Honda CR-V 4x4 full 9 point review
The 1.6-litre diesel is powerful enough, although performance is flat below 1500rpm. The 2.2 diesel engine is stronger from low revs, so you have to work it less hard. There's also a 2.0-litre petrol, which is willing, if not as gutsy as the diesels. All engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, and a five-speed automatic is available on the 2.0 petrol and 2.2 diesel. The auto 'box feels slow and dated compared with the latest offerings from rival manufacturers, though.
Ride & Handling
The CR-V’s suspension is good at soaking up big bumps, so it’s generally pretty comfortable. However, the car does shimmy around on patched-up surfaces at all speeds. The handling is capable enough, with all versions providing plenty of grip, but the body does lean a fair bit in bends. The steering is also slow and rather vague.
Occupants are well isolated from tyre and suspension noise, and although wind noise can build up around the chunky door mirrors, it’s never loud enough to get on your nerves. The diesel engines might, though, because they sound rather gruff compared with the engines in other SUVs. The petrol is also vocal when worked hard. The front-wheel-drive versions have a sweeter gearshift than the four-wheel-drive cars, while the optional automatic gives rather clunky shifts.
Buying & Owning
The CR-V holds its value well, but most versions are fairly expensive to buy compared with rivals SUVs. Models with larger engines also have higher fuel consumption and CO2 figures than most rivals, so their running costs aren’t that competitive, either. Choosing the optional auto 'box will add to your running costs further.
Quality & Reliability
Honda's reliability record is generally excellent and the CR-V consistently performs well in the JD Power customer satisfaction survey. The perceived quality in the cabin – the feel of the plastics and materials – leaves a little to be desired, but the car still comes across as well put together.
Safety & Security
All CR-Vs come with front, side and curtain airbags, plus a stability control system that not only counteracts mid-corner slides, but also snaking if you're towing a caravan or horsebox. There are also expensive optional systems that steer you back on track if you start to wander out of your lane on the motorway, and brake if an imminent crash is sensed. The CR-V was awarded the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests. All versions get an immobiliser and an alarm to help fend off thieves.
Behind The Wheel
A good range of seat and steering wheel adjustment makes it pretty easy to get comfortable. The dashboard has quite a few buttons to negotiate, though, and the markings on them could be clearer. Over-the-shoulder visibility is severely hampered by the CR-V’s thick rear pillars, but the forward view is excellent.
Space & Practicality
The CR-V's flat rear floor and generous head- and legroom make it excellent family transport, while access is good all-round. The boot offers a huge 589 litres of space with the 60/40 split rear seats in place. Simply pull a lever mounted on either side of the boot, and the rear seats flip down in true ‘hey-presto’ fashion, freeing up a mammoth 1648 litres of room.
The entry-level S trim is quite poorly equipped; you’ll need to upgrade to SE if you want Bluetooth, parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, and a leather steering wheel. SR trim also gives you heated, part-leather seats, xenon headlights and a DAB radio, while pricey EX trim adds full-leather seats, sat-nav, a panoramic glass roof and a powered tailgate.