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Dear Honda -

We've owned a CRV since 2007, and it's our second one. We're preparing to buy are third, as we clearly are happy, satisfied customers.

But what a disappointment to discover that the BEST feature of the car -- the hard, weight-bearing, folding shelf over the cargo area -- has been replaced by the thin, retractable coverlet, thereby literally reducing the storage capacity by half. EVERY weekend we have it loaded, with nursery plants or other delicate items under the shelf and grocery bags or luggage atop the shelf. I can't imagine how we're going to manage without this key feature.

I was told by the dealer that this feature was eliminated to make folding down the rear seats "easier" (which is odd, because it's certainly easy to do in our current model).

We're either going to after to find another car altogether with greater storage, or hopefully find an aftermarket option to stay with CRVs, which clearly is our preference.

Any suggestions or feedback from Honda would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Two Decade Loyal Honda Customer
 

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Wow! You've got me confused. First of all, it's flat out impossible to make folding the rear seats any easier than with the '17.

Second, I'm very very glad there is no hard, weight bearing shelf in the rear, and far prefer the retractable cover. To say it "was the BEST feature of the car" seems a bit overly focused.....

Everybody has their own preferences for sure. However, seems to me that the majority of the public prefers the retractable cover, and to my knowledge pretty much every manufacturer has switched to this. I'm sincerely curious. If you have grocery bags or whatever on top of the shelf, and assuming the rear seats are still up, how did you prevent the bags, etc from flying forward? I really am sincere - don't understand what you were doing.
 

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Most likely liability issues prevailed in Honda's decision to drop the 'hard shelf' feature a few years ago. Nothing like having a potted plant smack you in the back of the head after a sudden stop to make one rethink, after awakening from that blow, to what a grand idea that shelf is. But hey, some like to live on the edge!
 

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Why get rid of VTEC? It doubled horsepower! Why get rid of manual transmission? It doubled reliability!

I myself find the cargo shelf in my '07 very useful. However, mine is made of 0.75in plywood rather than plastic. It was a great little feature, easily lays flat on the floor when not in use, and does make far better use of the otherwise rather small trunk. I'm sad to hear this feature is gone, I hope they atleast left a platform of sorts for somebody like myself to come in and build a simple shelf with wood.

Honda is not the same company they were in the 90s and 00s. A Honda from that era had an engine way ahead of its time, and a package that could not be beat for the money. You need not look farther than the new S2000 that's coming out in '18 or '19 to see the progression of Honda. They went from a cutting edge, hardcore group of engineers who built the very best four stroke motors on the planet to join the rest of them: competing for sales. The new S2k is nothing more than the child of marketing and modern trends. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it will live up to it's roots, but it will not be the engineering masterpiece that the AP1 was.

I suggest you look at Toyota, I think its safe to say they've won the real battle here: whoever makes the better car. A 2005 CR-V vs Rav4? Of course I'd go Honda hands down... The Rav doesn't stand a chance. But a 2017 Tacoma vs Ridgeline? It's quite the opposite, the taco is superior in every way (except manual trans highway mpg, but that Honda running on half cylinders will consume more oil than what the Toyota's extra gas will cost in long run)
 

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Ah, the S2000, a.k.a. "The Clutch Eater".
The good old days of Honda...back when they rusted out? As for the RAV4 vrs the CR-V. I spent time in each (two family members have RAV's) and I prefer the CR-V. Cars are a personal thing. Each company has their own personality in look and feel. You buy what suits you.

Of course I am sure we have all seen the numbers and how the CR-V outsells the RAV. Wonder why that is if jjrick thinks the RAV is so much better?

As for the Tacoma vrs Ridgeline...same deal...different personalities. Buy the truck that suits you. There are so many pickup trucks on the market, why should Honda try to outdo them all? Honda went a different direction with the Ridgeline. Its more about convenience features than pulling a 9,000 pound trailer or whatever. Besides, they don't sell that many and they can build it on the same assembly line as the vans that share the platform. Smart move for a lower volume vehicle.

You want to be a Honda hater, then be one, its your right. But it seems to me Honda is doing just fine overall.

Oh, and that manual transmission thing....more reliable? Oh, did you forget the clutch that wears out? Our 1999 Accord has 225,000 troublefree miles on that "unreliable" automatic transmission. Meanwhile my sister and her "dependable" manual trans has been through some clutch work in fewer miles. And for economy...our 2015 CVT Fit gets better mileage than the manual transmission model. Saves us money.

And the Honda running on half its cylinders uses oil? Really!
 
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