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Herald Sun - Motoring - - SHORT CUT — HONDA CR-V - Craig Duff

VALUE

The VTi-LX is the best dressed of the CR-V fam­ily. Its seven-inch (should be eight) in­fo­tain­ment dis­play will han­dle smart­phone mir­ror­ing along with in-built satnav and dig­i­tal au­dio, pumped into the cabin via eight speak­ers. Leather high­lights and heated front seats are stan­dard, as are panoramic sun­roof, tinted rear win­dows and LED lights all-round. The five-year/un­lim­ited kilo­me­tre war­ranty is wel­come. Ser­vice in­ter­vals are 12 months/10,000km and the first four trips are capped at $295 each.

COM­FORT

Leg and head­room are OK for four adults, though the sun­roof eats a lit­tle into the head­room for taller types in the back. Find­ing a com­fort­able po­si­tion isn’t a has­sle and the look is classy with­out be­ing class-lead­ing. The ride is bet­ter com­posed than in pre­vi­ous mod­els while

still lean­ing to com­fort. The pow­ered tail­gate gives ac­cess to 522L of boot space.

SAFETY

Ac­tive driv­ing aids, from au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing to lane-keep as­sist and adap­tive cruise con­trol, are found only on the VTi-LX spec. That puts the rest of the range at a dis­ad­van­tage over some key ri­vals, which have it as stan­dard or in op­tion packs. ANCAP rated the CR-V a five-star car when it was as­sessed last year, scor­ing 35.76/37.

DRIV­ING

The VTi-LX shares its 1.5-litre four-cylin­der turbo with the Civic sta­ble­mate. In this case it sends 140kW/240Nm to the front wheels via a con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion. If slip is de­tected, it can trans­fer 40 per cent of that urge to the rear wheels. The CR-V steers well and han­dles OK for a fam­ily peo­ple-mover. It may not the sharpest tool in the mid-size SUV shed but it is one of the bet­ter all-pur­pose prod­ucts. Claimed com­bined fuel use is 7.4L/100km, ris­ing to 9.3L around town.

AL­TER­NA­TIVES

HYUNDAI TUC­SON HIGHLANDER $45,450 D/A

Top-spec Tuc­son ups the ante with an eight­inch touch­screen and a torquier 2.0-litre turbo but can’t match Honda’s cargo area with 488L.

MAZDA CX-5 AKERA $47,990 DRIVE-AWAY

Up­dated CX-5 has the shini­est and smartest in­te­rior of this group and han­dles well. On a more prac­ti­cal front, it cedes some ver­sa­til­ity to the CR-V in terms of cargo space at 442L.

NIS­SAN X-TRAIL TI $48,262 DRIVE-AWAY

The X-Trail has the pas­sen­ger and cargo space to out-rate the Honda but the price isn’t sharp enough to over­look the CR-V’s five-year war­ranty.

SHORT CUT — HONDA CR-V

TUC­SON

CX-5

X-TRAIL

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