Honda keeps up the qual­ity with lat­est CR-V

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - FEATURES - Fred­eric Manby

HONDA was quick off the mark and into the soft-roader mar­ket with its CR-V in 1995. The first im­ports were in 1997 and it set a stan­dard for re­fine­ment with a mod­est off-road abil­ity should you need it.

In those days, it was fash­ion­able and rea­son­ably prac­ti­cal to mount the spare wheel on the tail­gate – al­beit adding to the length of the ve­hi­cle and mak­ing the open­ing ac­tion heav­ier and more cum­ber­some. The ve­hi­cle would shud­der when the tail­gate was swung shut.

This first model had a tray in the boot for wet stor­age, and even a shower ac­ces­sory, for hos­ing off muddy boots or dogs.

The wheel came in­board in 2007 as the CR-V moved up from recre­ational ve­hi­cle to life­style ve­hi­cle.

Since 2000, it has been built in Swin­don, Wilt­shire, for ex­port to more than 60 coun­tries.

The 2007 model was re­vised for 2010 with mi­nor styling changes and a new diesel en­gine with the op­tion of a five-speed au­to­matic gear­box. This cur­rent model went on sale last Jan­uary.

Prices start at £21,005 for the SE grade which has 17in al­loys and not quite all of the kit you’d ex­pect. The au­to­matic is £22,355. The 2.2 diesel is £22,880, or £24,404 with au­to­matic gears. Both en­gines de­liver 148bhp but the diesel gets there at lower en­gine speed and has far more torque. It is not only more eco­nom­i­cal, but quicker ac­cel­er­at­ing than the petrol model.

My test car was the 2-litre petrol CR-V with man­ual gears. Key fig­ures are 34.9mpg, 190g/km CO2 and 10.2 sec­onds for 0-62mph. The diesel’s data are: 43.5mpg, 171g/km and 9.6 sec­onds. The au­to­matic gears knock the shine off all these re­sults, but the diesel au­to­matic is seen as an im­por­tant model to com­pete with key ri­vals.

A fea­ture I found use­ful on the CR-V was the lower par­cel shelf, a stiff plat­form which al­lows de­mar­ca­tion of loads. This is not sup­plied with the base SE model. Honda says you can get a set of golf clubs un­der the lower shelf, or two moun­tain bikes in the load area when the seats are flat. I found the fit bet­ter by tak­ing off the front wheels.

Air con­di­tion­ing is stan­dard on all three ver­sions. ES grades (from £22,805 for petrol) have cruise con­trol, the dou­ble-deck cargo space, elec­tric fold­ing mir­rors, leather/Al­can­tara heated seats, head­light wash­ers, front fog lights, leather steer­ing wheel and gear knob, rear park­ing sen­sors, unique in­te­rior in­lay trims and a USB con­nec­tor for an iPod.

The EX (from £26,405) has DVD voice-ac­ti­vated satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion with pre­mium au­dio and sub­woofer, full leather up­hol­stery with front heated seats, Xenon head­lights and auto head­light -on func­tion, rain-sens­ing wipers, re­verse tilt mir­ror and eight-way driver pow­ered seats, a panoramic glass roof, which runs from the top of the wind­screen and stretches over the rear seat oc­cu­pants.

A re­vers­ing cam­era is fit­ted as stan­dard on EX mod­els, and op­tional on ES mod­els with satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion. The rear seats are split 40/20/40 so the cen­tre perch is squeezed. The seats slide by 15cm (nearly six inches).

Ver­dict: One of my favourite town-to-coun­try 4x4s. The nav­i­ga­tion ad­vice on the test car was slow to kick in and missed some round­abouts com­pletely – and these were not newly in­stalled.

Econ­omy on test was 30 to 32 miles a gal­lon. It drives very nicely and feels al­most like a car. Body styling is a mat­ter of opin­ion. Mine is that it could be bet­ter. The front looks a bit di­shev­elled. More: 0845 2008000. Or: Free­lander, Sportage, Hyundai ix35, BMW X1, Kuga, XC60, X-Trail, RAV4, Qashqai and the Tiguan all pitch in to this sec­tor.

OUT AND ABOUT: Honda’s lat­est CR-V.

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