Honda’s new CR-V is entirely appropriate for many motorists. It performs like a ‘standard’ car; it has the room of an estate and a good level of comfort, along with a higher driving position.
But what’s changed about the ‘all-new’ CR-V? Well, for a start, it’s more handsome and this is the first time in Europe the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) has been offered with two and four-wheel drive on the 2.0 i-VTEC model. Apart from that, the alterations aren’t massive. I mean, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Nonetheless, there are a few developments.
I found out the fourth generation CR-V presents even more class, composure and civility than its predecessor. And with environmental issues of rising magnitude, Honda’s in vogue 2.0 i-VTEC engine emits appreciably less CO2 than before.
You still get the larger-than-it-looks cabin; with the rear seats in place the boot volume is an airy 589 litres, and this extends to a vast 1669 litres when the seats are folded down. But how does this translate in the real world? It means that if you are a parent with a gaggle of young children, you can hurl not just one, but several buggies in - along with a week’s worth of supermarket shopping. With the seats collapsed you are able to collect, say, a washing machine from your local white-goods retailer. And, to be frank, if you’re not concerned about keeping your car in showroom condition, the CR-V is an ideal vehicle to load up with unwanted items for legal disposal at the council tip!
The fresh CR-V is available with four generously equipped trim levels S, SE, SR and EX. I took the SE for a drive. The model’s intelligent multi info display, idle stop, dual zone climate control, and cruise control make motoring easy. The fitting of hill start assist is particularly useful in undulating surroundings, and the SUV’s rain sensing auto wipers and dusk sensing auto lights successfully defy dark, drizzly commutes.
The SE gives your hands a virtual massage with its leather steering wheel and gear stick, and the power lumbar support on the driver’s seat does a good job of keeping your back in shape. Other significant features on my CR-V included an auto dim rear view mirror, front and rear parking sensors, rear view parking camera, one-touch power windows, electrically folding door mirrors, a six-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, front fog lights, and an alarm.
The brand new CR-V’s petrol engine powers along very gracefully and, although its performance won’t get your adrenal gland working overtime, it’s certainly not lethargic. It won’t take corners on rails, but there’s no undue body roll either.
Certainly, the Swindon-made SUV feels full-bodied, and with Honda’s standard vehicle stability assist, anti-lock braking system, electronic brake force distribution, and brake assist you’re assured of a safe ride - just not a thrilling one.