This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Honda CR-V (07-12) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The CR-V was originally available with just one engine - a 2.0-litre petrol with 147bhp. It's smooth enough and pulls well, although it can become a little noisy at higher revs. The diesel didn't arrive until March 2005 but the i-CDTi unit was well worth the wait. It's one of the best diesels around with a quiet and refined nature plus plenty of pulling power in every gear.

It's also quick and can cover the 0-62mph benchmark in 10.6 seconds while still returning 42mpg.

The light and precise steering is great for town driving but does feel a bit vague on the open road. Nevertheless, the CR-V is sprightly for its size and corners well with good body control. The difference between the CR-V and other mud-plugging alternatives is that Honda doesn't claim that it's a fully fledged off-roader. All models have 4x4 'on-demand' - meaning that the four-wheel-drive system becomes active when the wheels sense slippery conditions.

The ride can be caught out by backroad bumps and lumps, but it's fine around town and on the motorway.