Honda CR-V bolder than before
The Comfortable Runabout Vehicle or Compact Recreational Vehicle (CR-V), depending on which country you are in, has been a hit since its inception in 1995, when Honda decided to introduce their first SUV to the market. It had only one trim level, with a high ground clearance, a roomy interior and a reliable 2-litre engine. In short order, the vehicle grew in popularity and now we are at the fifth generation.
I made no qualms about my dislike of the rear design of the fourth generation, as I felt like the design language for the front and back were different. So, naturally, I was pleasantly surprised by the design of the current model.
The character lines are sharper, having a bolder effect and giving the vehicle a bulkier look.
It starts with the front facia, which incorporates chrome accents and angular patterns that integrate seamlessly into the LED headlights. This creates an overall silhouette that gives the vehicle a muscular look, as it has the appearance, from a width standpoint, of a larger SUV than its registered class.
Round the back, is a prominent ‘L’ shaped brake light, which protrudes from the rear to give it a 3D effect.
Sitting in comfort
The model I tested was the fully loaded package, which was obvious once I went inside, as the wood grain accents ran from the doors to the dashboard and the centre console. The majority of the interior is covered with leather, which has a ‘soft-touch’ effect, earning it some points where elegance is concerned.
The gear lever is mounted below the infotainment screen and is separated from the rest of the centre console, which runs above the transmission tunnel. I am still getting accustomed to this design, as it kinda feels like a ‘soccer mom’ minivan characteristic, but this is just an innocuous peeve.
Above this, is a 7-inch display touch screen, which also doubles as a screen for the Dual-Zone Climate Control. Switching between screens may take a little getting used to, but, once this is done, it works seamlessly.
On the ceiling of the vehicle is a panoramic sunroof, which comes with this trim level and is ideal for usage during the evening when the sun is going down.
The driver seat comes with two-position memory and 12-way power adjustment, including 4-way power lumbar support. What was most welcoming was how soft the seats felt and how comfortable the headrest felt. All these things give a more welcoming experience, especially on long journeys. The rear doors have a large opening angle, which allows for easy access, regardless of the size of the person, or what he or she is carrying. The seats can also recline and have a 60/40 folding option to increase the cargo volume.
Handling the road well
I drove this through Junction, St Mary to get a good feel of the suspension system and, in true Honda fashion, it didn’t disappoint. The chassis feels really stable, with just enough flexibility to manoeuvre the corners, while the Macpherson Strut Front Suspensions absorb the potholes.
It comes with a 1.5 litre turbo engine mated to a CVT transmission, which gives a modest performance, especially when compared to the Honda Accord with the same size engine. There is an ‘Eco’ mode to save on fuel, which I advise using, as it does have a tendency to gulp gas in regular mode.
Honda has placed major priority on safety and it shows with the CR-V, as multiple options are here to prevent accidents. There is Honda Lanewatch, which is activated whenever the driver signals left, as a small camera, housed in the side mirror, displays a wide field of view of the lane. There are also sensors throughout the vehicle that give audible and visual warning whenever something is close to the vehicle. This also works in conjunction with the infotainment system, as the volume of the music is automatically lower whenever the vehicle approaches an object.
It’s hard to go wrong with the CR-V, as it has been tried and tested throughout the years and provides one of the most comfortable rides in its class. At this point, it will come down to preference for buyers, as it can go toe to toe with the best of them.
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Price of tested model: 8.295 mil (Fully loaded with leather)
Price Range: 6.65 mil
Engine: 1.5 turbo
Torque: 177 lb ft
Transmission: CVT, AWD
Fuel tank: 57 litres
Body Type: compact crossover SUV
Competition: Toyota RAV 4, Mazda CX-5, Kia Sportage, Nissan X Trail
Power tailgate with hands-free access
Fixed panoramic roof
Vehicle provided by ATL Automotive Ltd, 1876-754-0013, email: email@example.com, atlautomotive.com