The Honda New CR-V is their best 4x4 by far
Honda Cr-V 2.0 i-VTEC EX 4WD automatic. Price as driven £30,900
- THIS is the fourth generation of the Honda CR-V, which has established itself as a mainstay of Middle Britain for adaptable family transport since the first generation arrived in Europe in 1997. Since 2000, the range has been built at Honda's Swindon factory.
- THE new CR-V is not a radical change from the last model in looks or performance, but is noticeably better all-round: it's been re-engineered and had its styling subtly tweaked. It's less thirsty, smoother, the interior's more refined, but it's still M&S smart casual, not Savile Row slick.
- I TOOK it from London to Liverpool and back loaded with luggage and you couldn't fault it on space. To make life easier, there is now an automatic power tail-gate you can open from your plipper and close from a button on the rear hatch.
- I DROVE the top-range petrol model, kitted to the max including full leather seat, heated front seats, privacy glass, 18-inch alloys, and a panoramic glass roof.
- OTHER new features include keyless entry and start-up and one-action fold-flat rear seats (with a 60-40 split).
- GOOD road presence and a commanding driving position in a vehicle that still has carlike manners for a 'grass and gravel' 4X4.
- THERE'S a handy dashboard 'Eco Assist' mode, which glows green when you drive in a fuel-efficient manner. 'Idle-stop', which cuts the engine when you pull up at lights, is available only on manual models.
- THE dashboard has been spruced up. There are two screens - for sat-nav, music and radio, and a smaller one for driver information, which can be used as a viewing screen for downloaded movies (when it is parked).
- THERE'S a good dose of added oomph from the new 'S' or 'Sport' option on the five-speed automatic gearbox. When the normal drive mode felt pedestrian - especially for motorway overtaking - it was handy to drop down the lever and feel the whole vehicle move up a notch in performance.
- A 'WHIPLASH mitigation system' in the front seats is designed to protect the neck if shunted from the rear.
- BORINGLY reliable with good, friendly, polite and efficient servicing support from Honda dealerships.
- THEY retain their value - very popular in the used car market.
- IT'S also available with a 2.2 litre i-DTEC engine, in automatic or manual. For the first time there is a two-wheel drive petrol version (manual only). The range starts from £21,395.
...noticeably better all-round...
...good road presence and a commanding driving position...
...good dose of added oomph from the new 'Sport' option...
- BOY does this off-roader get more expensive. It is nearly double the price of the original CR-V.
- ACCELERATION from rest to 62mph is a pedestrian 12.3 seconds. Top speed is 118mph.
- HONDA has done much to improve fuel efficiency and lower Co2 emissions (down 12 per cent on the previous model) - but it's still relatively thirsty. Official average MPG is 37.7 mpg with C02 emissions of 177g/km.
- SEVERAL enhanced safety features are optional extras, rather than standard.