Our cars: Honda CR-V - March
Week ending March 28
Driven this week 500 miles
Read the full Honda CR-V review
We have had lots of cars with electronic bootlids in the office for a group test this week, and road test editor Steve Huntingford and I agree the Honda's is the best we have found.
When you pull many powered boots shut manually they're really heavy and you almost end up fighting the mechanism. However, the Honda disengages the system, and it feels like a normal boot.
This means that people who are unfamiliar with a powered boot will not battle the electrics. The system on the Range Rover Evoque is much less user friendly – if you try to pull it closed you're likely to do yourself a mischief.
When you do use the CR-V's electric system, it's very quick and you can operate it using the key, the outside boot handle or a switch in the cabin. It's simple and works really well.
Week ending March 22
Driven this week 930 miles
The CR-V's wheels have barely stopped turning in recent weeks, with trips to Scotland, Peterborough, Lincolnshire and down to the French Alps, transporting my colleague John Bradshaw and his family in comfort on a skiing holiday. So, it's no surprise that the Honda is due its first, much-deserved service at 12,500 miles.
The service was carried out at August Motors Honda in Salisbury (www.augustmotors.co.uk, 01722 412222) because locally they have a great reputation for customer service and I was keen to try this out for myself.
The cost was £225.00 inc VAT/parts/fitting, which seemed good value because Thames Ditton Honda quoted £265.96 for the same work. The service was carried out quickly while I waited in the showroom making use of the wi-fi and coffee and biscuits. Tom Edwards – my point of contact – was friendly, professional and a pleasure to deal with.
The car was also cleaned inside and out, which was no small task in itself because the CR-V was filthy and spattered with mud from the rural roads around where I live.
Week ending March 15
Driven this week 321 miles
I went on the launch of the new CR-V at the end of 2012, and decided then that it was one of my favourite SUVs, purely for its simplicity and fitness for purpose. Our long-termer only leaves me more convinced.
The cabin is huge and comfortable and the rear seats do a clever fold-flat manoeuvre to give it van-like carrying capacity. I even like the fact that there’s no variable drive elements, just an effective, slushy automatic gearbox and strong diesel motor, which gives it an old-school 4x4 character without sacrificing technical modernity.
If only it were a touch cheaper, it would be a hard act to beat. I enjoyed every minute in it.
Week ending March 8
Driven this week 1100 miles
The Honda CR-V has been circumnavigating the length and breadth of the country over the past few days. I had to photograph a feature in Fife, which meant driving up the day before from south-west Wiltshire, but the CR-V was the perfect companion: refined, comfortable and more than able to carry all my kit.
Even more impressive was the fact that when I reached Edinburgh for my overnight stop, my back wasn't aching in the slightest. The only downside was a slight ache in my neck; instead of having active front headrests to reduce whiplash, the CR-V's are fixed and slanted forward in a more rudimentary fashion. This means I end up angling my neck further forward than is ideal, resulting in a bit of neck ache over long journeys. Other colleagues have mentioned it too. Our long-term Mazda CX-5 suffers from the same affliction, but is even worse.
I've also lost count of the times that I tried using the steering wheel-mounted paddles to try to select an imaginary sixth gear. Otherwise the Honda continues to impress.