WhatCar Our cars: Honda CR-V intro

Discussion in 'News Feeds' started by Whatcar, Thursday 22nd Nov, 2012.

  1. Whatcar Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    The new Honda CR-V is the lastest car to join our long-term test fleet. Being merely good just isn't good enough any more in the SUV market. With dozens of new models launched over the past couple of years, and dozens more to come before 2014, the required standards for this type of family transport have now moved way beyond the raised driving position and chunky looks that sold the idea to us all in the first place.

    The latest Honda CR-V is designed to live up to these higher expectations. The fourth generation of the model (around five million have been sold to date) gets an uprated cabin, greater refinement and, the company claims, better interior practicality. We rate it enough to give it four stars.

    Mind you, the competition is tough. The CR-V's pricing ranges from £21k to north of £30k, so it has to take on new talent like the Mazda CX-5 (also on our long-term fleet), and the latest, revised Land Rover Freelander – as well as the Audi Q3 and the deeply BMW X3.


    There are just two engine options in the CR-V range. The petrol motor is a 2.0-litre unit with 148bhp; it can be ordered with front- or four-wheel drive, and if you're willing to settle for just two driven wheels it can deliver 168g/km of CO2 emissions.

    The diesel is Honda's 2.2-litre unit, with 153bhp. It comes with four-wheel drive only, although there will be a cleaner, front-wheel-drive 1.6-litre diesel engine in 2013.


    As one of What Car?'s staff photographers, I cover plenty of miles per year, so long-distance cruising and ease of use are important to me. That led me towards the automatic diesel, even though it emits more CO2 than the manual version.

    CR-Vs come in four trim levels: entry-level S, SE, SR and EX. Even the most modest of the four has dual-zone climate control, 17in alloy wheels, USB connectivity, cruise control and electrically adjustable heated side mirrors.


    However, Honda was keen for us to try the 'everything but the kitchen sink' specification - so our CR-V is an EX. Sure enough, the standard equipment list is impressive; sat-nav, keyless entry, heated leather seats, power tailgate, panoramic glass roof, 18-inch alloys, an upgraded stereo with DAB, Bluetooth hands-free telephone connection, auto lights and wipers and privacy glass are all included.

    Then again, you'd want a few toys on an EX, because it doesn't come cheap. Our 2.2-litre turbodiesel model, complete with automatic transmission, weighs in at a hefty £32,650 on the road. Throw in pearlescent paint - 'White Orchid', according to the brochure - and you've got a £33,150 SUV.

    That sort of cash could buy you an admittedly more sparsely trimmed 2.0-litre automatic diesel version of our favourite SUV, the BMW X3. However, the CR-V does come out about £7000 cheaper than our Range Rover Evoque – and the Honda should be far more capable of coping with everyday life.

    It's going to be a hard life, though; as a staff photographer, I have loads of camera kit that I like to keep tucked away (and out of sight) - so even at 589 litres, the CR-V's boot will be exploited to its limits.


    First impressions? I'm a huge fan of the cabin, which is a refined space in which to spend time, and hugely practical with it. There's bags of room for luggage and four fully grown adults on board; even the rear passengers won't complain about legroom. The electric boot lid has come in handy, too; it offers terrific shelter from winter showers, for me and the camera, and I can be raised remotely as I approach the vehicle.


    Early gripes? I'm struggling to learn all of the steering wheel buttons, the on-board infotainment system has a few sub-menus too many, and there's a limited amount of adjustment on the steering wheel position.

    Still, that's a pretty solid start. It'll be interesting to see if the CR-V continues to elevate itself above 'merely good' as the miles pile on.

    Read the full Honda CR-V review >>

    Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC auto EX logbook

    List price £32,650
    Target Price £31,550
    Extras Pearlescent paint (£500)

    Running costs
    True MPG 40.0
    Official fuel economy 42.8mpg
    CO2(g/km)/tax liability 174/28
    Contract hire £406
    Cost per mile 65 p
    Insurance group 27
    Typical quote £741

    [email protected]

  2. Ichiban Founder Staff Team

    England CJ Leeds