There’s loads to like

The peren­nial CR-V is well-built, rides high, hauls plenty of gear and drives like a car

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Car - GRAHAM SMITH grah.smith@big­


THE CR-V has long been a favourite with Aus­tralian SUV buy­ers and has con­sis­tently sold well.

There’s no se­cret to its suc­cess: it has a high-rid­ing driv­ing po­si­tion, it han­dles with the as­sur­ance of a car and the cabin ac­com­mo­dates a fam­ily of five with space for lug­gage.

It came as a base CR-V and the bet­ter spec­i­fied Sport and Lux­ury. The clean, pleas­ant styling and up­right stance fared well in a car park test against other SUVs.

In­side, the seat­ing was com­fort­able, the au­dio easy-touse, the air­con ef­fi­cient and the switches read­ily fell to hand.

Con­ven­tion­ally for the com­pact SUV class, the me­chan­i­cal pack­age com­bined a 2.4-litre four-cylin­der en­gine, au­to­matic or man­ual trans­mis­sion choices, and on­de­mand all-wheel drive.

With 125kW/218Nm, the en­gine coped com­fort­ably with high­way speed as well as city crawl.

You had the choice be­tween a six-speed man­ual gear­box and a five-speed au­to­matic, the lat­ter be­ing the pref­er­ence for most city dwellers.

The on-de­mand all-wheel drive han­dled most con­di­tions with aplomb, with power gen­er­ally di­rected to the front wheels un­til loss of trac­tion was de­tected, prompt­ing a por­tion of the power to be redi­rected to the rear.

One of the most ap­peal­ing things about the CR-V was the on-road feel — it be­haved like a car and, if not for the high-driv­ing po­si­tion, you wouldn’t know you were driv­ing an SUV.


Honda has al­ways prided it­self on build­ing qual­ity into its cars and that comes across when talk­ing to the trade or own­ers.

The build qual­ity is one of the rea­sons the CR-V feels so solid on the road.

There’s no shake or rat­tle and only a lit­tle body roll, not enough to spoil the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Own­ers are gen­er­ally a happy lot and few com­plain about their choice of car. Many are on to their sec­ond and even third CR-V.

Lit­tle goes wrong with the CR-V; all re­ports say they are liv­ing up to Honda’s rep­u­ta­tion for re­li­a­bil­ity.

One owner told us that he thought the paint on his car was soft; some­thing he says ap­pears to be com­mon on Hon­das, and can re­sult in peel­ing and scratch­ing in the ar­eas where con­tact is made with the painted sur­face.

On the me­chan­i­cal side a rum­bling noise when re­vers­ing or turn­ing is a call to re­new the oil in the rear dif­fer­en­tial.

It’s a known is­sue and one of the rare things some own­ers re­port but a change of oil gen­er­ally fixes it.

The en­gine is ro­bust and re­li­able; it doesn’t use oil, and rarely gives any trou­ble if ser­viced to plan.

Renowned for ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy, Honda en­gines are built to tight tol­er­ances and their oil gal­leries are rel­a­tively small. It’s one of the rea­sons ser­vic­ing is cru­cial to keep the sludge down and the oil flow­ing.

It’s highly rec­om­mended that own­ers stick to Honda’s nom­i­nated 10,000km ser­vice in­ter­vals.

Me­chan­ics gen­er­ally agree that it’s worth us­ing Honda flu­ids and lu­bri­cants.

Some 2008 model year cars were not fit­ted with a child re­straint an­chor in the cen­tre rear seat­ing po­si­tion. Check to see whether yours has it.


Bob Gilchrist: We’ve driven around Aus­tralia twice in our CR-V with­out any has­sles what­so­ever. It’s done over 100,000km, been ser­viced by the book and we’ve never had to add oil or wa­ter be­tween ser­vices. We changed the diff oil to rec­tify a slight vi­bra­tion. We could not be hap­pier.

Stu­art Camp­bell: My wife and I are “ma­ture” so we wanted a car with good ac­cess and the CR-V sat­is­fied that need. I like the per­for­mance and we’re rea­son­ably con­tent with the 8.3L/100km we get on ru­ral run­ning. I also like the steer­ing feel and turn­ing cir­cle, and the fact that it has a full­sized spare. Over­all it’s well built, re­li­able, hon­est and good value for the money.

Kings­ley Po­cock: I have never been more sat­is­fied with a car. It’s great on long drives, cruises at 110km/h, the over­tak­ing per­for­mance is good and it gets 7.9L. Around town it is com­fort­able, its high driv­ing po­si­tion makes it easy to see out of and the flat floor makes it com­fort­able for those in the back. The only down­side is the 10,000km ser­vice in­ter­vals but with capped price ser­vic­ing it’s not too bad.

Neil Barry: We wanted a safe car, with a higher seat­ing po­si­tion, that would be com­pe­tent on road. The CR-V has met all these quite well. It’s a bit thirsty at about 12.5L around town if driven briskly but drops to low 8s on the high­way if driven more smoothly. We’ve had to re­place the bat­tery and the in­te­rior mir­ror broke. Rear diff oil needs chang­ing more regularly than Honda rec­om­mends. Ours has done 90,000km and hasn’t yet had a brake pad change and the orig­i­nal tyres did 76,000km.


Well-built, good to drive, re­li­able ... what else is there to like?

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