A big, comfy family SUV, practical, roomy, easy to drive, just how a best-selling SUV should be.
The Honda CR-V has always been the type of car; you would consider a good friend and the CR-V has been a long time favourite of mine.
Car Reviewed: Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTC EX 9AT 4WD
I was very keen to try the latest. With over 750,000 sold worldwide, for the last nine months of 2014 it was the most popular SUV sold in the world. This car is built in England at Swindon, for British drivers on British roads.The latest model has been updated, new engines, 9-speed transmission, and styling tweaks throughout.
Always a good looking SUV; this one has now been sharpened with the new front design and lights, smart looking 18″ alloys. Ok, overall not too many changes but together, visually it all adds up to a great looking SUV. If it ain’t bust don’t fix it, just freshen it up.
I have driven many of the Honda CR-V models, but this one is creating a stir with its 9-speed automatic transmission combined with the new 1.6 diesel engines. The 2.2 engines in the previous models are now no longer available.
The Honda CR-V being tested is the 1.6 i-DTEC EX AWD with 160PS. A striking looking car, Crystal Black Pearl paintwork with a black leather interior. The new 1.6 diesel now powers this car, and this new engine is greener and more powerful. Although the slightly lower powered, 1.6 i-DTEC 120PS on some models is slightly better on emissions. This fashion now of smaller engines and higher power output is the way manufacturers are going to clean up their acts and fit in with the new stringent EURO 6 regulations.
The new 9-speed automatic brings a more refined driving experience and improved efficiency. In the overall lightening of the car, the transmission has been lightened by 37kg. The nine-speed is a definite improvement over the 5-speed auto it now replaces. On the go, the car pulls smoothly from below 2000 rpm, driving is smooth, and the overall quietness of the vehicle with this trasnmission is improved dramatically. There are two steering wheel-mounted paddles but while ‘toinking’ around in the CR-V these are a pretty much redundant, this a highly practical sharp looking family car not too sporting in nature.
On the road, economy for all the CR-V range is good. Honda boldly claims 53.3mpg on the combined cycle for this model. The best we achieved on an 80-mile trip, was 47.1 mpg, driving sensibly, adhering to the speed limits and using the cruise control occasionally. Still not too shabby for a vehicle of this size and with permanent all-wheel drive. Around 38-45mpg was about the norm overall.
The smooth, refined nature of the CR-V is notable, Honda’s build quality, always well respected and this latest CR-V feels well constructed to a point of geekiness. The added assurance of the all-wheel-drive system gives the car on and off-road abilities. Although not a true mud plugger, it will have the soft road capabilities in muddy fields and wet tracks more than enough for most.
The starting price of the CR-V range is £22340; the standard manual model is also an excellent option if auto isn’t your bag. This top of the range AWD EX model driven has an on the road price of £34670, Very highly specced with almost all the options Honda can muster. Including the power tailgate, excellent panoramic glass roof, full leather, keyless access and electric memory drivers seat.
On the go, the driving position is higher than some of its competitors and it is a very comfortable place to be on a journey. In the cabin, the panoramic sunroof makes the cabin light and cheery. Overall the new 2015 car is pretty similar to the previous model, with some added brightwork to cheer up the dash. The drivers seat, now has a memory option with full electric adjustments. Around the cabin, there is an abundance of spaces, spaces for bottles, phones, wallets and the car is totally equipped with sockets for all plethora of gadgets. The CR-V also offers the largest boot in its class with 589 litres, quick folding of the rears seats brings this to a tremendous 1648 litres.
One of the bigger things is Hondas’ New Connect Entertainment system. A full 7″ touch screen with satnav and a new Honda apps option, allowing internet radio, we didn’t get time to test this. The system was pretty easy, intuitive to use and follow. It also paired with my phone relatively quickly without a lot of fiddling that you have with some Bluetooth systems.
Safety technology is one of the key things on the CR-V, intelligent adaptive cruise control being one of them, CiTy- Active braking system as standard on all models. Along with many of the standard safety features on cars of today.