Fond of a Honda

The CR-V al­ways sets stan­dards in its seg­ment, writes Graham Smith

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Cars -

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.

Model watch

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.

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