Picture this: The hottest day of the year, the beginning of the holidays, three uber-critical teenage children, dire traffic reports of the M25 closing down, lane by lane, as the heat increases…
It was with some trepidation, therefore, that we set out on our quest to get to the Latitude Festival, the Suffolk Festival that, 8 years old now, grows from strength to strength.
We had the choice of Festival travel; an ageing 2CV – the transport of choice for countless concert-bound generations before us – or the new Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX.
How could we have doubted our decision? The Honda handled everything that we threw at it, and more.
The large, well-shaped boot swallowed all of our Festival gear, while allowing plenty of rearward vision, and its super-efficient aircon and oh-so clever double sunroof shield soon calmed any intra-family tensions before nerves could even start to get frazzled.
The children’s phones were quickly Bluetooth’ed up to the impressive music system. Though the resulting noise was not always to my choice, I was able also to keep myself entertained with the impressive list of intuitive driver aids that Honda had supplied to make my driving easier: cruise control, speed limiter, and the powerful inbuilt SatNav which swiftly warned me of impending traffic Armageddon ahead. And then smoothly and easily found me a perfect Detour around it.
The Honda’s excellent economy, aided by a large green “Eco” button that seemed to increase its frugality, without apparently decreasing our rate of travel in any appreciable way, meant that we arrived at our destination without a stop, as fresh as when we had started, and ready for our Festival week-end.
Latitude lived up to its billing as “More than Just a Music Festival” with too many great acts, shows and artistes to mention. Meanwhile the CRV also outshone itself, picking its way along a rutted farmyard track to the Car Park without a moment’s hesitation. It’s Active Lighting (linked to the steering) later cleverly illuminated our way to the right and then the left, as we gingerly manoeuvred, in an inky black night, through rows of parked cars, to the Exit.
Dawn came all too soon, and we were then due the other side of Norfolk (God’s own county, but also seemingly God’s largest county) for an early lunch. No Motorways to be found here..!
Once more the Honda fitted the bill. Pushing on a bit, even on local fen roads of long straights connected by sudden 90 degree corners, did not produce a single squeak of protest from the passengers. The Honda cornered flat, as if on rails; the four-wheel drive seeming to plant the car firmly, squarely and securely on the road. While not ever needed, I felt absolutely confident this car would be as solid as a rock, never to be thrown off line, should any unforeseen emergency occur, mid-corner.
Afternoon tennis racquets wielded victoriously and then replaced, it was time to head for home, many miles away on a busy Sunday evening, with 4 already well over-tired passengers.
The Honda slipped once more into effortless cruise mode, gliding us back smoothly and easily, our smooth progress from roundabout to roundabout made easy thanks to the well judged six ratio gearbox.
And so, quickly unpacked, to bed, after a truly intense, but surprisingly soothing, 500 mile journey around South Eastern England, in this British built car. The Honda had shown itself to be a master of many guises: impressive build quality, load-lugger, nippy sprinter, and effortless cruiser. This is truly a car of many talents.
“Safely back home, I needed some serious boot space the next day to move a half-made sofa, for my wife’s upholstery business. Used to the copious amounts of sliding, pulling, folding, shoving, swearing and fighting involved in achieving this together in many other cars; I approached the Honda ready for the worst. But one small tug on a loop that fell to hand, and, truly amazingly, the job was done; in seconds, by me alone, and as if by magic. The seat squab lifted and tilted forward, the headrest tipped down into its recess with a pleasing thunk, and then the seat back folded automatically, fully flat down on top of it all, without any further intervention from me. Truly amazing. So amazing, that I went to get the rest of the family to come and watch. They too admitted to being impressed (and it takes a lot, in a car, to achieve that…) Even after 5 repeats shows, we –even the budding engineers among us – were unable to see how Honda had achieved this marvel of synchronised ingenuity. Another piece of technical wizardry – another family row averted…Magic Seats, Great job, Honda!”
Tech spec: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX 4WD Manual
Price £30,995 on the road. (Pearlescent paint £500 extra)
Max Power: 150 PS
Max Torque: 350 Nm
Claimed MPG: Combined 48.7
CO2 Emissions 154g/km
VED Band G
Length 4570 mm
Width incl door mirrors 2095.2 mm
Excluding door mirrors 1820 mm
Height 1650 mm
With tonneau in place and seats up: 589 litres VDA
With seats down: 1146 litres VDA
Read More Honda articles at Drive.co.uk/HONDA
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