Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Honda's excellent 2.2 i-CTDi diesel engine is carried over unchanged from the old CR-V to the new model. It develops 140bhp and is good enough to haul the CR-V from 0-62mph in 10.3 seconds while the pulling power is easily exploitable with its slick, short-shifting six-speed gearbox. The engine seems a little noisier than in the Honda Accord, and perhaps not as refined as in the RAV4 diesel, but it is still a strong performer.

The petrol engine has improved fuel consumption over the old 2.0-litre. Like the diesel, it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, but manages the 0-62mph sprint 0.6 seconds faster than the old model. The 150bhp petrol is also available with a five-speed automatic transmission, with very little difference in terms of fuel consumption.

The CR-V may be labelled as an off-roader but it's only truly designed to stay on tarmac. It does have a four-wheel drive system but this drives the front wheels the majority of the time - only sending power to the rear when needed. However this is useful if you regularly tow or have to deal with muddy tracks and wet fields. But the CR-V was benchmarked against Honda's own Accord Tourer and models like the Volkswagen Passat estate for ride and handling - and so it's real forte is on-road driving.

It corners superbly for a 4x4, thanks to a lower centre of gravity than traditional off roaders, and feels composed and reassuring. However the stiffer suspension does mean the ride suffers - it's not especially smooth or comfortable over rough surfaces. The petrol engine has an electric power steering system, which can have an 'artificial' feel, while the diesel comes with a more traditional hydraulic power steering set-up.