Hondaout of the rut
The CR-V offers something for both town and country, writes Craig Duff
IAM generally not a fan of ondemand all-wheel-drive systems off-road but the more time I spend with our long-term Honda CR-V, the more impressed I am.
Allowing for the fact that it was never intended to be a rugged bush basher, the compact Honda can get itself into — and out of — some impressively rutted trails.The only thing holding the CR-V back from genuinely gnarly off-road tracks is the rubber.
Swap the road-oriented 17-inch 225/65 tyres for some all-terrain units and the 185mm ground clearance will then be the only thing you have to worry about.
The Honda was used as a pack car for a run in a recent Nissan Navara outing and it lost ground only when the roads became treacherously mushy. By that stage the Navara was also sliding in high-range 4WD.
But on its home territory — roads — the CR-V eats 4WDs. It is more car than off-roader with the zip, handling and size to make it a city commuter.
MacPherson struts take care of the front suspension with a multi-link set- up at the rear. It takes silly speeds for the front end to start pushing and at regular pace it genuinely drives like a high-riding sedan.
Parking is easy, though my wife says it could still do with the sensors that are standard on the higherspecced Luxury model.
She has no complaints about the load capacity and the tailgate lifts up easily.
This is the third generation of the CR-V and it was launched in Australia in 2007. As such, it’s starting to show its age in areas such as the fivespeed auto transmission when its rivals have six, lack of Bluetooth connectivity and no iPod/ USB connection to the sound system.
The official fuel use is 10 litres for 100km and carsGuide has averaged 11.8, but we are using the E10 ethanol mix, which should account for about 10 per cent more.
Versatile: the Honda CR-V can tame the bush as a compact SUV but is much more at home on the bitumen.