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Drive

New Honda CRV

In the category we now commonly refer to as SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles), the Honda CRV is a ‘best seller’
'Getting it right' is the key; making it better is the challenge

To claim that your model is a ‘best seller’ in any category is quite an achievement these days. Competition is so stiff in the car market that the littlest innovation can make the difference on how your car features in the sales charts.


 

Families

In the category we now commonly refer to as SUVs (Sports Utility Vehicles), the Honda CRV is a ‘best seller’ and this latest fourth generation model is the best yet. Since the Honda CRV was originally introduced in 1997, Honda have sold a staggering 750,000 units across Europe as a whole. In the first nine months of last year, it was the world’s best-selling SUV.  Naturally, that makes this car a very important model for the brand, so ‘getting it right’ is the key; making it better is the challenge.

Yet Honda have done it. It’s targeted at families of course, active ones at that, so the fact that the CRV has loads of interior and boot space will keep everyone smiling. External styling improvements should boost its appeal; new wraparound headlights, and a new grille give the car more striking visual appeal. A curving window line, high set tail lights and a deeper angled rear screen complete the exterior styling package. Inside, the dash switchgear has been simplified, primarily via a user friendly 7 inch centrally located touch-screen, and the quality of the interior trim materials improved.

Options

You can purchase your new Honda CRV with either a 1.6 DTEC diesel engine or 2.0 litre  VTEC petrol, in either two or four wheel drive;  the diesel of course being the most economical option of the two. The range is made up of S, SE, SR and the top spec EX model. Ultimate top of the range are the Black and White Special Editions and these come with just about everything. All models have alloy wheels, electrically adjustable seats and heated door mirrors. Climb up the respective spec ladders for sat-nav, Bluetooth, and an ingenious phone app integration package, something that is becoming increasingly popular on our modern day cars.

The technical accessory options on the new CRV are impressive, not least a clever radar scanning system, that not only reads and warns of your proximity to other vehicles ahead, but monitors the behaviours of other drivers in parallel lanes on the motorway, warning you via electronically applied braking to hold back. How’s that for safety! A Car with ‘eyes’.

Better on the road

On the road the new CRV is a significant improvement on the old car. We drove it at the international launch and were impressed most of all by the quicker, sharper, steering, and the new 9 speed semi-automatic gear shift. The new steering makes such a difference to communication and feel in the car. Grip levels are high and safe, but driving refinement (and economy) is assisted greatly by the new 9-speed automatic box. We tried the manual versions too which are fine, but we’d say the nine speeder better rounds off the overall improvement package.  Do note, however, that the two wheel drive version is only available with the manual gearbox. Honda engineers reckon this new car is 6% quieter than the old, and it feels so.

Verdict

With this new popular model, we believe Honda have done the right thing. They’ve studied the sales appeal of this car and made it better. It needed ‘brightening up’ styling-wise, and that’s done, yet the car speaks even louder with the significant improvements in driver refinement and steering control. Popular and really good cars never really change all that much, simply because they have no need. Subtle improvements are the key, and that’s what Honda have done with the new CRV.

- Kevin Haggarthy

 

2.0 i-VTEC EX 5dr Auto Estate

0-62mph:  12.20seconds. Top speed: 110mph. Max power: 150bhp. CO2: 193g/km. Fuel: Petrol. Fuel delivery:  multi point fuel injection. Combined MPG: 33.60mpg. Engine capacity: 1,997cc. Price: £28,370. Warranty: 3 years, 90000 miles. Insurance group: 27. Transmission: AUTO Dimensions (L x W x H): 4574 x 2091 x 1675 mm. Boot space: 442litres. Doors: 5. Driven wheels: 4WD.

Visit Johnsons Honda Oxford

 

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