First impression lasts, and this compact SUV made a huge one the moment you lay your eyes in it. The 4th generation Honda CR-V comes fully loaded with all the things you would want in a modern SUV: A sleek and stylish design matched by a functionality you would never see in other vehicles in its category. Since seeing it, I had been dreaming of taking it for a spin and in my head, I made plans of driving up to Baguio for a weekend respite or taking a short drive to Nasugbu just to test what this machine can do. The opportunity finally did com at the best possible time. Typhoon Gener was o his way out of the Philippine area of responsibility, but on the same day that I got the keys for the new Honda CRV, the typhoon decided to extend its stay in the country, only to be followed by strong monsoon rains. I initially had some apprehensions on driving this SUV. It wasn't because of the nearly week-long continuous rains and the widespread flooding in the city but because of the CRV's size; driving anything bigger than a Honda Jazz makes me think twice. However, despite its bigger size and my being used to driving a more compact car, there was a certain feeling of familiarity the moment I sat on the driver's seat and the utter excitement of seeing what's inside the CRV. The ambient lighting changes its color to reflect your driving style: Green means fuel-efficient driving, yellow means moderate acceleration/deceleration while white means aggressive acceleration/deceleration. For a compact SUV, this vehicle is in a league of its own. It's one of the best cars in its category when it comes to fuel efficiency. I know this because I saw it with my own eyes when i was Practically crawling through the streets of EDSA during the height of the monsoon rains. When it comes to handling, I didn't feel that I was driving an SUV, as the CRV was even lighter than my on Jazz. One thing I also found very useful was the hands-free telephone feature of the CRV. This allowed me to cal and receive calls from my parents, friends and siblings conveniently during the widespread flooding to update me as to the best route I should take to get home safely. I could also access my iPod or any other mp3 player device, for that matter, with the i-MID via the CRV's Bluetooth system. All these just by pressing several intuitive controls conveniently found in the steering wheel. Not only that the i-MID also allowed me to park conveniently through the help of a built-in read camera. As soon as I shift the transmission on reverse, the rear camera was automatically activated, giving me an image of the rear view of the car. In terms of cargo space, the CRV is spacious enough especially for someone who is used to loading cargo in the tinier Jazz; I was pleasantly surprised to see how much I was able to put inside this SUV. With the one-pull fold down rear seats of the CRV, there was even additional cargo space available. One thing i regretted not being able to try in this vehicle was the cruise control feature. I was tempted to try it along NLEX with the sunroof open but i had to forego it. No on a flooded NLEX. All in all, I'm extremely satisfied with the compact SUV. it has a ca- like drivability and provides drivng and riding comfort I haven't experience in other SUVs. With the efficiency of a passenger car, the functionality of a mini-van, and the security and confidence of an SUV, would i want to drive this machine home for good? Definitely!!