The Honda CR-V is sensibly priced, well-equipped and has space for seven people, but it’s no head-turner inside and out, and plenty will question why there’s no diesel option
The Honda CR-V is a sensibly-priced SUV that is a new model for 2018. The new CR-V looks like a more muscular version of the current car – the biggest difference is the front grille and headlights.
Otherwise it’s very similar in profile, but looks wider and more modern from behind. It’s slightly bigger in all dimensions than the old car, and has 38mm better ground clearance for what Honda calls true off-road potential.
The interior is a step up in both quality and technology compared with the old car. Its traditional rev-counter and speedo dials are replaced by a 7.0-inch digital set of dials as standard, and another 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen sits on the dashboard from SE trim and up.
You get the same high-mounted gear selector as in the old car – which adds a surprising extra element of comfort to daily driving – and soft-touch materials on the dashboard.
There’s bigger news in the back of the new CR-V – you can now add an optional third row of seats, turning this into an ever-popular seven-seater SUV. Honda claims that access to these rearmost seats is decent, as is kneeroom – helped no doubt by the new CR-V’s wider and longer body.
Other handy features include rear seats that ‘dive down’ when you fold them, so you needn’t push them into the boot floor which is handy when you have your hands full of shopping.
From 2019 the CR-V will be available as a petrol-electric hybrid, which combines two electric motors with a 2.0-litre petrol engine. Honda hasn’t released claimed fuel economy figures yet, but insists this setup can shift intelligently and smoothly between electric-only and petrol-assisted driving.
The seven-seat SUV class has many contenders, but the CR-V’s keen pricing and good reliability record will help it. It’s bland looks, however, probably won’t
Until the hybrid reaches these shores the CR-V’s main engine choice will be a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine available with a six-speed manual or CVT automatic gearbox. The former gets 173hp and the latter 193hp, but the hybrid and both 1.5-litre petrol versions will be available with an optional four-wheel-drive system.
Beyond engines, there are four trim levels to consider – S, SE, SR and EX. The best bet for most people will be mid-level SE, which gets LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, climate control, a rear view camera as well as parking sensors front and rear and Honda’s 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android auto.
Whichever CR-V trim you choose, you’ll benefit from plenty of safety equipment. Automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, hill start assist and traffic sign recognition feature on every car.