The new CR-V is the most comfortable runabout vehicle that Honda has ever produced. We are pleased with its creamy engine and roomy cabin, which is a boon for families.
Also impressive is the CR-V’s sophisticated cockpit. The digitised instrument cluster and fantastic connectivity options are features you would expect in more expensive luxury models.
Not so fantastic is the Honda seven-seater’s stiffer pricing versus its rivals. Even the five-seater variant of the CR-V costs more (at press time) than the entrylevel Harrier Turbo and CX-5 models.
The most affordable SUV in this story is the Toyota Harrier Turbo. Like the CR-V, comfort is also one of its strong points. In fact, the Harrier’s cushy ride and quiet cabin can easily lull passengers to sleep.
But the Harrier driver can also excite (or frighten) passengers by unleashing the SUV’s performance, courtesy of the 227bhp under its bonnet.
The Harrier’s disadvantages are its infotainment system and backseat. The former doesn’t work as well as the systems in the Honda and Mazda, while the rear seat could really use taller backrests.
Making an even bigger impression on us is the Mazda CX-5. Its strong points are its driver-friendly cabin, intuitive infotainment and flexible boot .
Keen drivers would also choose the CX-5 over the Harrier Turbo, as the Mazda’s lighter weight, welltuned suspension and more responsive powertrain result in more delightful handling.
The CX-5’s only shortcomings, really, are its relatively smaller rear cabin and bigger road tax bills.
If you’re willing to forgive those faults, Mazda’s “suburban pop sensation” would surely satisfy the suburbanite’s demands for space, pace and practicality. And thanks to its bevy of safety features, the CX-5 also ticks the box for security, too.
KEYS (left to right) The CR-V’s fob feels the sturdiest, the CX-5’s long device is the least pocket- and bag-friendly, while the Harrier’s key has the most functions.