Our cars: Honda CR-V - May
Week ending May 31
Driven this week 434 miles
Read the full Honda CR-V review
I needed something practical and comfortable to take two people and two bikes on a cycling holiday to northern France, so the CR-V seemed like the perfect option.
It sailed through the practicality test. Pull two levers in the boot and the rear seatbases flip up and forward, then the seatbacks drop to create a flat and long loadbay. With the front wheels off, the bikes fitted in a treat, and there was still lots of room left over for our luggage – and I certainly don't pack lightly!
There was also plenty of storage space for our travel documents, my emergency stash of sweets and all the other things you simply must have to hand when going away. Add lots of stretching room up front and comfortable seats, and the CR-V was a fine place to spend time.
It was pretty comfortable and quiet on the way to Dover and then, after a smooth crossing thanks to P&O Ferries (www.poferries.com, 08716 642 121), relaxing on the way to our B&B near Amiens.
This effortlessness was particularly welcome after a long day in the saddle, so I can understand why people buy CR-Vs and like them so much.
There were a couple of niggles, though. I never got to grips with all the buttons scattered around the dashboard, and the automatic gearbox is sometimes slow to respond and has just five gears (the updated Range Rover Evoque due later this year will have nine).
This was nothing to what happened on the return ferry, though, but more of that next week.
Week ending May 17
Driven this week 550 miles
I had a play with the sat-nav on a lower-trimmed Honda CR-V recently, and ended up a little jealous.
The car I was in was fitted with a modern, relatively sophisticated and intuitive system that offers a perspective view option with more contemporary graphics (see the picture above). The menus were less complicated than those on the DVD-based system fitted to our top of the range EX-trim CR-V.
Our version offers only a 2D look-down map display. Although it seems to work well, it seems strange that you pay more and, in my opinion, get less useability for your money.
By Neil Williams
Week ending May 10
Driven this week 350 miles
When the Honda first arrived at the beginning of the year I promised to look out for any issues
that might crop up in the otherwise faultless CR-V.
One minor annoyance is that the automatic's gear change from first to second is not as
smooth as the other changes, which is a shame as the gearbox is generally smooth. I thought it
had something to do with not liking cold starts but it continues to happen. It might be time for a trip to the local dealer to see if there's an underlying issue.
The gearbox is the source of a second irritation as well. The automatic misses out on
a sixth gear that would help with fuel economy on the long drives that I regularly do and make
the CR-V an even better cruiser.
Nevertheless, the CR-V continues to pile on the miles and still impresses.
By Will Williams
Week ending May 3
Driven this week 273 miles
I finally took a chance to drive our long-term Honda CR-V the other evening – the first chance I've had to try this generation of the car, apart from a two-mile squirt around Twin Ring Motegi racetrack in Japan in a (Japanese-spec) example 18 months ago.
It's pretty much everything I'd expected – which is to say that the CR-V is a refined cruiser on the motorway, and very worthy, without ever stirring an emotion. The cabin is comfortable enough and clearly laid out, but while the materials are robust enough, they haven't moved on much visually since earlier editions. The latest Hyundai Santa Fe looks more polished, I'd argue.
Still, I can see why snapper Will is pleased with the big Honda's practicality; it feels huge inside, with loads of room in the rear for three grown-up passengers, and a fair-sized boot. I do see a lot of CR-Vs being used as fully laden suburban workhorses near What Car?'s London office, admittedly – so perhaps that's its natural role. Should be perfect for a photographer, then.
By John McIlroy