The all-wheel drive version of the Honda CR-V performs much like a front-wheel drive car when the front wheels have little or no grip.
Using rollers to simulate a low grip situation, Teknikens Varld tested the latest pre-facelift version of the all-wheel drive CR-V. The result, as you can see above, is that the front wheels keep on spinning, with no action coming from the rear. In contrast, an all-wheel drive Ford Kuga is able to engage its rear wheels within seconds and power away.
According to Honda Sweden, “in real conditions, regardless of the surface, there is a certain amount of friction always available for both front and rear wheels … [but] a scenario like the roll test with such a high difference in grip between the front and the rear wheels is highly unlikely.”
The company then explained to the magazine: “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.”
The car in the video features the latest AWD software fitted to all Sweden-bound CR-Vs.
Last year the Swedish magazine tested four SUVs on a snow slope. Three — a Hyundai Santa Fe, a Mazda CX-5 and a Mitsubishi Outlander — were able to scramble their way up the hill, while the CR-V was left stranded at the base of the incline with an overheated AWD system.
The publication then reproduced the same result in a lab using wheel rollers, like the ones seen in the video above.
In response, Honda Sweden undertook similar tests and admitted that it had “focused too much on consumption figures [ahead of] the accessibility [or usability] of the new CR-V”.
The company then remapped the software controlling the car’s all-wheel drive system. The tweaked firmware was made standard on all new CR-Vs bound for the country, while existing owners could have their cars reprogrammed for free.
After this revised system became available, Teknikens Varld put the CR-V through its tests and it passed with flying colours.