WhatCar New 2012 Honda CR-V review

Discussion in 'News Feeds' started by Whatcar, Thursday 25th Oct, 2012.

  1. Whatcar Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    This is the all-new Honda CR-V, the fourth generation of the company’s family-friendly SUV.

    It’s just gone on sale, which means it’s arrived in time to crash the launch party of the revised Land Rover Freelander. However, the CR-V will also have to compete with the Mazda CX-5 – a car we rate very highly.

    We were impressed by the new CR-V when we tried it on foreign roads earlier this year, but this is our first chance to test it in the UK.

    What’s the 2012 Honda CR-V like to drive?

    The CR-V is designed primarily for on- rather than off-road use, with the emphasis very much on comfort.

    This concept pays off reasonably well around town; the ride is decent at times because the CR-V soaks up bigger bumps well, although the whole car does shimmy around on patched-up road surfaces, and it tends to thump over potholes.

    The CR-V puts comfort and refinement before off-road ability

    That high-sided body also means the Honda leans quite dramatically on twisty lanes, although the body never lurches about.

    The 2.2-litre diesel engine is essentially carried over from the previous CR-V. It runs out off puff at about 4000rpm, but is pretty strong below that.

    Perhaps the biggest improvement is how much quieter it is in this car than in the outgoing model.

    While previously you could hear no end of whistles and whooshes from under the bonnet, now there's just a deep growl under hard acceleration to remind you the engine is fuelled by diesel.

    Honda has improved engine refinement for the new CR-V

    The 148bhp 2.0-litre petrol isn’t quite so muscular, but it's still reasonably flexible. Power delivery is smooth and it, too, settles down to a quiet HUM at steady speeds.

    Road noise is significantly reduced over the old car, however wind noise remains a problem. This is largely due to its tall body, square door mirrors and vast windscreen.

    Both the petrol and the diesel have a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, while an automatic gearbox – available on four-wheel-drive models only – adds between £1500 and £1640 to the price, depending on which engine you go for.

    The auto gearbox does feel a bit antiquated. Changes are far from snappy and there are only five gears, so the gaps between them are relatively big and the engine can drop out of its sweet spot at times.

    On the upside, the smooth initial pick-up makes the CR-V easy to drive in stop-start traffic.

    What’s it like inside?
    Both the overall height of the car and the seats inside have been lowered by 38mm compared with the previous CR-V, but you still get that elevated view of the road ahead that SUV buyers love.