comparison! I might go so far to say it is not only the most efficient but best overall CUV available in all of North America given the updates, the room, the efficiency and safety.

    Meet the most efficient AWD vehicle available in North America. And it is called the #Honda CR-V.
    ALS, TheFordFamily, Jay and 1 other person like this.
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    The Wife Affect...

    Marian is an EPA driver in most vehicles on her RT San Diego rush hour commute(s) and balances - dare I say weight or anchor ;) - my own results.

    With the limited miles for calibration due to the capless refueling system showing the display to be 3.42 percent optimistic, her actual came in at 30.1 mpg vs the 31.2 mpg indicated.

    2017 Honda CR-V Touring


    In the recent past, Honda's displays match actual or are even under reporting of actual efficiency so I would need a lot longer period and 5 to 10 times the miles to work that out.

    In any case, her beating the 29 mpg combined in the fully loaded AWD Touring trim adds to the 1.5T mated to the CVTs efficiency and power prowess. Nobody in the industry currently offers the best mix of two competing attributes than Honda.
    TheFordFamily and BillLin like this.
  3. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Wayne, do you know why the Honda Civic with the 1.5 turbo engine has 174 HP, while the CRV, same size 1.5 turbo engine, obtains 190 HP, I believe both designed
    to run on regular 87 octane as well.
    TheFordFamily, xcel and BillLin like this.
  4. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Cr-v is running higher boost pressure with a different turbocharger impeller design.


    FWIW, stock Civic 1.5t is running over 190 hp (peak) when on 91 octane. Aftermarket turbocharger +tune (for the "enthusiast") is in development that will likely take peak to well over 300 hp.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
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  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Alster:

    The Civic's 1.5T is running 16.5 psi of boost whereas the CR-Vs can run up to 18.5 psi. The compression ratio is also different w/ the Civics at 10.6:1 and the CR-Vs at 10.3:1. I assume to keep the CR-V running on 87 octane?

    Looking at the bore and stroke, the specs show the Civic Sedan has .1 mm less which indicates to me a slightly different shaped head to get a higher compression ratio.

    When considering the Civic Hatch with the same 1.5T in Sport Trim, it is speced at 180 hp with Premium recommended. I think Carcus owns one and says the mill is underrated in the Civic lineup allowing Honda some more power increases going forward without actually changing anything.

    BillLin and Carcus like this.
  6. alster

    alster Well-Known Member

    Thanks, that answers that question..
    xcel likes this.
  7. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Cool! OTA power increases (doubtful, but maybe?) similar to Tesla Model S 60 OTA upgrades to higher battery capacity. :)
    xcel likes this.
  8. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Well, .. I don't know if Honda (or other OEMs) will get into the game, ..but aftermarket tuning (i.e Ktuner, Hondata, etc...) certainly have plenty of "tunes" accessible over the airwaves. You can download "base maps" and custom tunes from the supplier/ professional tuners, .. and share tunes with your online buddies (all at your own risk, of course).

    I suppose someone who knew what they were doing could custom tune for better fuel economy, but the interest in that aspect of tuning seems to have pretty well dried up with today's gas prices.

    Last edited: Mar 21, 2017
    xcel likes this.
  9. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Have to be careful with tuning... especially in light of the diesel cheating scandal. Turning up the power in the hands (on the feet?) of the general public will adversely affect the fuel economy and emissions. The EPA should have been all over those chip programmers.
    TheFordFamily and xcel like this.
  10. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Actually, most everyone is reporting little to no effect on fuel economy for the performance tunes on the civic -- when driven normally (i.e. not utilizing the performance part of the tune). Others have reported going in for emissions testing with the tune in place with no problems. It's not a "rolling coal" situation with these engines.

    And, as I mentioned, you could actually tune FOR economy if so desired. There were gas saving chips/tunes being offered back in the day of $4.00+ gas prices (mostly for pickups).
    xcel and BillLin like this.
  11. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    I agree, though with GDI, it's a bit similar in my mind, though at a much lower level of soot.

    My state does not have real world emissions testing conditions, yet, so any tuning beyond breaking the idle state would get by easily.

    But WOW, my fears about the CR-V's MPG capabilities with the turbo have been assuaged by Wayne's testing. The wide gap with EPA ratings shows just how much boost is used all too often by most drivers' styles.
    xcel likes this.
  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Tunes sold for the Sonic are generally only active with the cruise control set to on, so it easy to hide it for inspections and dealer visits.

    Neither were cheater VWs rolling coal, a tune for fuel economy can easily mean running the fuel mix lean with the accompanying spike in NOx emissions. Holden techs once helped unlock the lean burn of US GM trucks buried in the ECU.

    Manufacturers need to meet regulations and make customers happy. They tune the engine to balance output, emissions, fuel economy, and reliability. Deviating the stock tune to increase one aspect will likely result in decreases in on or more others.
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  13. billy

    billy Well-Known Member

    No, according to Honda the turbocharger boost is 16.5 lbs for BOTH the Civic and the CRV. I know that SOME of the difference in HP is due to the exhaust system....but I am not sure how much....
    xcel likes this.
  14. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    "Several features combine to create the CR-V 1.5-liter turbo's increased performance compared to Civic models that are powered by this same engine family. A reduction in compression ratio combines with a higher maximum turbo boost pressure – made possible by a new turbocharger impeller design and more free-flowing intake and exhaust systems – to net a substantial gain in horsepower and torque."


    ... and 16.5 .. that's maximum boost for both vehicles? .. What is your source? (link please)

    /add, the expert tuners are saying there is little to no intake or exhaust restriction on the 1.5 civic when "boosting" the tune, i.e. buying upgraded intakes or exhaust to "compliment" the increased tuned turbo pressure is (mostly) a waste of money
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2017
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  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Billy:

    It was in the CR-Vs and Civic's spec pages.

  16. TheFordFamily

    TheFordFamily Well-Known Member

    Does it come with auto stop-start? If not, they should get it added ASAP. It adds a lot of value, at least for me.
    BillLin likes this.
  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi TheFordFamily:

    The CR-V does not have Auto Start/Stop. Auto Start/Stop saves far less fuel than the upgraded starter and larger AGM replacement battery costs. :(

    BillLin likes this.
  18. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    In the standard EPA tests, yes, because those don't include much idle time. I question whether that's true for an owner who has to spend a lot of time waiting at stop lights, stop signs, in traffic jams, etc., unless the upgraded starter is deficient in durability.
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  19. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi RedylC94:

    With an approximate 3 to 5 second payback for the power to respin the car over in a cycle, how long does anyone sit at a stop sign. Actually stopped for that period of time. How many lights do you get caught at on your normal everyday commute. 10 over a 20 mile drive? Driving the worst rush hour in the country between LA and Irvine, the traffic rarely stops dead for much more than a a few seconds. Instead it slows to 2, back to 10, slows to 5, back to 15 ... I might stop for a total of 5 times in the worst of it over my 104 mile drive loop.

    Auto Start/Stop is not a fuel saver in most cases but is a more expensive by approximately $200 to $300 let alone the AGM replacement every few years that will overwhelm any fuel savings.

    BillLin likes this.
  20. TheFordFamily

    TheFordFamily Well-Known Member

    Depends on how you drive I think. Most people aren't masters of fuel savings like you are Wayne ;) Someone like me who even tries to drive efficiently would benefit from a stop/start system. The majority of people rush up to a light and then stop! and in my area that's upwards of over a minute with how poor our lights are timed.
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