Honda CR-V long term test: report 3

On paper, the Honda CR-V mixes family SUV practicality with hybrid efficiency, but what's it like to live with? We're finding out...

Used Honda CR-V 2018 - present

The car Honda CR-V 2.0 i-MMD Hybrid SR eCVT 2WD Run by John Bradshaw, chief photographer

Why it’s here To see if this hybrid-powered family SUVs can cut it as an all-weather, all-purpose workhorse 

Needs to Carry heavy, bulky equipment all over the country while being comfy, safe and economical

Mileage 3482 List price £36,580 Target Price £34,997 Price as tested £37,365 Test economy 40.3mpg Official economy 42.2mpg

6 December 2022 – Exploring new highs

If my Honda CR-V were sentient, it would have learnt its way around quite a lot of Britain by now. In the last month, my duties as chief photographer have taken me as far West as Weston Super-Mare, as far East as Aldeburgh, and as far South as Poole. And as I mentioned in my previous report, the motorway miles between these destinations have passed in comfort.

And that’s good news, because it ensures that I’m relatively bright-eyed and bushy tailed when I get to where I need to be. And the CR-V makes itself useful in other ways, too. As befits its large SUV identity, it rides quite high, and that gives it good ground clearance. Sometimes, to get the right shot, I have to venture off the Tarmac and onto uneven ground, such

Honda CR-V 2022 long term test, visibility

as on the beach at Weston, where that extra inch between metal and pebbles made life a lot less stressful. Of course, I have to remember that my example is front-, rather than four-wheel drive, so I won’t be attempting to follow any Land Rover Defenders too deep into the undergrowth; it’ll tackle dry, rutted tracks, but I wouldn’t fancy the CR-V's chances when things get properly muddy. 

There’s no cheating the laws of physics, though, and the CR-V’s raised stance, tall stature and soft suspension bring compromises elsewhere. Lets put it this way, there’s not a lot of driving fun to be found on the same country roads that had me grinning from ear to ear in my old Jaguar E-Pace.

In its favour, the CR-V’s steering has enough heft to feel reassuring, and it’s accurate enough that I can place the car just where I want it. Picking up the pace, though, highlights that it’s not overly eager to turn in to a corner, and it backs up this non-committal attitude with a tendency to lean over a bit more at speed than I’d like. Taking it easy is more enjoyable than pressing on, and that’s as true for the passengers as it is for the driver.

Honda CR-V 2022 long-term review, rear vents and USB

And when you’re taking it easy, the CR-V’s height comes into its own in other ways. For starters, it brings a nicely elevated driving position, which gives me a great view of the road ahead. It means I can see that bit farther into corners, helping me to spot hazards earlier, and that in turn aids relaxation. What’s more, the CR-Vs windscreen pillars are commendably slim – slimmer than those of my previous Nissan Qashqai – so they don’t ruin my view at roundabouts and junctions. 

Passengers in the back have commented on the good view out, too; big side windows provide a supply of scenery to entertain while their gadgets are recharging via the rear USB sockets. And as if to highlight how the Honda CR-V addresses the needs of those in the back, there’s an outlet to provide fresh air to anybody overcome by my overenthusiastic cornering antics.

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