The Honda CR-V has been around for some time now and the latest incarnation won’t disappoint especially the model we are looking at here, the four wheel drive 2.2 i-DTEC diesel.
Compact SUV’s have become more popular than estate cars in recent years and most manufacturers now have a compact SUV in their model line-up and Honda CRV has become popular with both loyal Honda owners and people looking for something a little larger than an estate but probably not a Free Lander or traditional SUV, this is where Honda have created something kind of in-between. Something that drives like a car with the space and ability of a four wheel drive but with the engineering expertise and reliability that Honda has always been known for.
Since its launch Honda have sold over five million CRV’s with the most popular and probably not surprising being the diesels variants, the model we are going to look at today.
Being quite relaxed on the eye the CRV isn’t the most exciting vehicle to look at but it’s the clever little useful design touches that more than make up for that. The boot for example with 1146 litres of space with the rear seats folded can easily take a couple of mountain bikes and with the seats up will accommodate 5 passengers in comfort with enough space still for all your luggage. Oh and unlike some of its rivals the floor plan is totally flat with no big transmission tunnel forcing the rear middle passenger to feel scrunched up with their legs either side of their head.
The interior is also larger than the previous model but the outside being smaller, they have obviously designed the car from the inside out making the cabin comfortable and airy but the car easier to park.
The 2.2 D-TEC Diesel variant produces 150PS and only comes available in four wheel drive so it could be argued that Honda have been a bit complacent with the engine ability compared to some of its rivals such as BMW who’s 2.0 diesel unit used in the X3 pumps out 185PS. This 2.2 unit has been used for quite some time now you see and could do with updating but it still manages to achieve a comfortable 0-62 time of 9.7 seconds and 50.4mpg if you don’t opt for the automatic version which drops the mpg down to 42.8.
You can keep in control of the economy as well using Honda’s EcoAssist system. It comes standard on all models and as you are driving smoothly with flooring the throttle a light around the speedo glows green, brake heavily or accelerate hard and the light turns to blue helping you stay in control of your economy and save a little fuel.
The four wheel drive system used in the CRV is an electronically activated smart system that does all the work for you so there is no having to mess about with gears and buttons depending on your road conditions. The system will put all the power to the front wheels when you’re are driving on road and divert the power to the rear wheels when it thinks it has to do so, for example if you were driving off-road.
The i-DTEC 2.2 diesel starts off at just over £24,500 but with the flagship model coming in just over £31,000 it is quite a lot of money compared to some of its rivals. Spec levels are as you would expect with Honda are high even in the entry level S model.
There are 17” alloy wheels, cruise control, dual zone climate control, multi-function steering wheel, height adjustable driver’s seat, electric heated door mirrors, USB connection for your music collection and the excellent One-Motion rear seat function that allows you to quickly fold the rear seats without having to mess about pulling lots of different leavers and removing head restraints.
Moving up the range items such as HDD satnav, electric opening tailgate, leather seats and a panoramic roof are added.
All models also come with an excellent array of safety equipment including Anti-Lock brakes, Vehicle Stability Assist, Trailer Stability Assist for towing, Hill Start Assist and decent control as well as the usual airbags etc. Moving up the range you can opt for the addition of a reversing camera and radar system which includes collision detection braking, automatic cruise control and lane assist.
To sum up although the Honda CRV might not be the most sexy car to look at but it more than makes up for it with its clever design and specification. It’s obviously reliable and residual values are strong with it always being a popular car on the second hand market.
It’s a car that you will soon wonder how you managed to live without if you are going to utilise that boot especially.