Honda CR-V long-term test: report 5

Can the latest breed of hybrid SUV cope with a monster commute? Our senior photographer, who previously ran a diesel Honda CR-V, is finding out...

LT Honda CR-V Hybrid tailgate height

The car: Honda CR-V 2.0i-MMD Hybrid 2WD SR eCVT Run by: Will Williams, senior photographer

Why it’s here: To find out if the new breed of hybrid SUVs handle not-very-urban driving

Needs to: Be comfortable, smooth-riding and economical on a colossal commute, with plenty of space for photography equipment

List price £34,480 Target Price £34,144 Price as tested £36,420 Miles 12,659 Official economy 49.6mpg (WLTP) Test economy 41.2mpg

13 August 2019 – Feeling frustrated

Poor Honda CR-V Hybrid. It barely ever has a chance to catch it's breath before I use it to undertake another long commute (58 miles each way) or to go to some remote photo shoot location. And while this has given me plenty of time to savour its many good points – from the supple ride to the practical interior – it has also revealed one or three slightly irritating ones.

The first is actually something I wrote about when I ran the previous Honda CR-V. Even on a very good day, I'm only 5 ft 10in tall, yet I still regularly bang my head on the tailgate, because it doesn't open very high; as with many things in life, an extra couple of inches would make all the difference.

LT Honda CR-V Hybrid seat adjustment

Similarly, both the new CR-V and the old one have a lever for adjusting the angle of the front seat backs. This is not only less accurate than a wheel, with the seat moving in steps instead of to any desired angle, but because the seat is spring-loaded, it means it's dangerous to make adjustments while driving – something I'd ideally like to do on mammoth journeys to help stave off backache.

Lastly, the sat-nav system has a few foibles which mean I can't trust it wholeheartedly, including a tendency to try to take me down one way streets and byways where you could barely fit a mountain bike, never mind a large SUV. As a result, I've felt the need to reinstate a navigation app onto my phone so I can use this instead, via the car's Apple CarPlay system, even though I do feel a bit like I'm cheating on a partner.

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