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Honda CR-V road test

by Stephen Walker

27th August, 2013

Home > Road Tests > Honda

If you have enjoyed the Honda CR-V in the past, you are going to enjoy the new model even more so. Popular since the original model arrived in 1997, the CR-V is now in its fourth generation. But does the Honda CR-V remain good enough to be considered a front runner in the incredibly competitive market for SUVs?

Test Car particulars

The drive car from Honda, on this occasion, was the CR-V VTi-L. This well equipped sports utility vehicle (SUV) comes with a 2.4 litre four cylinder engine, automatic transmission and four-wheel drive.

Prices*

The current MLP* for the Honda CR-V is from $42,290* without options. The optional metallic paint took the price of the test car to $42,865*.

Driving the Honda CR-V VTi-L

Straight away, the CR-V with the 2.4 litre engine impresses with its willingness to provide smooth power delivery combined with quite decent performance characteristics. For an SUV, all aspects of the driving dynamics were just right too.

Driving the CR-V reminded me about Mummy Bear from the fairy tale of old. Mummy Bear's furniture ... was just right. And that's the way it is with the Honda CR-V. But where it excels is with the interior design. The size of this five seater was perfect for four average-sized adult occupants. We did about 80 kilometres during our motoring adventure with four adults on board the CR-V. And each of the four had positive reports about the comfort level. I especially liked the spacious front foot room - because of my big feet I notice these things. There is abundant foot space for both front occupants, which in the Honda's case was one of the standout features. You notice these things because the 'norm' is to have just enough space rather than plentiful space.

In fact, the entire cabin is well laid out with a spacious environment to enjoy your motoring whether you are the driver or a passenger.

The parking brake is of the foot-operated variety. You can live with this, but with more and more cars in this price range (and even cheaper cars) offering an electronically controlled parking brake you can be assured I will offer no tears when this pedal is consigned to history.

Living with the Honda CR-V VTi-L

As mentioned, the interior space made the Honda CR-V an excessively pleasant car to experience. When travelling with four on board and all four report that they are impressed with the comfort of the spacious interior you know you're backing a winner (so to speak).

Let me forewarn you, though, that the front seat belts 'bite'. I quite liked this feature. You know you are secure when this occurs.

Specifications

The all-wheel drive CR-V VTi-L has a petrol-fuelled 2,354cc DOHC 4-cylinder engine with 140 kW @ 7,000 rpm and 222 Nm @ 4,400 rpm. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard with 4WD versions of the CR-V. It's part of the just right packaging. The engine and transmission is a good combination. The specs look good on paper, even better on the road.

Fuel and emissions

Fuel consumption is rated at 8.7 litres per 100 kms, on the combined cycle, for the CR-V 2.4 litre automatic. This is a nice figure to achieve. However, our average of 10.3 litres per 100kms, as per the onboard trip computer, was somewhat above the rated consumption level even though we did manage more highway travelling than usual during our 387 kilometres with the car. However, the 'urban' fuel consumption rating is 12.0 litres per 100kms. This made our fuel consumption figure look more reasonable.

The fuel tank capacity is 58 litres and 91RON petrol is suitable for the CR-V.

CO2 emission rating from the 2.4 litre four comes in at 201 grammes/kilometre. The engine is Euro5 compliant.

Safety

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with traction control (TCS), six airbags and a reversing camera are standard equipment on all Honda CR-Vs. Basically, this is the minimum requirement for four-door vehicles and you won't find a shortfall with Honda. But there is also progressive crumple zones for the body and, inside, there are three child safety seat anchorage points plus other safety related features.

Equipment (CR-V VTi-L)

Standard on the VTi-L is keyless entry, push-button start, chrome door handles, a sunroof, electrically retractable door mirrors, front fog lights, automatic headlights, 'turning' headlights, 'coming home' headlights, alloy wheels (five), five cup holders, four bottle holders, power operated lumbar support for driver's seat, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, satellite navigation and dual-zone air conditioning amongst many other features making the CR-V VTi-L quite a nice vehicle for motoring, both as the driver or as a passenger.

Variants

A new entry level model for the CR-V is a two-wheel drive 2-litre four-cylinder petrol engined version of the VTi that is priced* from a very competitive $27,490*. VTi also comes in 2WD automatic (from $29,790*) and 4WD 2.4 litre automatic (from $32,790*) versions. Mid-range is the VTi-S 4WD 2.4 litre automatic (from $36,290*), with the top of the range being the VTi-L.

A diesel engine variant is not on offer.

Dimensions

Length: 4,545 mm
Width: 1,820 mm
Height: 1,685 mm
Wheelbase: 2,620 mm
Weight: 1,580 kg
Boot capacity: 556 litres (with back seat 'up')

Towing

A suitably equipped Honda CR-V with automatic transmission can tow a trailer to 600kg (without trailer brakes) and 1,500kg (with trailer brakes). It should be duly recognised that the downforce at 'tongue' should not exceed 100kg, which is a little light.

After Sales

The Honda CR-V comes with a 3-year/100,000km warranty.

Conclusion

The Honda CR-V VTi-L is an absolutely superb piece of motoring equipment. To me, everything about the CR-V complies with the Mummy Bear concept. What I'm getting at is that, in my view, the CR-V is just right. It is just right in size, just right in specification, just right in performance, just right in driveability and, importantly, just right in pricing.

I'm convinced that there is no better SUV in the CR-Vs market segment. Therefore, it is not a front runner, it is the front runner! In saying that I'm not making a big call, merely a realistic call.

The Honda CR-V test car impressed me immensely. Just quietly, I'd like another turn!



NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.

E&OE

More Honda News ..... here.

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