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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For Spacious, versatile and efficient for a 4x4

Against Not as reliable as some Hondas; disappointing dynamics

Verdict A great all-round SUV that will suit most families.

Go for… 2.2 i-CTDi ES

Avoid… 2.0 I-VTEC EX

Honda CR-V 4x4
  • 1. This version of Honda's CR-V has a definite soft-roader feel and it's certainly better suited to the urban jungle than the Amazon.
  • 2. The CR-V is available with a petrol engine, but the 2.0-litre is underpowered. The 138bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine makes much more sense.
  • 3. Petrol models manage an average of 34.9mpg, while the diesels return 43.5mpg. Emissions of 192g/km for the petrol and 173g/km for the diesel.
  • 4. owners complain about the quality of plastics used in the cabin, and the fact that they easily mark or scratch during everyday use.
  • 5. As with any 4x4 that has limited ground clearance, you should check the underside for damage.
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Honda CR-V 4x4 full review with expert trade views

This version of Honda's CR-V is smaller, lighter and more efficient than the model it replaced. It's also greener than many rival compact 4x4s.

The CR-V offers family car-like space in the cabin – especially in the back, where head- and legroom are generous. The rear bench slides to favour rear legroom or boot space, as required. The bench also folds and tumbles forward, leaving a flat loadbay.

The CR-V is reasonably nimble, but the steering is a little numb and the ride is a touch too firm. It has a low centre of gravity for a 4x4, which helps to keep body roll well constrained. Wind noise is minimal, but engine- and road noise are noticeable.

The Honda's low ride height and limited four-wheel-drive technology means only mild off-road driving should be attempted.

Trade view

More of an everyday runaround than rugged off-roader, but enjoyable to drive and own.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

The CR-V is available with a 2.0-litre a petrol engine, but it's underpowered and should be avoided. The 138bhp 2.2-litre diesel engine makes much more sense. An automatic gearbox is available on the petrol-powered CR-V.

The entry-level CR-V SE comes with four powered windows, air-conditioning and steering wheel-mounted stereo controls. ES trim gets alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors and dual-zone climate control. The range-topping EX adds electric driver's seat adjustment, leather upholstery, satellite-navigation, a rear-view camera and a panoramic glass roof.

Later SE and ES models were available with a technology pack including sat-nav and Bluetooth.

The CR-V was face-lifted in 2009 and a new 148bhp 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel engine was introduced, which was also available with an automatic gearbox for the first time.

Trade view

A greener route to off-roading, The CR-V is more efficient than most rivals.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Petrol models average of 34.9mpg, while the diesels return 43.5mpg. CO2 emissions of around 190g/km for the petrol and 171g/km for the diesel ensure annual road tax won't be the cheapest.

Honda dealers can be pricey, but they perform well in customer satisfaction surveys. Insurance hovers around groups 27-28 depending on the engine and specification

Resale values are good because of Honda's image and scarcity of the CR-V on the used market. Some independent dealers try and cash in on this fact by inflating forecourt prices.

Trade view

More of an everyday runaround than rugged off-roader, but enjoyable to drive and own.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Honda has a reputation for reliability, but the CR-V has suffered from a number of issues. Problems when changing down through the gears are widely reported, but dealers able to fix the fault in most cases.

There are also problems with cars pulling to the left, excessive front tyre wear and steering wheel shudder when on full lock. Lots of owners complain about the quality of plastics used in the cabin, and the fact that they easily mark or scratch during everyday use. It's also not unknown for some pieces of trim to work loose and fall off.

As with any 4x4 that has limited ground clearance, you should check the underside for damage.

Trade view

A greener route to off-roading, The CR-V is more efficient than most rivals.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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