Hard to find fault with new CRV

Central Otago Mirror - - MOTORING -

The Go

Honda’s CRV was one of the ear­li­est soft­road­ers – SUVs de­signed more as fam­ily wag­ons with ex­tra height and grip than true off-road ve­hi­cles. To un­der­line its ac­tive fam­ily fo­cus it sold with a pic­nic ta­ble in the boot and a fold-up tray for in-car snacks, but to­day the con­cept is com­mon and no gad­gets are re­quired to sell one. SUV sales are eclipsed only by the small car bracket, most are bought as fam­ily run­abouts and so in­creas­ing num­bers in­clude a two-wheel-drive vari­ant like this Honda CRV S. Its nor­mally as­pi­rated 2.0-litre petrol engine sends 114kW and 190Nm to the front wheels. That’s in­suf­fi­cient for lively per­for­mance but enough for the ev­ery­day driv­ing this car will fo­cus on and with­out drink­ing too much fuel – my hilly com­mute av­er­ag­ing 8.2l/100km de­spite a few sec­tions tack­led with un­seemly ur­gency, not too much over Honda’s 7.7l/100km claim and well un­der sev­eral com­peti­tors we’ve tried re­cently, de­spite my ig­nor­ing the eco but­ton. Ride is comfy and well con­trolled, though an over-vig­or­ous ap­proach to bends re­sults in early un­der­steer, as you’d ex­pect from this for­mat.

Brick­bat

Not a good tow ve­hi­cle. Velour seats aren’t a favourite, and those with small chil­dren may want to pay the $3600 ex­tra for leather.

CRV: Honda’s de­sign­ers, en­gi­neers and bean-coun­ters should take a bow.

Specs: Honda CRV’s Spec­i­fi­ca­tion in­cludes sta­bil­ity con­trol, six airbags, Blue­tooth, a re­vers­ing cam­era, cli­mate con­trol air con­di­tion­ing and cruise con­trol.

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