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Car Review: 2015 Honda CR-V

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By Frank S. Washington
NNPA Columnist

 

NORTHVILLE, Mich. – Honda called it a major minor model change. The automaker increased the fuel economy and added another trim line to the 2015 Honda CR-V. But they also improved their best-selling entry level crossover vehicle in 60 other areas. For 2015, the Honda CR-V has a new grille, new headlights, new front bumper, new skid plate and a tweaked front suspension.

The rear end had a new fascia, new license housing and new rear bumper. It looked wider from the rear and now the crossover can be equipped with 18-inch wheels, in addition to its normal 17-inch rubber. LED running lights are also available, a power tailgate is now offered and there is an available smart key.

The interior has gone high tech, too. It had dual information screens. The center console was configurable and it could hold an iPad, large soft drink cups from fast food outlets and had easily reachable USB ports. The dash had a clean saddle bag look to it as each soft touch layer flowed down to a thin wood-like trim that spanned across its width.

The interior had a high quality look but Honda would do well to upgrade the polymer used in the frames that hold the CR-V’s climate vents. They didn’t match the quality of materials used in the rest of the interior.

Although horsepower stayed the same at 185 on the 2.4-liter aluminum alloy four cylinder engine, torque has been increased by 11 percent to 181 pound-feet. To improve fuel economy, Honda switched the CR-V from a five-speed automatic transmission to a continuously variable transmission or CVT.

The fuel consumption rating for the 2015 Honda CR-V, which went on sale in October, is 27 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 29 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive model and 26 mpg in the city, 33 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg combined for the all-wheel-drive version.

We thought the new 2.4-liter engine ran smoothly and power was decent. Although we’ve never been a fan of a CVT, this generation of pulley-type transmission was pretty quiet at low speeds. Still, though CVTs save fuel, we question how effective they are at transmuting engine torque to power on the pavement.

Another idiosyncrasy of CVTs is that under hard acceleration they drone on with seemingly no break in the sound because they don’t shift gears. Under our heavy foot, the Honda 2015 CR-V seemed not to be moving as fast as it sounded. But a check of the speedometer and yes, we were moving swiftly.

Our test vehicle had all-wheel drive. The system was really front-wheel drive on dry pavement but it was capable of sending 20 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels once any slip of the front wheels was detected.

The 2015 CR-V’s steering could have been a little tighter but the vehicle still responded to driver input quickly. When test driving so many different vehicles, it is not a bad idea to keep in mind who is the target buyer. For the 2015 Honda CR-V, it is a 32-year-old mother of two. In other words, the CR-V is not supposed to handle like a sports car or a performance sedan.

To appeal to mothers of young children, the 2015 CR-V can be equipped with the Honda Sensing system. It includes forward collision warning, a collision mitigating braking system, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and Honda Lane watch. The lane watch system is unique, we think, to Honda. A camera at the bottom of the right side-view mirror will show on the navigation screen what is in the right hand lane when the right turn signal is activated or when a button at the tip of the turn signal stalk is pressed.

This equipment was packaged as a safety suite and safety is preeminent to most female car buyers. Honda is targeting young mothers with the 2015 CR-V and a vehicle with outstanding safety features is at the top of their shopping lists.

Prices for the 2015 Honda CR-V cover a variety of incomes. There are four trim lines: the LX, the EX, the EX-L and the Touring. A front-wheel drive LX starts at $23,320 the price range goes up to the top of the line Touring with all-wheel-drive. An EX-L starts at $32,770. Honda is putting its best tread forward, so to speak, to stay atop the entry level crossover market.

 

Frank S. Washington is editor of AboutThatCar.com.

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Business

Don’t Be Chick’n and Try Something Vegan!

What was originally known as Compassion Meals in Sacramento has now rebranded and blossomed into a vegan fried chick’n food truck based at Lake Merritt in Oakland, called Don’t Be Chick’n (DBC). 

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Outside of the Don’t Be Chick’n Food Truck at 277 Grand Ave. in Oakland. Photo by Isabelle Price.

What was originally known as Compassion Meals in Sacramento has now rebranded and blossomed into a vegan fried chick’n food truck based at Lake Merritt in Oakland, called Don’t Be Chick’n (DBC). 

Owned and operated by Nkoyo Adakama, the food truck that began operations July 3 serves vegan soul food based around the star theme of the truck, the vegan fried chick’n. 

While Adakama’s start in the food industry was rough due to racial attacks against her and her business in Sacramento, Don’t Be Chick’n seems to have received great traction in Oakland. Before the food truck, DBC had pop-up locations at New Parkway Theatre and Au Lounge on Broadway that were such a success that they led the way for the food truck to make its debut. 

The prices for the food are a bit on the higher end and the wait, not including the line, for the food is roughly 30 minutes. However, if you are looking to support a business owned by a Black woman and want to try some solid vegan soul food while enjoying Lake Merritt, I would recommend going to this food truck. Adakama’s food reminds me of a vegan dupe for Raising Canes.  

The truck is located at Lake Merritt, usually at 277 Grand Ave. in Oakland, generally from about 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Both the location, hours and menu may vary during the week, so it is important to follow their Instagram account for frequent updates. For any questions or catering requests, they can be emailed at contactus@dontbechickn.com. 

