Thursday, November 1, 2012

Our New Car: 2013 Honda CR-V

For a while Stephen and I were doing great without a car payment.  Both of our cars were paid off and we were putting "car payment" money into savings.  Life was good, especially while we were planning and paying for a wedding.  In the back of our mind we always knew that Stephen's car would break at some time, but we were hoping to make it to 2013.  The beloved Jetta had other ideas.  It started breaking down on Stephen's commute home at rush-hour.  Knowing that he was stranded on the side of the highway in Atlanta traffic was the final straw, for me, and we decided it was time to go car shopping.

Our 2013 Honda CR-V with AWD
Long story short, after visiting a few dealerships we drove into the Honda dealership to see what they had.  We had our heart set on a 2012 small SUV because all the 2013s were starting to come in and we thought we'd get a great deal.  We knew we wanted All Wheel Drive and that wasn't something we were going to compromise on.  When Honda didn't have any 2012s with AWD we looked at a 2013, just to see how they drove and how they looked.  After about 5 hours of back and forth negotiating on the price, our financing, trade in value for the Jetta and maintenance packages we finally came to a monthly payment that met our needs.  I think it's important to go into the dealership with what you're willing to put down in cash and what your limit is for monthly payments and make the dealership work towards that.  Don't budge!  While we couldn't get the cost of the vehicle down as low as we wanted, we were able to get great financing, below what they offered, a higher warranty package and a lot for our trade in.  All those helped bring our monthly cost to what works for us.

We're in love with this car.  One of the most important things to us was storage because when we have to travel with the dogs, we need to make sure we can get their crates in the back.  Yes, one day we'll have kids and dog crates will be replaced with all the baby necessities, but right now we're focused on our pups.

The car comes with an ECON button that helps you keep your MPG as low as possible and it lets you know when you're getting good gas mileage.  Because the car tracks and shows us our current Average MPG and the range left in our tank of gas, it's become a game to get the MPG to stay in one place or to go up.  I drive the CR-V to and from work during the week and I average around 20 MPG.  Not great, but I'm only driving 7 miles a day.  When we get the car on the highway it climbs up to 24 MPG and higher.  Cruise Control helps it stay high.

The green lights come on when you're getting good gas mileage.  I always try to keep the green lights on.
Dash screens
 It's a little blurry, but the picture above shows the two screens that are on the dash.  The top screen scrolls through 4 different options - blank, music details, the MPG that you see above and just the time.  I like to keep it on the screen you see because it tells me how I'm doing on gas and how much is left in my tank.  The bottom screen can be your phonebook and phone commands, your map with GPS or other info on your car.  When you put the car in reverse you get the backup camera with three different camera options!  Our driveway is very narrow and it definitely helps me back out every morning.

Center console storage
 The car has a ton of space, exactly what we needed from it.  Each front seat has it's own arm rest and the center console is crazy deep and spacious.  There is the standard power jack, the AUX jack and a USB connection as well.  We also have heated seats, which I didn't think I'd need, but I've used quite a few times already on the 40 degree mornings we've had lately.

We've had a few people ride with us in the backseat and all have said it's spacious
This is also the first car I've had with steering wheel controls for the radio and for hands free calling.  It's been SO nice to have my phone connect to the car with bluetooth.  I keep bluetooth turned on on my phone all the time and when I get in the car it automatically finds it (after I've set it up to recognize my phone, of course).  Now when I get a phone call I never have to dig for it in my purse while driving.  I've noticed that my phone also doesn't make noise when I get a text message while I'm driving so I'm never tempted to check a text or send one out.  Love it.  The car pulls my phone's contact list to the main screen so I can call anyone in my contacts right from the car.  While the car is moving the option to scroll or type disappears, safety first.

The trunk area has small storage spaces on the sides and the spare tire is under the floor of the back so it's not in our way.  
When you want to lay the backseats down, you pull a little tab and they fold down automatically.  No pulling and lifting required.  This will be helpful on Home Depot trips or when we travel with the dogs.  I don't want their sharp claws on the nice, pretty, new-car smelling leather.

View from the back of the car to the front.  I keep the trunk cover pulled forward to hide what we have or don't have in the trunk space.
 With the package of the car, a few other awesome treats were included for us - a sunroof  (I've never had a sunroof!) and defrosting side view mirrors.  When you turn on the rear defrost button it automatically defrosts the side mirrors, too.  Nice touch, Honda.

While we were car shopping, Stephen noted that at every dealership we went to all of the cars or SUVs were black, grey, silver or white.  There wasn't variety!  We were going to settle for a black car, because I'd die with a silver or white car, but when we saw this beauty right off the truck, we knew it had to be ours.

I'm 6 feet tall, so you can see that the CR-V, while spacious, isn't a huge vehicle.  We didn't want a gas guzzling SUV with tons of space that two people could never use.

When we bought the car, exactly one month ago (I was waiting to blog about it until I was familiar with it for an honest review), there weren't many 2013s in Atlanta.  We even had to have State Farm add it to their system.  But if everyone who drives one loves it as much as we do, I have a feeling in the next few months we'll start to see a lot more.  I've been driving the CR-V for a month now and I haven't found anything that doesn't fit right, work smoothly or feels awkward.  This is my first fully-loaded car and I'm so glad we have it.  We worked hard with the salesman and his boss to make it work and we couldn't be happier.


  1. Congratulations on your new car! While reading your post, I could sense your enthusiasm about your car purchase! I think you made a smart decision in buying that car, especially since it offers a lot of cool features and because you got it for the price you wanted. :) Good job!

    Stelle Courney

  2. I think you really made a good deal, even if you weren’t able to bring down the price to the lowest possible amount, because you were still able to negotiate and agree on something that meets your budget. That way, you’ll be sure your car will not be taken away just like that because you can meet the monthly payments. The warranty package is also good as this can save you a few bucks if ever your car malfunctions. Great job!

    Nettie Christensen

  3. Nice pick, Katie! The demand for AWD systems is really climbing up these days. Since you have plans for travels in the future, this car would be perfect. You can still go on trips no matter what the weather is. It’s a good thing the Honda people didn’t insist that you take any 2012 4WD vehicles instead. I’m pretty sure you know which suits your lifestyle. ;) -->Tyra Shortino

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