Honda CR-V Review
PROS:Roomy cabin, decent kit, robust interior
Five-seat only, expensive, sluggish auto box
The Honda CR-V is known for its practicality. It was one of the first compact SUVs when it was launched back in 1995, and a 2015 facelift of the latest fourth-generation model has given the CR-V more of a premium feel than ever, without sacrificing anything in the way of usability.
On-paper economy is impressive, as is the car’s refinement, but the most appealing thing remains the Honda’s big boot. The crossover sector is crowded and the CR-V has many rivals, but the likes of the Mazda CX-5, Ford Kuga and Kia Sportage can’t match its spacious load bay, versatile rear seats and roomy interior.
Many of its competitors are more fun to drive, but the Honda is a relaxed motorway cruiser.
The Honda CR-V is a five-door SUV that’s a little too traditional – and large – to be counted as one of the more fashionable compact ‘crossover’ style SUVs. But it’s the crossover crowd the Honda CR-V must compete with, as well as other more traditional 4x4s. So the list of CR-V rivals includes such luminaries as the Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Dualis and Kia Sportage, as well as the Ford Kuga, Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Like many of the more fashionable crossovers, the CR-V is no hardcore off-roader. It’s designed primarily as comfortable and practical road transport, and half the models on offer come with only two-wheel drive. The line-up starts with the Honda CR-V S entry model, which is reasonably equipped with 17-inch alloys, dual zone auto climate control, Bluetooth and DAB radio, plus cruise control, stop/start and city brake.
Next up is the CR-V SE Plus which adds parking sensors, fog lamps, and auto lights and wipers. Both S and SE Plus are available as Navi versions with the Honda Connect infotainment and Garmin navigation system. Moving up to the CR-V SR adds 18-inch alloys, HID cornering headlamps and half leather/half alcantara seats, while the top spec CR-V EX features a full leather interior, panoramic glass roof, plus smart keyless entry and start.
Depending on the model you pick, there’s a range of three engine choices. The 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel comes with either 118bhp or 158bhp – the former available only with 2wd and a six-speed manual, and the latter available only with 4x4 and a choice of manual or nine-speed auto gears. If you pick the 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, you can choose two or four-wheel drive, and both with either manual or automatic gears.