HONDA CR-V VTI-LX
$ 47,750-$ 49,350 DRIVE- AWAY 19 POINTS VALUE
Safe and smart — at least in range-topping guise — this Honda has a lot going for it in terms of family duties. Honda has a solid five-year warranty, but service intervals are 12 months or 10,000km, which is less than the average person drives each year. Costs are capped at $295 for each visit. Driving Australia’s annual average distance will involve four trips amounting to $1180.
A seven-inch screen is smaller and less easy to use than rivals but enables smartphone mirroring. There’s plenty of stowage space and room in the first two rows of seats — the third row is reserved for children. Boot space with all seats in use is 150L, expanding to 472L with the third row folded.
The 1.5-litre turbo (140kW/240Nm) is an enthusiastic performer held back by a continuously variable transmission that desperately wants to save the world by minimising fuel use. That can come at the expense of acceleration, especially off the line. Fuel use is rated at 7.4L/100km and the CR-V needs only regular unleaded.
The VTi-LX is the only CR-V with active safety software, including autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control. That’s good without coming close to the technology in the Forester. ANCAP tested it last year and it scored an impressive 35.76/37.
The balancing act between comfort and cornering is one of the CR-V’s strengths. It ultimately favours comfort, meaning it irons out everything from low-speed humps to highway corrugations without wallowing when rolling through a turn. The steering is lifeless but direct and acceleration is OK without rivalling the benchmark Volkswagen Tiguan.