Motoring and Property Editor
4:00 AM 12th February 2022
CR-V From Honda – A Week Behind The Wheel
According to Honda, the CR-V is the world’s best-selling SUV. On sale since 1995, as each generation passes, the new model moves the game forward in key areas. More refinement, better safety equipment, lower emissions and more toys has been the order of the day.
With diesel engines falling rapidly out of favour, the latest CR-V is being offered with petrol engines only, all now with hybrid power.
On test here is a top spec EX model, fitted with a 143bhp 2.0-litre engine which combines with two electric motors, a lithium-ion battery and fixed gear transmission. The aim is to deliver high levels of refinement, responsiveness and efficiency – we’ll see!
The CR-V can be had from £31,470, though the EX tops the price list at a heady £39,840. The competition is now fierce and the choice bewildering, but rest assured that those attractive Honda virtues of top-notch build quality, ease of use and reliability all seem present and correct with the CR-V.
An extended wheelbase has allowed Honda to create a more spacious interior for both passengers and luggage. A seven-seat option is no longer available.
Rear passengers will enjoy a surfeit of head and legroom and the luggage compartment a gargantuan 497 litres.
Soft touch plastics abound, the leather seats suitably cossetting and carpeting plush.
The EX trim level wants for nothing with an opening panoramic sunroof, climate-controlled air conditioning and a head-up display amongst the highlights.
Honda quotes 39.2mpg for the combined cycle, something I was unable to replicate. I would suggest a real-world figure of around 35mpg would be more accurate. A fair result though I would mention that I achieved over 50mpg from a hybrid Toyota RAV4 a while back…
However, in this post diesel world, up to 40mpg from a large family SUV seems fairly reasonable and there is the option of some short distance battery only running when in an urban environment.
As a motorway cruiser, the CR-V acquits itself very well. Wind and engine noise are well muted, but there is a tad more road noise than is perhaps desirable. Away from the high-speed cruise, the CR-V can be hustled along the twisty stuff. Ultimately the car’s high centre of gravity engenders a tad too much body roll, to the discomfort of passengers (as they were quick to point out).
More emphasis has been placed on ride comfort, which for this type of vehicle makes sense.
Honda quotes a 0-62mph sprint time of 9.2 seconds with all-wheel drive, and this seems quite believable. However, full bore acceleration is a slightly noisy affair as the engine and CVT transmission play catch up. Most of the time however the engine remains reasonably muted.
I had no time to fully test the AWD system. In normal driving, power is fed to the front wheels. When they begin to lose grip, up to 60% of that power can be seamlessly fed to the rear wheels. Makes sense for the rural dweller.
The CR-V is a quality product aimed at a knowledgeable and affluent audience. Traditionally Honda buyers tend to opt for the top specification models, and I can see this continuing. The move to hybrid power only is a sensible one and all but the very highest mileage drivers will be happy.
Factor in Honda’s enviable reputation for build quality and reliability, putting your money into the latest CR-V may well be a smart move.
• Honda CR-V Hybrid EX – AWD CVT
• Price £39,840
• Metallic paint add £550
• 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds
• Top speed 112mph
• Economy 39.2mpg (WLTP)
• Emissions 163g/km CO2
• Insurance group 24E