Road Tests

Handbook: Honda CR-V

Time 10:43 am, October 29, 2012

HONDA’S Swindon plant started making the company’s new CR-V last month. How popular will it be? Dave Brown reports.

What is it?

The fourth generation of Honda’s extremely popular soft-roader. Sold in 160 countries around the world, Honda have shifted a whopping five million since the first model was introduced way back in 1995. Around 170,000 of those are on the road in the UK and Honda hopes this new version will get that figure up to the quarter-of-a-million mark.


What’s under the bonnet?

The big news here is the introduction of a front-wheel-drive petrol version of the car which means buyers will be able to get into a CR-V for around £21,500. Honda hopes that will widen the car’s appeal. In addition, it continues to be offered with the smooth, free-revving 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine and the relaxed and torquey 2.2-litre i-DTEC. A significant reduction in engine and road noise entering the cabin has been achieved

What’s the spec 
like?

Honda has introduced a new ‘grade logic’ to be more in line with other manufacturers, and therefore simplify things for customers. The kit offered is generous. Even on the ‘S’ models there’s a five-inch intelligent multi-info display screen; dual-zone climate control; cruise control and 17-inch alloys. There is a wealth of safety features too, with more sets of initials than there is space for here.


What’s it like to drive?

For an SUV, the car feels extremely light on its feet and navigating narrow country roads south of Munich was no problem at all. It’s significantly quieter than the outgoing model, which wasn’t actually that loud. One minor niggle was the dual-screen set-up on the dash which we found a tad confusing. But the positives far outweighed the negatives.

What do the press think of it?

What Car advised: ‘Don’t go mistaking the CR-V for a rough-roading 4×4, it’s far more of a school-run special than a backwoods trailblazer.’ They added: ‘The emphasis is very much on refinement and comfort.’ and ‘access is brilliant too’. Auto Trader commented: The Honda CR-V offers car-like handling and strong build quality and with its premium feel it stands out in the mass of 4x4s available.’

What do we think 
of it?

Perhaps not the most exciting drive we’ve ever had but in terms of comfort, handling, equipment levels and general all-round competency, we’d give it a well-deserved thumbs-up. It’s very family friendly. Dogs, golf clubs, camping gear… the CR-V will swallow the lot and get everyone home in comfort and safety.

Jon Reay's avatar

Staff Writer Jon is one of the Car Dealer team's newest members. You can also find him contributing to AOL Cars.

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