Fond of a Honda
The CR-V always sets standards in its segment, writes Graham Smith
IT’S always difficult to build on a winner such as Honda’s CR-V, but the RE model that arrived in 2007 was a clear and welcome improvement.
Honda was an early entrant into the high-riding ‘‘burb bus’’ market when it launched the first CR-V.
It quickly knew it was on a winner when stocks raced out of showroom doors.
The impact of the compact allwheel-drive CR-V inspired Ford Australia’s then head, Geoff Polites, to push for a similar vehicle of his own.
That vehicle would be the Territory.
FROM humble beginnings, when SUVs were little more than rather clumsy, high-riding, all-wheel drive sedans or hatches, they have evolved into a unique automotive genre.
The CR-V has been at the vanguard of that evolution, becoming more refined, smoother and better adapted to its role on the road with each model.
The one that landed here in 2007 was bigger, smoother, safer and fresher.
It was shorter than the outgoing model, but was wider and lower, with wider tracks and a shorter wheelbase.
The full-sized spare wheel was moved from the rear and put under the cargo area.
Honda raved about the new body, which it said was more rigid for better safety, made the CR-V quieter and delivered a better foundation for its ride and handling. It also looked better, with a more sophisticated shape and flowing lines compared with its boxy predecessors. That was until you got to the front, which could only be described as ugly.
Under the bonnet was a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine with 125kW at 5800 revs and 218Nm at 4200 revs – slightly up on the outgoing model.
Despite a modest 7kW increase in power, the CR-V felt rather dull on the road, particularly given that Honda engines are usually quite punchy.
Buyers could choose between a sixspeed manual gearbox and a fivespeed auto, with an on-demand system distributing the drive to all four wheels as required.
The range was made up of three models – the entry-level model, midrange Sport and the range-topping Luxury.
Each had a decent list of standard equipment; all had air, cruise, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, and CD sound. The base model had steel wheels with wheel trims, but some could see that as a blessing, while the other models had alloys.
On the lot
Pay $19,000-$27,500 for an entry
Vanguard of a genre: The 2007 CR-V was bigger, smoother, safer and fresher than its predecessors.