The 2.2-litre diesel engine produces a rather unremarkable 148bhp and 238lb ft of torque, but it’s nicely geared, flexible and keen to rev. The 2.0-litre petrol produces the same power output but doesn't provide such strong mid-range urge. However, it's willing nonetheless. Both engines come with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard or the option of a five-speed automatic. The auto feels quite dated compared to the latest offerings from rival manufacturers.
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 engine might, though, because it sounds rather gruff compared with the engines in other SUVs. The petrol is also vocal when worked. The front-wheel drive version has a sweeter gearshift than the four-wheel drive cars, while the optional automatic gives rather clunky shifts.
The CR-V holds its value well, but most versions are fairly expensive to buy compared with rivals SUVs. It also posts higher figures for fuel consumption and CO2 emissions than most rivals, so running costs aren’t that competitive, either. Choosing the optional auto 'box will add to your running costs further.
Honda's reliability record is generally excellent and the CR-V consistently performs well in the annual 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.
All CR-Vs come with front, side and curtain airbags and active front-seat head restraints. The car also has a stability control system that not only counteracts mid-corner slides, but also snaking if you're towing a caravan or horsebox. Expensive Advanced Safety models include systems that steer you back on track if you start to wander out of lane on the motorway, and brake if an imminent crash is sensed.
The CR-V’s dashboard has quite a few buttons to negotiate, and the markings on them could be clearer, too. Your over-the-shoulder visibility is severely hampered by the CRV’s thick rear pillars, but your forward view is excellent. A good range of seat and steering wheel adjustment makes it easy to get comfortable.
The CR-V's flat rear floor and ample head- and legroom make it excellent family transport, while access is good all-round. The boot is absolutely immense at 589 litres with the 60/40 split rear seats in place. Pull on 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 load space.
The base-level S trim is quite poorly equipped; you’ll need to upgrade to SE if you want Bluetooth, parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers. ST trim also gives you heated, part-leather seats and a DAB radio, while EX trim adds full leather, a panoramic roof and a high-grade navigation system.
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