Honda CR-V

Honda CR-V £n/a

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Contents -


Honda makes ex­cit­ing cars. Shame the CR-V isn’t one of them. From the all-new, fifth gen­er­a­tion of the world’s best-sell­ing SUV (yes, re­ally), we’re promised bet­ter han­dling, more space, safety and tech and much be­sides. As in­deed we’re promised from ev­ery car. But the big news is that this time around, Honda won’t of­fer a diesel en­gine. In a small SUV. Where, for all its sins, it still does the num­bers. Brave.

Un­til the hy­brid ar­rives next year, your only op­tion is the 1.5-litre 4cyl petrol from the Civic. It’s fine. Well-man­nered as any­thing around town, al­though de­spite trick noise-can­celling tech, things get a lit­tle louder when you start to plun­der the depths of its power and torque re­serves.

This isn’t helped by the trans­mis­sion. If you want AWD, you have to have a CVT. Shame – if there’s one thing Honda does bet­ter than any other main­stream car­maker, it’s man­ual gear­boxes. And CVTs are gen­er­ally aw­ful. This one isn’t the worst – pro­vided all you do is poo­tle, it won’t an­noy you. Much. The in­fo­tain­ment most def­i­nitely will, though, as it’s rub­bish. The steer­ing and ride im­press, though. The for­mer is well-weighted and di­rect and the lat­ter es­pe­cially well man­nered. But this is a fam­ily SUV. How it drives is sec­ondary to its main pur­pose – car­ry­ing stuff, such as peo­ple. Five or, if you’re pre­pared to sac­ri­fice a few litres of bootspace (and a valid ex­cuse for not giv­ing four of your kid’s friends a lift home), seven. And they’re good ones, if a bit harder to ma­nip­u­late than ri­vals’. It has a boot too. And it’s big. The new CR-V is the same size as the car it re­places (a rar­ity these days) – mainly be­cause Honda has stretched the wheel­base by 30mm (push­ing the wheels closer to the cor­ners) and widened the track so you get more space in­side.

This is A Good Fam­ily Car. Spa­cious, com­fort­able, rea­son­able to drive and, as it’s a Honda, it should com­fort­ably out­last its first eight own­ers. And their kids. Bit dull. But aren’t they all? TOM HAR­RI­SON

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