SCHOOL RUN FUN
HONDA’S CR-V has been part of Australia’s SUV landscape for more than 20 years, and has forged a reputation as one of the most practical and dependable soft-roaders on our market.
The fifth-generation CR-V arrived in July this year, meaning fourth-generation models, launched in late 2012, are swelling the used car classifieds as loyal owners look to upgrade.
These Thai-built five-seat CR-Vs are renowned for their family-friendly space with excellent rear legroom and sizeable boot, plus a reasonable claim for ride and handling being truly car-like.
Don’t expect much off-road ability though, even with allwheel-drive.
If we look at the fourth-gen CR-Vs from their November 2012 introduction through to mid-2015 there are hundreds on the used market, a reminder that these were, for a time, Australia’s best-selling petrol mid-size SUVs.
Two petrol and one diesel engine were available (all fourcylinders), transmission was a six-speed manual or five-speed auto, and you chose between front or all-wheel drive.
A trawl through the classifieds reveals all-wheel drive, petrols and automatics were the popular picks, and they’ve held their value well.
CR-Vs of this vintage start at about $17,000 for a manual front-drive, while all-paw and more powerful versions can be had from about the mid-$20K mark.
Towing capacity is average for all at 1500kg.
The entry-level VTi came with a rather gutless 114kW 2.0-litre engine and frontwheel drive. Goodies included 17-inch alloys, cruise control, rear camera, Bluetooth and USB connectivity.
This spec was mirrored in the base all-wheel drive VTi that used a meatier 140kW 2.4litre petrol engine and came only with an auto gearbox.
The VTi-S AWD version added rain-sensing wipers, fog lights, dual-zone climate control, leather steering wheel, satnav and rear parking sensors. The CR-V is certainly the choice for small families on the school run rather than dirt track adventurers.
Engines are smooth if hardly thrilling but, for those seeking a composed and comfy ride with impressive space, the mid-size Honda holds the aces.
Bonuses are an abundance of storage bins and bottle holders, plus an easy one-touch folding set-up for dropping the rear seats to expand cargo room from 556L to 1648L.
Verdict: Comfortable, spacious and so far very reliable, the CR-V ticks key boxes for families. Aim for an AWD version with the perkier 2.4-litre engine or, if you travel longer distances or need to tow, seek out one of the rare diesel models.
Honda CR-V has held up well in the used market.