Our cars: Honda CR-V - January
Week ending January 25
Miles this week 406
Read the full Honda CR-V review
As our long-term Honda CRV was beginning to look as though it had arrived from the factory in a very matt shade of mud brown, I thought it was about time to give it a wash - I couldn't take the guilt any more.
Living in the sticks means that, at this time of the year, it's nigh on impossible to keep a car clean without becoming on first name terms with the chaps at my local car wash.
Cleaning the car myself (well, with the aid of an automated car wash; I jet washed the car myself to remove the absolute worst), I noticed how well the car scrubbed up.
Many of those car washes often leave bits of bumper and trim grubby, meaning you need to get the bucket and sponge out after all, but with the Honda’s trademark ultra-tight panel gaps, hardly any areas were left unwashed and within no time the paint was gleaming again. Shame it won’t last very long, though.
Week ending January 18
Driven this week: 555 miles
The recent weather has let me test the Honda's heater, and it has become clear over some increasingly cold mornings that it is not the fastest of systems to warm up.
When the thermometer was reading minus five, I spent seven minutes waiting for the cabin to get to a stage where I could take off my coat. Unfortunately, the heated seats took almost as long to kick in. Other systems have been much quicker.
The saving grace of the heated seats is that they are nice and toasty once working. There are only two settings - high and low – andlLow is more than enough once the seats get up to working temperature.
Week ending January 4
Driven this week: 276 miles
Read the full Honda CR-V review
The miles are already piling on our Honda CR-V, thanks to my regular schleps around the countryside to various photoshoots. Still, the intensive activity has allowed me to get acclimatised to the car in record time - and I'm impressed.
The CR-V's greatest strength, I feel, is its long-distance cruising ability. Low levels of wind and road noise, coupled with a diesel engine that does its best to fade into the background, keep you insulated from the length of your journey. I also rate the seats; they're heated and electrically adjustable on our EX spec, and I've been able to find an extremely comfortable position for my own body shape.
Infotainment can also help to pass away the hours en route, and our EX gets DAB radio as standard. The Honda system clearly has a top-grade aerial, too; the signal refuses to drop out, even when I'm cruising through known black spots near my home in the sticks.
Nor does the CR-V's ability to help fade away once I've reached the location. The electric tailgate has already kept me dry on a number of occasions as a makeshift shelter - and the fact that you can operate it from the driver's seat is a boon for everyday use too. At least this way the hatch can be open by the time you get there, so you don't have to fumble around for keys or a handle before unloading your shopping.
Negatives? Precious few so far, I have to say. I'd like perhaps a smidgen more reach adjustment on the steering wheel, but that's really the worst gripe so far.