Hondata Flashpro: More Haul for Our CR-V Family Hauler
What do you do when you need a family hauler but modified Hondas are a huge part of your life? Hondata makes that decision a lot easier.
Hondata, one of the oldest tuning options for Honda-based ECUs, promises that its Hondata Flashpro reflash for the 2017 Honda CR-V will add 25 horsepower and 25 foot-pounds of torque. So, of course we had to check it out. Hondata systems range in price from $195 to $995, and the particular model that we used for the CR-V was $695.
This Honda-tech staffer has been building, tuning and modifying Honda vehicles for longer than most of our readers have been alive. They’ve worked with Honda for almost as long and love their products as a whole. But this would be the first foray into the world of Flashpro:
Following the manufacturers’ suggestions for updating all software on my PC and Flashpro unit, I found the installation to be fairly straightforward. Some users have noted concerns about connectability, but it was a non-issue in my case. That said, the software only works on PC.
Once the software had been sent to the Flashpro unit, it was just a matter of plugging the unit into the CR-V’s OBD2 port and pushing a button. After a few moments, the Flashpro indicated it was finished. During the flash process, it was a bit unnerving knowing you had essentially a brand new vehicle that was having its brain wiped and reprogrammed. However, it went off without a hitch.
With the tune installed, what can it do?
Right out of the box, the CR-V flash has two options. You can add 6 PSI of boost and the corresponding fuel and timing trim. Or you can add the same but have it use the “ECO” button to turn the extra power on, for on the fly adjustability. Since I still wanted decent fuel economy, I opted for the second option.
Day-to-day drivability with either program was not affected. The CR-V still has all the manners that you would expect from a Honda. Even with the added power, there was nothing to let you know that anything had changed. A few people drove the CR-V after the flash and had no idea that anything was any different than stock.
Fuel economy is a tougher thing to measure, with the extra power, you have a tendency to step on it more often and frequently. However, I did manage to drive approximately 150 miles like a normal human and still manage 36.69 mpg with the extra boost.
Flashpro also has many built-in features that are accessible right out of the box:
- Hondata Mobile connectivity
- Programmable ECU interface
- Connects via OBDII diagnostic port
- USB 2.0 connection
- No ECU modification necessary
- Live tuning
- 20 hours onboard data logging memory
- FlashProManager Windows software
- Check and clear diagnostic codes
- Custom laptop gauges
- Dual calibration storage
Unlike some of the older systems, like the S300, there were no hard modifications needed to the ECU. Honda has the ability to return the ECU to stock. However, at this point, it’s unknown if this means the dealer will be able to see the modified ECU calibration.
ALSO SEE: New Civic 1.5L Turbo Has Been Tuned
Datalogging works exactly as you would hope it would. Simply leave the Flashpro unit plugged into the OBD2 port, and push the datalog button. Once you’re finished datalogging, you push the button again and your log is saved. To check out that data, plug the unit into your computer, upload the logs and examine as necessary. This is great for tuners at a race track wanting details information after a track session, or the daily driver who wants to make sure their car is running at its best. The software does feel a bit dated but has more functionality than most users require. The ability to fully tune and data log and tune your car is included.
Hondata’s mobile app is a genius idea, with the ability to monitor data in real time and see virtual gauges .That said, one has to wonder how they can master that technology, but still can’t support Mac OSX, or make the entire Flashpro iOS compatible. A lightning-to-OBD2 cord and the correct software should alleviate this, making packaging that much simpler. No more hardware or cords. I guess it makes more sense to keep developing products that work damn well, and not worry about the pretty stuff.
Is it worth the $695 entry fee? Whether you’re more of a casual modder who intends on leaving the vehicle otherwise stock and just wants a little extra grunt, or you plan on making further enhancements down the road, this is definitely the system for you. Yours truly looks forward to adding more parts to see just how much more juice can be extracted from the 1.5L turbo. Hondata has created a remarkable tuning tool at a great price.