What's the used Honda CR-V estate like?
SUVs have often been sold to people as the perfect accessory to an active lifestyle. The original Honda CR-V certainly was, because you could get a plug-in shower with it to wash off your shoes after you'd been to the beach. Now, though, SUVs are mostly aimed at families, which is perhaps why the latest CR-V is available with seven seats, making it a sensible used car purchase for those who have children.
Unlike most other large SUVs, this CR-V can't be had with a diesel engine. In the UK, we're only offered a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine with 171bhp or 190bhp if paired with a CVT automatic gearbox or a hybrid system comprising a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor for a combined power output of 181bhp.
If you want sporty handling, you’ll be better suited looking at the Mazda CX-5 instead, because the CR-V is a big, softly sprung thing that rolls a bit in corners and generally isn’t up for being hustled. It copes okay, but it can start to plow straight on - before the safety aids cut in to sort things out - more so than some of its rivals if you misjudge your corner entry speed. Furthermore, the steering is a bit slow and requires more lock than you might expect when you're directing the car around an obstacle.
A word of warning for anyone who wants to tow with their CR-V: you’ll need to pick the 1.5-litre petrol with the manual gearbox. This is because it can handle a braked trailer of 2000kg, whereas the hybrid can pull a maximum of only 750kg. To put that into context, the four-wheel-drive Toyota RAV4 hybrid can tow 1695kg.
The CR-V is pretty spacious inside, with a considerable gulf between the front seats and lots of adjustment to get comfortable - although the backrest is controlled by an imprecise lever mechanism on every version other than the top-spec EX, which gets electric adjustment. You’ll need to be very tall indeed to run out of head or leg room in the second row, but third-row accommodation isn’t great in the petrol model and nonexistent if you go for the hybrid.
Even the entry-level S model gets LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and electric lumbar support for the driver’s seat. SE gets a bigger infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity and front and rear parking sensors. SR cars have blindspot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and leather seats that are heated in the front. Top-of-the-range EX has heated leather seats all round, a panoramic sunroof and a powered tailgate.
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