The Honda CR-V is a road-biased SUV that's better suited to driving on tarmac than off it. The car looks good and has a classy interior, boasting Honda's legendary build quality and lots of equipment to make it a rival for cars such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.
As with much of the competition, Honda offers the CR-V with either four-wheel drive for extra grip and some off-road ability, or two-wheel drive for added efficiency. It's not as economical as some rivals, such as the Nissan Qashqai, however the facelifted CR-V (due to be released in spring 2015) should address this thanks to a new diesel engine and a nine-speed automatic gearbox.
The interior of the CR-V is spacious, with a big boot, and it also has rear seats that fold down at the pull of a handle to offer a completely flat load area.
Making it even more family-friendly is an extensive range of safety features. These include automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and active cruise control. Lane-keeping assistance gently steers the car back in lane if it starts to drift, while active cruise control automatically maintains a safe distance to the car in front, before accelerating to a pre-set cruising speed when the way is clear.
The current Honda CR-V is available with either a 2.0-litre petrol engine or one of two diesels – a 1.6-litre and a 2.2-litre. The smaller diesel engine's excellent fuel economy and reasonably quiet running makes it our pick of the range. Honda also offers a five-speed automatic gearbox as well as the standard six-speed manual transmission.
The range starts with the basic S model, then moves up to SE trim, which has all the equipment you could ever need. Next up is the SR model, which adds a leather interior, while the range-topping EX has an equipment list to rival an executive saloon's. All Honda CR-Vs come with alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control, a DAB digital radio, an alarm and a dashboard multi-function display.
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