- Proven formula for family SUV
- More practical than ever
- Not as efficient or cheap to run as competitors
- Not a huge step forwards
The British-built Honda CR-V is now in its fourth generation. The five-seat SUV has been in production since 1995 and has proven incredibly popular for the Japanese manufacturer. Indeed, five million CR-Vs have gone to happy homes around the world.
Its blend of practicality, reliability and efficiency has stood it in good stead, but competition from the likes of Mazda’s CX-5, Nissan’s X-Trail and even BMW’s X3 means Honda really has to be on its toes to retain its share of the market.
For the latest iteration the company has focused on improving efficiency and practicality. It intends to keep its customers happy with the confidence in its reliability combined with the go-anywhere ability afforded by four-wheel-drive.
One petrol and two diesel engines
For the first time in the UK, the CR-V is offered with both two- or four-wheel drive and a choice of six-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearboxes.
The engines from launch consist of a 2.0-litre petrol unit named i-VTEC and a 2.2-litre diesel engine called i-DTEC. The former has 153bhp and 192Nm of pulling power, emitting 173g/km of CO2 in four-wheel-drive configuration and 168g/km with just the front wheels doing all the work. It is also available with a five-speed automatic gearbox, in which case emitting 175g/km of CO2.
The 2.2-litre diesel engine is available with four-wheel-drive only, and emits 149g/km of CO2 with the manual gearbox and 174g/km with the automatic.
From Autumn 2013 Honda’s latest-generation 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine has been slotted into the CR-V, bolstering the car’s appeal to fleet drivers as it drives CO2 emissions down below the 120g/km mark. Available in two-wheel drive form only, the engine is combined with a manual gearbox and generates 118bhp and 300Nm of pulling power.
Honda has done a lot of work on the CR-V’s aerodynamic profile in an effort to boost efficiency. It has also installed a stop/start system to keep CO2 emissions down and fuel economy up.
Furthermore, there’s an ‘Econ’ button on the dash. When pressed, this adjusts the engine mapping for a lazier yet more efficient drive. It also changes the sensitivity of the air conditioning so it doesn’t have to work as hard, and tells the driver when they are driving economically via a logo on the dash, which becomes greener the greener they’re driving.
The boot capacity is 589 litres, but this rises to 1,669 litres once the clever rear seats are folded away. Operated via handles on either side of the boot walls or by fabric toggles underneath the rear seats, the one-touch system folds the whole lot away. To get them back into position takes three actions: fold up the seat back, straighten the headrest and then fold the lower part of the seat back into position.
In case you’re wondering what you can fit in a 589-litre boot, it’s room enough for four golf bags or even up to five mountain bikes. You get lots of storage on the inside of the car too – there are three cup holders and a cubby in the centre console and a netted space in the boot to store smaller items like drinks bottles.
Is all of that enough to remain competitive in what has become an incredibly hard-fought sector of the car industry? See our full Honda CR-V review to find out.
What owners say about this car
I have owned both the 3rd and 4th generation Honda CRV, and was generally pleased with both. However have... Read owner review
Comfortable and easy to drive. EX version has all the kit you could wish for. Previously had 2.2 diesel CR-V... Read owner review
Advertised as 55mpg, nowhere near! Honda told me i should have read the small print! Poor customer relations from honda,... Read owner review