Not all 4x4s are big, dirty and dangerous, claims a campaign launched by Honda (UK).
A special window sticker and letter will be sent to owners of Honda's new CR-V, to help them defend themselves from 4x4 detractors. This is a direct response to concerned Honda customers asking for help.
The stickers and letter both carry the message 'Not all 4x4s are the same', highlighting the fact that the Honda CR-V is cleaner, safer and smaller than most.
It addresses the major concerns of the Anti 4x4 lobby with the following facts:
Too dirty? The new Honda CR-V is not only cleaner than other SUVs - its exhaust emissions* are lower than some large estates, hatchbacks, MPVs and even a MINI Cooper S!
Too big? The CR-V has a footprint that's a similar size to a Ford Mondeo (and smaller than a BMW 523iE).
Too dangerous? The current CR-V achieves a 3-star rating for pedestrian safety - which, according to industry experts Euro NCAP, puts it in the top 10 per cent of pedestrian-friendly cars on the road. Also, the current model gets 4-stars for occupant safety. As for the all new CR-V, we are aiming for yet another high level result.
This is the first time a car manufacturer has taken direct customer action on this debate.
Honda's view was reinforced by an announcement made by the council in Richmond last week, regarding parking permit pricing linked to car emissions. The council's plan to penalise the dirtiest, thirstiest vehicles highlights the favourable position of the new CR-V in the automotive 'green hierarchy'.
Under the proposed scheme, the diesel-engined CR-V (with CO 2 emissions of 173g/km) would fall into Band E. Although this results in a 30 per cent increase in parking charges, the less efficient 4x4s on the market (i.e. most of CR-V's competitors) would receive a 200 per cent hike in permit costs - up to £450 per year.
John Kingston, Environment Manager at Honda (UK), said: "The 'one size fits all' approach of Anti 4x4 protesters is confusing. Some customers have expressed their concerns and frustration about being criticised for driving a CR-V - no surprise when you consider this Honda is incredibly clean, not a gas-guzzler, smaller than most 4x4s and is remarkably safe for both passengers and pedestrians."
* CO 2 emissions: CR-V 2.0-litre petrol - 194g/km, MINI Cooper S 16v - 207g/kmPublished 1 November 2006