Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Honda Roadtrip: CR-V’ing to La Union

Lagalog is really the commuting and walking type at heart.  But when Honda sent an invite for road testing the 2010 CR-V from Manila to La Union, I considered myself fortunate to have two weekdays free.  Besides, I’ve always passed through La Union for trips farther north but never really stopped long enough for more than a cursory look.
At first, I thought I was an oddity in our batch, the lone blogger among motoring beat mainstream media members – Michelle Callanta of Gadgets Magazine; Steven Yu, Patrick Tadeo and Mikko David of Top Gear Magazine/Online; Eric Tipan of Jam 88.3/C! Magazine; Anjo Perez of Manila Bulletin Cruising; and race car legend, Mike Potenciano with my friend, Lindy Pellicer, of Turbo Time.  But as it turned out, the trip went well; it’s a road trip after all and it's right down Lagalog’s alley.

The trip took us through the ultra-smooth NLEX and from Pampanga onwards, through the small roads leading to La Union that alternate between rough and uneven, smooth-flowing and crawling with tricycles, buses and motorbikes; the better to test the car’s comfort level, road handling and nimbleness.

Lacking sleep the days leading to the trip, I was a willing passenger on the way to Thunderbird Resort in Poro Point, some 274 kilometers from Manila and while the 2.0 CRV’s ride was comfortable I felt it was wanting in power when overtaking on smaller roads and getting back on the lane quickly enough. (But I must say that the Urban Titanium shade was really way cool!).
As an avid commuter, I am used to bumpy rides (the rougher, the better to sleep) but hey, I sure can appreciate smooth ones.  The CR-V ride was consistently smooth throughout.  I can’t hear anything much from outside which is good, so that calls for music for the long drive.  

The built-in USB cable is a welcome feature though I wish there was an iPod/MP3 player cable as well (as I've forgotten to bring my iPod USB cable).  The cabin’s quietness only underscored the audio system’s lack of bassy-ness which was more apparent at the back than the front seats.


The Thunderbird Resort in Poro Point with its Mediterranean-inspired architecture served as a cool backdrop to the stylish lines of the CR-V (think white CR-V against the white walled Greek-inspired architecture). The spiffy accommodations and the nice sunset along the rocky shore were added treats. 

A road trip wouldn’t be complete without the eats so there were food stops along the way including a really memorable lunch on day two at Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung (read about it at happyfoodies.com).

I got my turn to drive on the way back and there was a palpable difference in passing power (especially after we discovered the "hidden magic" button at the side of the stick, go figure). My only complaint: the trip seemed to be too short to enjoy the comfy ride.  In conclusion, while I’m a backpacker and avid hiker, if I would have to ride/drive for a road trip, this car would be really cool. 

This trip was made possible by an invite from Honda Cars, Philippines,  for the Honda CR-V Discovering Crossover Test Drive.  Lagal[og] thanks Hiroshi Shimizu, HCP President; Sheryl Delos Santos of the Public Relations Division; and Christopher Chan of the Marketing Sales Department for this road trip.

11 comments:

COOKIE said...

nice pics and nice car!! how were the accomodations at thunderbird?

lagal[og] said...

hi cookie, the rooms are really nice, big, airy and spacious. the toilet and bath is big and spiffy clean. the restos are okay though the food is just okay.

bertN said...

How's the gas consumption? It is a small car, you probably got good mileage.

Photo Cache said...

Basta Honda ayus. Sarap naman pa test drive test drive na lang.

fortuitous faery said...

Suuuhhhweeeeeet Ride!

and that first photo transported me to Greece, if not for the flags. :P

lagal[og] said...

Bert, according to our Honda resource, you can get like 8-10 mpg, city driving. It really depends on one's driving habits.

Photo Cache, just lucky to get onboard one :D to drive but not to own, hahaha

Fortuitous Faery, that structure is really Mediterranean-inspired and also framed the image that way to suggest a Greek setting :D

aquamarine said...

wow CRV...how i wish i cud drive my own car haha..
that must be a memorable road trip!

the donG said...

ang ganda bai. parang nasa greece ah. at syempre ikaw pa ang nagdrive pauwi.

Sidney said...

I love travel but I don't like to drive on the roads here. For personal reasons I need to go to Sorsogon once in a while... and I am never sure I will arrive alive... ;-)

lagal[og] said...

Aquamarine, I just test-drove the CR-V, not bring it home with me :D

Dom, that's my intention really, to put the Greek-inspired architecture as background for the white CR-V

Sidney, I don't drive regularly anymore but one thing I can say is that it can be a quite different experience to be on the driver's wheel. It certainly takes a lot of guts to drive alongside provincial buses, tricycles, motorcycles and kuligligs but it's an enriching one as well.

unite tyre changer said...

Wow!La Union is one of the nicest place in the Philippines and great for out of town vacations.I love your whole driving experience.Honda CR-V is really cool and i hope i can drive that far too.

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