Car Review - Honda CRV


Our man behind the wheel, Syd Taylor, has a highland fling in the latest Honda CRV and is smitten by some rugged good looks

Heading your way now and closing in fast on the Goldilocks zone of motoring perfection, the latest Honda CRV offers a vehicle that’s not too big, not too small, but just right. It’s not quite a fairytale come true, but comes within a barley sugar stick of hitting the sweet spot. The new Honda CRV is quite simply a car for all seasons and all reasons.

Five million have been sold since 1995 and now the winning formula has been honed in the fourth generation, with significant improvements in every area and improved efficiency overall. Slightly smaller on the outside yet uncompromised inside where quality is even higher, it’s a noticeably better vehicle that may tempt current CRV owners to change and entice new ones.

It’s a lean machine that doesn’t stint on grace and comfort: a rapid mover that knows all the tricks. The extensive range starts at £21,395 and rises to £32,650, with petrol and diesel variants in S, SE, SR and EX specification levels. For the first time in Europe, the new CRV is available with a choice of either two or four wheel drive on the 2.0i VTEC model - but this writer cannot comprehend why one would want such a reliable, capable and reassuring vehicle to be cut to 2WD when its very essence is the security and capability that 4WD offers.

Two engines form the basis for propulsion and the 155PS 2.0 litre petrol unit gives variants a combined fuel consumption in the range of 36.7mpg to 39.2mpg depending on whether its manual or automatic.

The diesel for the range is the 150PS 2.2i-DTEC which is much more ‘torquey’ and in your correspondents opinion better suited to the CRVs capabilities - and just remember: nobody does a diesel like Honda. In this installation it offers cutting edge sophistication and smoothness plus all the performance you’ll need. A near 120mph should be enough for anyone these days.

I sped to Scotland to road test the CRV on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. As I trudged towards it through the purple heather I was struck by its rugged good looks - a veritable Sean Connery of cars. Mindful of the fact that the nights were fast drawing in I took to the road as a low sun saluted me across the rippling waters and was impressed at once by its dynamic qualities.

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Power steering that’s light, smooth and precise, traction to suit every condition - but best of all a much quieter and smoother vehicle thanks to improved aerodynamics and better suspension. It simply flew along the metalled highway, handling the switchback rising and falling contours of the Scottish roads with total aplomb - and in total safety.

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