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.
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.
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.
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.
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