Honda CR-V: Sat-navs, screens and stereos

  • We lift the lid on our CR-V's multimedia systems
  • Touchscreen interface is clear and works well
  • A few small gripes prevent it from getting perfect ten

Our Honda CR-V’s trim level is called ES-T. While your guess is as good as mine about what ES stands for, the T bit denotes that it’s got a touchscreen navigation and multimedia system installed.

But is it any good?

Well, as a navigation system, it’s fairly idiot-proof. Good job too, frankly. It’s simple enough to enter road names and postcodes using the QWERTY keyboard which comes up on the touchscreen, and once dialled in it gets you to your destination very accurately.

One gripe I do have – and it’s the same with most sat-nav systems – is that to get to Heathrow Airport for example I have to go down the A1 towards the M25. It’s far quicker to cut across to the M1 via the A421, but no nav system will recognise that as the quicker route. They all suggest continuing down the A1 all the way, presumably because parts of it are motorway and thus the system thinks it’s quicker.

Of course, the remedy for that is to check the map before setting off, but I think you should do that regardless when you don’t know where you’re going.

Another small bugbear is the warning about not using it while driving that you get when switching the car on for the first time – you have to press ‘OK’ every time, which is slightly annoying. I’d prefer you got it before entering a destination.

I do like the ‘Map’ button though, which instantly displays a map of the surrounding area when pushed. It means you feel orientated, and I’ve taken to having it on at all times even when there’s no route programmed into the system.

Going home is simple too. One push of the ‘Home’ button on the destination screen and the Honda points you in the right direction with absolutely no delay or hassle.

The Bluetooth connectivity is something which also works faultlessly. Not only is it simple to make calls using a combination of the steering wheel-mounted controls and the touchscreen, but it will also play music on my mobile which negates the need for an extra MP3 player. It’ll even remember what you were listening to and continue playing it after you have a break from driving.

It’s a shame the speakers aren’t quite as capable as in my previous long-term test car, the A200 CDI. That had a set of upgraded ones which really performed well, and the CR-V’s conventional ones simply aren’t in the same ballpark. I don’t listen to music that loud very often, but when I do I like it to be properly noisy.

My USB hard drive doesn’t work perfectly either when plugged into the Honda. For some reason it can’t find all of the music I have on there, which is a shame as it doesn’t recognise some of my favourites.

In all though it’s a perfectly functional machine which I’ve really come to like.

Mileage: 3,181

Fuel economy: 47.0mpg (calc)