CR-V 2.0 i-VTEC EX 4WD
some reason (actually there are
lots of good ones), a lot of people
Perhaps because throughout each
of its incarnations
the recent fourth
generation is now here
character has always been its
effortless multi-role driveability...
WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, cars are a bit like robots although they're
machines, some have 'characters' humans can easily identify, and even bond,
with: think WALL-E, R2-D2 and C-3PO to name just a few. Which explains why many
drivers christen their cars with names such as Toots, Emily, Arkle, and Genevieve.
And I'm guessing that of all those CR-Vs sold (five million since 1995), the
majority of them are known to their owners not as a number but by a name.
Broadening the latest CR-V's appeal is the introduction, for the first time
in Europe, of two-wheel drive models but only on petrol-engined versions
and not the diesels. However, as welcome as a few miles per gallon more is,
if you need 4WD even just once or twice a year to get you through weather conditions
that would leave a 2WD vehicle stranded, then a few quid shaved off your annual
fuel costs is not so important.
the record, the manual 2WD 2.0-litre petrol returns an official 31.7; manual
transmission 4WD versions 31.1-31.4mpg). Later this year a 2WD-only 1.6-litre
CR-V will join the range capable of an impressive 62.8mpg.
The instant you need
extra grip or traction
winter weather aside,
say in a sudden
cloudburst or on silage-
slippery country lanes
its there without you
ever having to think
the CR-V's 4x4 system only comes into play when it's needed, so much of the
time you're running in two-wheel drive (the front pair) anyway.
Go for the slightly more expensive (£1,100) 4WD model and the difference is
that the instant you need extra grip or traction winter weather aside,
say in a sudden cloudburst or on silage-slippery country lanes it's there
without you ever having to think about it.
Honda's Real Time electronically-activated AWD system automatically engages
the rear wheels whenever tricky road conditions demand. And while the CR-V is
not a hardcore mud-slugger it will, if needs must, faithfully oblige off-road.
Honda appears to have followed VW's (Golf) DMWF lead: Don't Mess (well, not
much) with a Winning Formula. Which is why, to a casual observer, the latest
CR-V may not look that much different from its predecessor. However, it's deeply
sculpted body is undeniably smarter, with sweeping deep-set headlights bracketing
a bolder, three-bar-grille nose that visually toughens up its dual-role image.
At the tail, the tall LED rear light units following the line of the C-pillars
are equally eye-catching.
Step inside though and the design is impressively improved. There's a comprehensive
but easy-to-take-in instrument-cum-driver information set supported by a secondary
information display inset top dead centre of the fascia above the built-in SatNav
(an especially good unit with A1 traffic information that, helpfully, offers
a jump link to show on the map if required). All key info can be accessed in
a quick glance. Cubbyholes and storage bins are well sited and real-world sized.
All prime switchgear and controls are within easy reach of the leather steering
wheel. Four large dash-mounted air vents keep you cool in summer and cosy in
winter not only is coverage good, but the blower runs quietly. Keyless
access along with drive-away central locking, a padded sliding centre armrest
and a perfectly-positioned traditional pull-up handbrake all help make life
more satisfying for the CR-V driver.
top-of-the-range CR-V we've just tested EX spec costs £29K, which
puts it firmly in Audi and BMW territory. However, for that you'll be specced
to the max and, kit-wise, you really won't want for a thing.
CR-V costs £29K,
which puts it firmly in
Audi and BMW territory.
However, for that
youll be specced to the
max and, kit-wise,
you really wont want
for a thing...
you can become a CR-V owner for just £21K that's the price of the 2.0
S and even this entry-level model comes well equipped with alloy wheels, LED
daytime running lights, dual-zone climate control, cruise control with speed
limiter, a 5-inch Multi-Information Display, power lumbar support for the driver,
one-touch folding rear seats, USB and Aux sockets, Vehicle Stability Assist,
Trailer Stability Assist, Hill Start Assist, a full complement of airbags, idle
stop-start, electric adjustable heated door mirrors, four electric windows,
and steering wheel audio controls. And lots of space. Make no mistake, this
new CR-V is a big car.
given its near-£30K price tag, the range-topper EX will be judged against premium
brand SUVs such as BMW's X3, the Audi Q5, Land Rover's Freelander, and the impressive
XC60 from Volvo.
