Honda CR-V review


What is?

Another crossover-cum-SUV. Because that’s what people want these days. And it seems that the one they want the most is this: the Honda CR-V. Now in its fifth generation, Honda sells hundreds of thousands of these things each year to people who want something practical, rugged, and dependable: something to tow their RV or weekend van and/or take their kids to school, all without giving them any reason. to go to your local dealer or call the AA.

During its many years on the market, the CR-V has become the world’s best-selling SUV, making it an extremely important part of the Honda lineup. So a new one is A Big Deal. Only this is not strictly new. The fifth-generation CR-V has been on sale in the US for about 18 months, but we’re told steering and suspension changes make European cars much better to drive. In fact, Honda claims the new CR-V is the “most dynamic car in its class,” thanks also to a stiffer chassis that uses lots of high- and ultra-high-strength steels.

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The big technical news is that Honda won’t offer the new diesel-powered CR-V. A non-plug-in petrol hybrid is coming early next year, but for now the only engine available is a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol four-cylinder (also seen in the Civic), paired with a six-speed manual gearbox or CVT. . transmission and total front or partial traction.

But they’re basically family cars, so space matters. Just how you use it. We’re used to cars getting bigger with each generation, but the fifth-gen CR-V is the same length as the last. Mainly because Honda has lengthened the wheelbase by 40mm, moving the wheels closer to the corners and “contributing to the SUV’s more muscular stance,” you get more interior space.

Second-row passengers get 50mm more legroom, and for the first time, Honda has managed to insert an optional child-friendly third-row seat that folds into the floor from the trunk. Elsewhere in the interior, we’re promised more connectivity thanks to the same infotainment system as the Civic and more extensive use of higher-quality materials.

Sales began in September, and soon after the first cars arrived from the factory in Japan (Honda’s factory in Swindon only builds Civics these days).

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What’s the verdict?

The new CR-V is a huge step forward. Not perfect, but worthy rival of the best in this category.

Honda did a good thing. The CR-V isn’t flawless, but it will make a good family car when it arrives in the UK. It’s roomy, comfortable, reasonable to drive, and since it’s a Honda, it should comfortably outlast its first eight owners. And his sons. He has no sporting pretensions, no driving style, and we respect him for that. The infotainment system lags behind, the seven-seater option takes up trunk space and can be tricky to get to, and well, that’s kind of boring, but what small SUV isn’t? Honda says its biggest competitor is the Tiguan, but we disagree. The Skoda Kodiaq remains our pick in this segment, but there’s no denying that the CR-V is a huge step up from what came before, and is a capable rival to the Kodiaq, the Land Rover Discovery Sport, the new Hyundai Santa Fe and soon.

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