Parkers overall rating: 2.9 out of 5 2.9
  • Dashboard is well laid out and logical
  • Not the most exciting interior
  • Easy to get comfy with good visibility  

How’s the quality and layout?

Jump behind the wheel of the CR-V and you’re not met by the most exciting dashboard out there. But it’s a very logically laid-out interior with plenty of space and good ergonomics.

It’s light and airy, it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position and there’s a commanding view of the road thanks to its high seating and good visibility.

It feels well-built too, with solid, hard-wearing materials and plenty of softer-touch plastics higher on the dash, making it feel good quality and like it’ll withstand the rigours of family life. It’s just a shame the infotainment feels so old.

The good news is that Honda has improved the quality of the steering wheel controls compared with the Civic, and has fitted a much more useful volume knob in place of the touch sensitive ‘buttons’ next to the infotainment screen.

You won’t find a traditional gear selector. Instead choosing gears is done via button pushing. These can be a bit strange at first, and in all honesty they don’t save any space or feel any more intuitive than a regular lever would be.

Infotainment and tech

There’s a digital instrument cluster like you’ll find in the Honda Civic (that doesn’t look as upmarket as those found in VW Group cars) and a large touchscreen media system which also lags (literally) behind rivals’ offerings.

The instrument cluster may not look too glossy but it does actually work rather well – it trades off glitz for legibility, and even if you’re a staunch advocate of traditional dials you’re likely to find these easy to read and make sense of.

We can’t really say the same of the touchscreen infotainment system. Compared with rivals, especially those from the VW Group or Hyundai/Kia, it’s desperately clunky. The interface feels old-fashioned and the touchscreen isn’t especially responsive, while the built-in Garmin sat-nav is laboured.

The good news is that Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity come as standard so you can easily override the factory-fit infotainment. Top-spec EX models also receive a wireless charging bay below the centre console. It’s infuriatingly designed in a way that means if you commit to a roundabout a bit too quickly your phone will move around and stop charging.

Is it comfortable?

  • Hugely compliant at motorway speeds
  • Seats big and comfy
  • Avoid big wheels

As a family car, the CR-V needs to be comfortable and relaxed, and it fulfils this brief well. In the front, the seats are supportive and comfortable, with plenty of adjustment for both the driver and passenger. The armrest between the seats isn’t as comfortable along the edges (this sounds petty, but it’s noticeable when you lean your elbow on the edge), but slide it forwards and it’s much easier to get along with.

There’s plenty of room to stretch out in if you’re in the middle row, with individual seats that slide and recline, while overall refinement is very impressive. Not a lot of wind and road noise make it into the cabin, meaning longer journeys can be relaxed. It’s only when you demand a bit of extra pace from the CR-V that the engine disturbs the peace.

The CR-V rides well, too. It’s refined and has a sophisticated suspension system that makes it smooth on broken surfaces.

As long as you don’t go for a car with larger wheels, the CR-V remains composed on bad road surfaces, and deals with larger imperfections in the road admirably.