Thursday, December 25, 2014

Honda CR-V's Awkward Window Designs

The Honda CR-V crossover SUV is in its forth design generation according to this Wikipedia entry.  The first two versions had a conventional, boxy appearance along with an archaic-seeming exterior spare tire attachment at the rear, something also present on the competing Toyota RAV4 at the time.

CR-V's third iteration was introduced for the 2007 model year.  The exterior spare tire feature was eliminated as part of an effort to make the vehicle more trendy.  Stylists then decided to get "creative" and introduced an odd-looking side-window profile.  Typically, SUV designs either have the rear side window shape conforming to some degree with the profile of the vehicle's top or else use a "dog-leg" arrangement such as is currently found on the popular RAV4 and Ford Escape SUVs that I discussed here.

Instead, Honda's styling crew came up with a side-window profile that would have been appropriate for a 1949 fastback car -- except that the top of the CR-V was decidedly not fastback, leaving a curious area of blank sheet metal between the upper edge of the windows and the top of the vehicle.

Then, perhaps in reaction to criticism from potential buyers or maybe some postpartum introspection by the stylists, the fourth-generation CR-V received a different window treatment.  It too was odd.  The rear side-windows converged to a point, again leaving awkward areas of sheet metal.  However, this was mitigated somewhat thanks to echoing the point on the shape of the taillights, as can be seen below.

I'm hoping the Honda stylists will come to their senses and find a more attractive side-window profile when the fifth-generation CR-V comes along.


Front three-quarter views, the 2007 CR-V above, the 2012 model below.

Rear three-quarter views, same sequence.

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