All information for this article was gathered from Don’t Be Chick’n Instagram and website and an Oaklandside story. 

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Business

August is National Black Business Month

August 1st kicks off National Black Business month. And although Black businesses should be supported year-round, all month long people across the country are encouraged to recognize and support Black-owned businesses. 

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Black woman owned business/Photo Credit: Isabelle Price

August 1st kicks off National Black Business month. And although Black businesses should be supported year-round, all month long people across the country are encouraged to recognize and support Black-owned businesses. 

The origins of National Black Business Month can be traced back to 2004 when Frederick E. Jordan teamed up with John William Templeton, president and executive editor of eAccess Corp., a scholarly publishing company, to have August recognized as National Black Business Month. 

Jordan and Templeton also encouraged local government officials, community leaders to address structural barriers that adversely and disproportionately impact Black-owned businesses—namely a lack of access to capital. 

“It’s important that we take this time not just to promote Black Business Month, but support Black businesses,” said Ronald Busby, president and CEO of the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce.

“As we reopen America, it’s important we acknowledge the wealth gap that exists between Black families and White families has grown. The real way to address the wealth gap through the creation of new black-owned businesses and broad support of those businesses. In order for there to be a Great America, there’s got to be a Great Black America,” he said.

Busby encourages readers to visit the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce’s website to learn about programming, events and resources available to Black entrepreneurs and businesses. 

Busby also acknowledged the impact the COVID-19 has had on the Black businesses, who he says were hit the hardest. According to a report by the House Committee on Small Business, between February and April 2020 Black business ownership declined more than 40%–which is noted to be the largest decline across any racial group. 

According to the United States Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy there are more than 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S. Black businesses realized a 34% uptick from 2007-2012. Black-owned firms generate an average of $150 billion dollars in annual receipts.

Firms owned by Black women continue to grow at an exponential rate. According to Forbes  businesses owned by Black businesses grew 67% from 2007 to 2012, compared to 27% for all women, and 50% from 2014 to 2019, representing the highest growth rate of any female demographic during that time frame.

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Bay Area

Nancy Lieberman Congratulates Kaplan and AASEG, continues to support efforts to Bring a WNBA team to Oakland

This week the AASEG (African American Sports and Entertainment Group) has moved forward to secure the exclusive rights to bring a WNBA team to the Oakland Coliseum.

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Nancy Lieberman/ Wikimedia Commons
This week the AASEG (African American Sports and Entertainment Group) has moved forward to secure the exclusive rights to bring a WNBA team to the Oakland Coliseum.
Vice Mayor Rebecca Kaplan was pleased to hear that National Basketball Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman was pleased too. Both parties had a lengthy conversation back in February, about the business of the WNBA and some of its hurdles. Kaplan told Lieberman the AASEG ( www.aasegoakland.com), and the motion she brought forward received a resounding approval (6-0-2) vote from Oakland City Council members to pursue terms to acquire the City’s 50% interest of the Coliseum Complex.
This critical vote came just three days after the Alameda County Joint Powers Authority unanimously approved a resolution to begin negotiating with the AASEG to bring a WNBA team to Oakland.  With these successive actions, the AASEG can formalize negotiations with City staff toward a Purchase and Sell Agreement for the Coliseum Complex.
Nancy Lieberman is one of professional basketball’s most celebrated female players and an American sports Icon. Nancy truly represents the theme of what is being proposed by the AASEG investment group. The council heard Ray Bobbitt, of AASEG and 97-year-old Gladys Green, present the goal of women leadership and ownership of a WNBA franchise as its primary agenda.Nancy Lieberman has an established record for being a leading advocate and supporter for social and racial equality her entire professional career. She has often credited the African American community, for supporting her and inspiring her possibilities. Now, that she is on the other side of her legend, she wants to pay it forward. Nancy and her business advocate Gary Reeves, said they plan to join a conversation with Ray Bobbitt and Rebecca Kaplan to review a potential alliance soon.

Nancy Lieberman loves the community outreach and civic leaders, who have paved the way for this opportunity. She cited the AASEG for its extensive community support. She said she is looking forward to meeting the AASEG community members and to give high praise and thanks to Rebecca Kaplan for her full-court press-style of support for AASEG, women’s sports, minority businesses, housing and job opportunities for the homeless and formerly incarcerated populations. Lieberman and Gary Reeves, her Bay area-based business advocate, want to meet and work with Gladys Green who is the inspirational leader of the East Oakland community and to congratulate Gay Cobb for the Post News Group’s extensive coverage and the recommendation that AASEG make an offer to purchase the coliseum.

In addition to working as Nancy Lieberman’s business advocate, Gary has been campaigning for support from a Who’s Who list of philanthropists and investors to support a home ownership pledge for those that need their down payments bridged to help them become home owners. During the pandemic his group, along with Lieberman, provided over 1 million dollars in free PPE and clothing for those in under-resourced areas. Oakland was also a benefactor of that program with BPL campuses and the Al Attles Foundation, ACE (Attles Center for Excellence)

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