What is it?
The Honda CR-V is already one of the most popular compact SUVs in the world with more than 750,000 have been sold in Europe since it was launched in 1997.
For 2015 the CR-V gains a comprehensive range of enhancements, including a high power 1.6 diesel engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission that delivers an unrivalled power-to-consumption ratio, world-first safety technology (intelligent-Adaptive Cruise Control), City- Brake Active System as standard on all models, all-new connectivity and infotainment system, as well as enhanced suspension and NVH measures for a more refined yet dynamic drive.
Already known for its practicality, the recent facelift of the latest fourth-generation model has given the CR-V more of a premium feel without sacrificing anything in the way of usability.
On the road
As soon as you get behind the wheel of the 2015 CR-V, you get the impression that it’s been designed with practicality and comfort in mind, and there’s nothing wrong that of course.
Around town, the potholes that are now a regular sight on our roads are dealt with in an appropriate manner and the CR-V felt quite at home.
There's a fair bit of fun to be had with the slick 6-speed manual gearbox along twisty country lanes, and once your inner Jenson Button takes over, grip from the 4wd system keeps you on the road, or so I’m told!
As the CR-V’s driving position gives you a good view of the road, the soft suspension and well-weighted steering makes long and interminable motorway trips in the CR-V easy to enjoy. It's quiet to, no matter what type of road you're on, the CR-V always left me feeling composed and... well, just happy, the Honda designers and engineers have worked hard to create a nice environment for its driver and passengers.
Although it’s a comfy vehicle, off-road and along some local green-lanes I got the distinct impression that it preferred that I stick to the tarmac. Of course, the CR-V isn’t an off-roader in the real sense of the word, but it coped admirably on a friends wet and soggy field.
There were a few instances when it lost traction, especially when it lifted a wheel or 2 off the ground, but the trick here was to use a little momentum. That said, on wet, slippery grass and loose stones, the CR-V didn’t falter.
Inside, the CR-V is incredibly practical, the dashboard has a nice layout, everything is straight forward, easily understood and within easy reach. There’s absolutely loads of random cubbyhole spaces for your tat, in fact, I think it’s the most tat friendly vehicle I’ve ever driven!
Although the seats are nice and firm, they’re a tad short in length and width for my liking. I’m not saying that I have a fat arse, but I have to lean on my right bum cheek to be able to fasten my seatbelt!
Unusually the manual gear stick sits on the lower part of the dash, a bit like the Mercedes Vito, but it works really well for a comfortable gear change.
The CR-V passed my ‘back seat challenge’ of getting in the back and eating lunch whilst writing something, there’s a great amount of space for rear seat passengers with long legs.
You need to be careful when putting stuff in the back, because of its cavernous 1,669 litres of boot space, if you fall in you’ll be lost for at least a week.
The Honda CR-V is one of the most practical cars in the compact SUV class, and it’s the small things that make a difference. Take the Magic Seats as an example. Flick a switch in the back and the back seat bases instantly fold upwards whilst the backs fold down to create a huge flat load bay. Don’t let me forget to mention that the wide tailgate opens lower than the previous generation too, making loading larger items an easy process.
Engines ‘n’ transmissions
The 2015 CR-V comes with a choice of either the 2ltr petrol (153bhp) and 2 versions of the 1.6ltr turbodiesel (118bhp & 158bhp). Although we haven’t driven the petrol we reckon with lower CO2 emissions and far greater fuel economy the diesels make far more sense.
Depending on your choice of engine you can either have a 6-speed manual or a 9-speed automatic gearbox, and of course either two or four-wheel drive.
After racking my brain I came to the surprising conclusion that this 2015 CR-V is actually the very first Honda that I’ve driven. It reminded me of the Freelander 2 in many ways, it’s a cracking SUV that will serve you well, but as a petrol-head it didn’t inspire me.
Having said that, the CR-V is a very practical family SUV that offers a lot of versatility, and over the week it averaged 49mpg, which isn’t too shabby considering there were motorway blasts, short commutes and plenty of off-roading!