Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC auto EX
Week ending November 22
Driven this week 603 miles
Read the full Honda CR-V review
I drove Will Williams' long-term Honda CR-V for the first time last week and, after covering 600 miles with trips to Cambridgeshire, Nottingham and Poole in one week, was very impressed with the comfort and space inside.
The boot is massive and it easily swallowed my luggage on all the trips. My son is well over six-foot tall and had plenty of legroom in the rear, but he also liked the way you sit up quite high, with the excellent glass sunroof above his head making it a bright and pleasant place to sit.
The driving postion isn't to everyone's tastes, but it was comfortable for me, and I like the way the dashboard slopes forward with the automatic gear lever within easy reach. I think the engine's a little noisy on start up (perhaps I'm too accustomed to my refined diesel Mazda 6), but once on the move it's got plenty of mid-range punch and is a relaxed cruiser on motorways.
On the outside, I love the chunky styling compared with the previous model - especially the front in the way that the lights are integrated at the edges of the grille and swoop back into the bonnet.
After living with the car for a week, I found the Honda did everything I wanted it to with ease. It's far from an exciting choice, but having owned Hondas in the past, that didn't really surprise me. Reflecting on it as a comfortable SUV with boatloads of space inside, it certainly wouldn't stop me recommending it, either.
By Stephen Hopkins
Week ending November 15
Driven this week 205 miles
Read the full Honda CR-V review
On a recent group test between the new Mercedes S-Class and our current reigning Luxury Car of the Year, the Range Rover (see which one won in the January 2014 issue of What Car?), the capable Honda was used as the camera car.
The CR-V may have looked a little apologetic alongside its decidedly blue-blooded company in the grounds of stately Wilton House, but one thing struck me on comparing the boots of these three cars. The Range Rover may have the CR-V beaten on ultimate space but when you consider how much larger the British luxury car's footprint is, it just makes it all the more impressive the amount of easily usable space that's on offer in the more compact CR-V.
With the Range Rover's standard split tailgate it also makes it more difficult to reach items at the back of the elongated boot, as you've got to lean over the bottom part of the tailgate. The Mercedes doesn't even come close in terms of swallowing large loads; the boot opening is narrow and the bay relatively shallow.
Although the CR-V may not have the same aristocratic air as the two luxury cars on test, it takes a lot (of money!) to beat the Honda's everyday practicality.
By Neil Williams
Week ending November 8
Driven this week 485
My parents are addicted to automatic gearboxes. My mum’s got a 1990 Toyota Supra Turbo – most examples of which came with an auto – and my dad has a Merc C-Class Estate. Again, with an automatic ’box.
They live on the edge of Dartmoor and venture up there with the dogs almost daily in their third car - a Mk1 Honda CR-V with… yes, an auto ’box. They really wanted a diesel auto, but you couldn’t get that combination with the original CR-V. In fact Honda didn’t pair the diesel with that gearbox until 2009, in the Mk3.
I think the folks would be pretty chuffed with our car’s ’box. It’s not that great by modern standards, but does a reasonable job of slushing the gears in town, once it’s warmed up. However, you really need to boot the throttle pedal to make it change down at motorway speeds - and when it does the revs tend to go sky-high.
You can, of course, shift the lever into ‘S’, or use the steering wheel paddles, but why use your hands when you can push your foot down a bit harder? After all, isn’t that what an auto ’box is all about?