A tough call, but the CR-V's obviously good fit and finish and cabin ambience
passes muster, helped by a large glasshouse that not only provides first class
visibility for the driver but also a light and airy cabin for passengers and
makes Honda's SUV a pleasant and satisfying place to hang out. And a powered
blind for the full-length glass roof means you won't need to wear sunblock in
The rear passenger compartment is luxuriously spacious for two, separated by
a padded centre armrest with built-in cupholders. Adjustable backrests boost
the comfort rating. Three's more than just doable, and middle rear seat passengers
will appreciate the plentiful foot room (there's no restrictive transmission
tunnel). Wherever you sit, you'll be ensconced in soft leather. And whichever
door you shut, it will close with that solid thunk that says 'quality
Despite its size, the CR-V is unexpectedly wieldy to drive; bodyroll is well
controlled around corners and through bends, and the electric power-steering
is accurate and makes for keener manoeuvrability.
in the UK at Swindon, the torsionally stiffer CR-V's McPherson strut front and
multi-link rear suspension has been tuned for improved ride comfort and high-speed
stability on European roads.
The 2.0-litre petrol
engine is smooth and
quiet and moves the
CR-V along nicely.
Officially the petrol-
drinker averages 37.2mpg
at the end of a hard
weeks testing wed averaged 36.2mpg...
CR-V's raised driving position and 8-way power adjustable supportive seat (with
two memory settings) and a footwell large enough for driving in boots benefits
from good physical harmonics with the pedals, steering wheel and high-mounted
gear lever and although you're riding tall in this SUV's saddle, the feel is
very much car-like. On the move it's secure and sure-footed.
As it should, being packed with safety technology, both active and passive,
including front and front-side airbags as well as front and rear side curtain
airbags as well as an advanced stability control system that helps keep a towed
trailer, caravan or horsebox (600kg unbraked or 1,500kg braked) safely under
control no surprise then that Honda's SUV is a popular choice for the
The CR-V also comes endorsed by a five-star Euro NCAP rating. Honda's Collision
Mitigation Braking system (warns of an impending collision and even applies
the brakes to minimise an impact), Lane Keeping Assist, and Adaptive Cruise
Control are all optional.
The 2.0-litre petrol engine under the bonnet is smooth and quiet and moves the
CR-V along nicely it also makes a good choice if you're not chalking
up big annual mileages. Officially the petrol-drinker averages 37.2mpg
at the end of a hard week's testing the trip computer was showing a very respectable
A six-speed manual 'box is standard and the short gearlever conveniently close
to your knee makes for no-reach, easy changing (an auto is available should
you prefer). Aided by improved aerodynamics, the CR-V is also refined at motorway
top-of-the-range EX is loaded with kit far too much to list here. Highlights
include a power driver's seat with memory, heated front seats, privacy glass,
dynamic cornering lights, 18-inch alloys, Smart Entry and Start, panoramic sunroof,
touchscreen SatNav, parking camera, leather upholstery, power door mirrors,
auto-dim rear-view mirror, one-touch power windows, auto lights and wipes, a
premium audio system with DAB radio, Bluetooth, front and rear parking sensors
plus a rear-view parking camera, and a power-operated tailgate.
more boot/load space too. Trigger the self-opening tailgate using the switch
on the fascia, the key fob or the keyless access button to the right of the
Honda boot badge.
The new CR-Vs boot will swallow 589 litres
of luggage. Or to put it another way, it can accommodate two mountain
bikes or four sets of golf clubs!
The luggage blind works smoothly and can be packed away in a jiffy. With the
blind in place and the second row seats up, the new CR-V's boot will swallow
589 litres of luggage; fold the 60:40 seats fully just one pull on a
handle does it all for you (and very cleverly, too) and that jumps to
a massive 1,648 litres.
Choose a space saver spare wheel and it goes up still further to 1,669
litres. Or to put it another way, the CR-V can accommodate two mountain bikes
or four sets of golf clubs! A low lip makes light work loading and unloading
big, heavy or awkward objects. A light but strong boot liner with deep sides
lifts out easily for cleaning and takes the worry out of transporting wet or
The latest CR-V honours the model's reputation for being car-like and a cinch
to drive. It's comfortable, rides well on its stylish 18-inch alloys, and whether
it's on the means streets of the city or the wide open spaces of the countryside,
the CR-V will serve you right.
Honda CR-V 2.0 i-VTEC EX 4WD
Top speed: 118mph | 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds | Average Test MPG: 36.2mpg
Power: 152bhp | Torque: 141lb ft | CO2 177g/km