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Every Honda CR-V Used to Come With a Picnic Table in Back

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author photo by Doug DeMuro August 2016

Here's something you probably didn't know: From 1997 to 2006, every single Honda CR-V included a folding picnic table tucked away under the cargo area. I am completely serious. If you were out drivin' around in your CR-V and you wanted to have a picnic, all you had to do was consult your cargo area, and BOOM! Picnic table.

There were no chairs.

To understand the origin of the CR-V picnic table, you have to look back to when the Honda CR-V first made its debut in 1997. Back then, Honda had no idea what the SUV market would want. This thing was a trailblazer in the literal sense; it was one of the very first compact SUVs on the market. The Ford Escape was 4 years away. The Nissan Rogue wouldn't come out for more than a decade. So Honda got creative.

The result was a small SUV with steel wheels, a standard stick shift, a rear-mounted spare tire and a picnic table -- four things we'd never see in a small SUV today. Although I'm not sure if any CR-V owner in recorded history ever actually used the picnic table, which was fairly flimsy and primarily made of plastic, I do know one thing: There are tons of them on eBay, relics of a bygone area when a former CR-V owner put the table in the garage, forgot about it and then decided to make a couple of quick bucks during spring cleaning.

Speaking of the early CR-V's unusual characteristics, another thing we'd never see in a small SUV today: The first-generation CR-V's lone engine made only 126 horsepower, which resulted in an 11.3-second 0-to-60 mile-per-hour time. Today, even subcompact SUVs such as the Buick Encore have more juice -- and, of course, nearly all subcompact SUVs feature a better transmission than the CR-V's optional 4-speed automatic.

But none of them have that picnic table.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Every Honda CR-V Used to Come With a Picnic Table in Back - Autotrader