While testing the out the AWD systems in their 'Sweden's 20 best selling SUV' feature, they found out that Honda's CR-V is more front-wheel biased than anything else. Apparently, the magazine did a similar test with the AWD CR-V in 2013 and it fared badly back then. All the CR-V did was to spin it front wheels while the rear wheels kept still. The system even overheated. Honda was quick to act and rectified the problem by reprogramming the system in all its CR-Vs since then.
However, it seems that the problem is back again for 2014 CR-Vs as you can see in the video. To proof their point, they even used a Ford Kuga AWD to demonstrate how a proper AWD system should behave in a low traction situation.
Check out Honda Sweden's official reply below. Let us know what you think!
The Honda AWD system uses a compact, lightweight and fuel-efficient rear differential. The design requires a certain torque limitation for the device to be able to work effectively in real conditions, but at the same time, it must not exceed the total capacity of the AWD drive.
In real conditions, regardless of the surface, there is a certain amount of friction always available for both front and rear wheels. The AWD system benefits therefore torque between front and rear wheels in order to achieve optimal driving force.
In the roll test non-existent grip is simulated in the front and maximum grip at the rear.
If all the available torque required to move the vehicle forward would be transferred to the rear differential then the limit for the torque of the unit would be exceeded.
If the vehicle continues to run in this state (the front wheels spinning and the rear wheels standing still) the system senses the high speed variation and that the differential clutch slips and reduces the available torque to the rear wheels to prevent overheating. That is why the vehicle moves backward in the video.
In real conditions a scenario like the roll test with such a high difference in grip between the front and the rear wheels is highly unlikely.
In other words Honda does not see that the roll test fairly highlights CR-V’s AWD performance. Teknikens Värld has done a winter test where CR-V was tested on icy roads, as well as steep paths such as a ski slope.
Honda believes that these tests in real environments should be enough to show that the CR-V is a great winter car and would like to stress that there are no known customer complaints on the CR-V’s traction from the Swedish market or in other markets with similar conditions.
On Teknikens Värld’s question whether the update is made, we can with measuring instruments upon request show that for both customers and media.
Since it is important for Honda that customers feel safe and have confidence in ourselves we did an update of the software of all CR-Vs for the Swedish market.
CR-V customers were able to get the software, free of charge, updated at our dealers from April 15 and in production from July 8 in 2013.
Honda CR-V is a global car and has sold over 5 million copies. It is the world’s best-selling SUV* and the sales in Europe is growing steadily, 6 percent in comparison with last year. The CR-V therefore has many satisfied customers around the world.
Maria Johansson, head of communications
* First quarter 2014