Company car appeal for revised Honda CR-V

  • British-built SUV refreshed for 2015
  • Trim levels revised, more toys on offer
  • Find out which trim fleet drivers will love

A facelift has been announced for the British-built Honda CR-V – a car the Japanese firm claims is the world’s best-selling SUV. That’s only if you disregard the unbelievable success the Nissan Qashqai enjoys, though.

New diesel engine

Set to hit showrooms in March, the changes include the introduction of a new 1.6-litre diesel engine featuring some very clever technology to drive emissions (and thus Benefit-in-Kind tax) down while keeping performance adequate. It’s coupled to a new nine-speed automatic gearbox. We’ve driven the new engine and gearbox combo in our road test and came away impressed with the car’s sheer refinement. It’s quieter and better to drive at motorway speeds than ever, which will be music to fleet drivers’ ears.

Also on the list of plus-points for such users is the fact that running costs have been dramatically driven down. The headline figure here is 115g/km, which two-wheel drive S models emit. That means approximately £74 per month for a 20 percent tax payer and double for a 40 percent payer for the current tax year.

Obviously the monthly cost goes up when you add more equipment. There are four trim levels to pick from – S, SE, SR and EX – along with two- or four-wheel drive as required. The latter will cost more to run, though.

Revised trim levels

Even entry-level S specification offers a generous amount of equipment. Dual-zone climate control, cruise control, 17-inch alloy wheels, hill-start assist and steering wheel-mounted controls for the stereo are particular highlights; along with Bluetooth, USB and aux-in connections for your infotainment devices.

Moving up to SE grade adds leather for the steering wheel and gear lever along with automatic headlights and wipers, parking sensors at both ends, a rear parking camera, front foglights and Honda’s CONNECT multimedia system complete with an HDMI cable.

The trim we’re expecting to be the most popular is SE, but with the Navi sat-nav installed too. This represents the best value in terms of equipment vs running costs, with the sat-nav and Bluetooth being major plus points for fleet drivers. As a guide, a rough monthly BiK tax bill for a 20 percent payer will be £100 per month (based on the 2014/15 tax year) with the new 158bhp diesel engine. 

You can have more toys if you want them, though. The next level up is SR, also getting half leather upholstery, a high-powered stereo system, Bi-HID headlights with cornering function and automatic high beam, headlight washers and 18-inch alloys.

Adding tech

If you’re worried about safety, there’s a £500 DASP (driver’s assistance package) which can be fitted to SE and SR grades, which adds a raft of systems to keep the car on the straight and narrow. Highlights include a forward collision warning system, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, blind spot detection and high beam support.

At the top of the tree sits EX, which has leather upholstery along with keyless entry, electric driver’s seat, powered tailgate and a panoramic glass sunroof.

You can add a further pack to this called the Honda SENSING pack. For another £900 this nets you active cruise control along with active lane-keeping assist and a collision mitigation warning system along with the features from the DASP pack.

To find out more about the Honda CR-V, read our full review