Review

Honda CR-V SUV

Price  £22,345 - £35,620

Honda CR-V SUV

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Solid build quality
  • Lots of safety features
  • Excellent reliability record
Cons
  • Not much fun to drive
  • Relatively high running costs
  • Big alloy wheels spoil ride quality

At a glance

The greenest
SE 1.6 i-DTEC (2WD) Navi 5dr £26,740
The cheapest
S 2.0 i-VTEC (2WD) 5dr £22,345
The fastest
SR 1.6 i-DTEC 5dr £30,625
Top of the range
EX 1.6 i-DTEC Honda SENSING Auto 5dr £35,620

“The Honda CR-V is an excellent family car that provides a superb alternative to glitzy German models such as the BMW X1 and Audi Q3.” 

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 version available from 2015 helped to 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. In fact, the CR-V benefits from a class-leading boot due to its overwhelming size and clever seats.

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 Honda CR-V is available with either a 2.0-litre petrol engine or a 1.6-litre diesel engine that comes in a choice of two amounts of power. The less powerful diesel is two-wheel drive and manual gearbox only, but its excellent fuel economy and reasonably quiet running makes it our pick of the range. The more powerful diesel comes with four-wheel drive only. Honda also offers a nine-speed automatic gearbox (replacing the old five-speed version) 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. However, the EX pushes the CR-V into premium brand territory, where it has the difficult task of competing against the likes of the Audi Q3 SUV or the Mercedes GLA-Class SUV. We would recommend the mid-level SE Navi model, priced around £28,000 depending on engine and transmission choice.

All Honda CR-Vs come with alloy wheels, climate control, cruise control, a DAB digital radio, an alarm and a dashboard multi-function display.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3.6 / 5

Honda CR-V is relatively cheap to run, but is outclassed by rivals

Engines, drive & performance

2.8 / 5

The CR-V is more suited to drivers looking for comfort over driving precision

Interior & comfort

2.7 / 5

The Honda CR-V's dashboard is well built, but some features are a little dated

Practicality & boot space

4.2 / 5

SUV body style makes the Honda CR-V very practical; four-wheel-drive models are good tow cars

Reliability & safety

4.2 / 5

The Honda CR-V is a great example of Honda’s renowned durability and use of safety tech

What the others say

3.5 / 5
based on 2 reviews
4 / 5
"The new Honda CR-V moves the game on considerably from the car it replaces, offering a safe, comfortable and surefooted drive. On paper, the soft-roader stacks up financially, with low running costs and lots more kit than in its rivals. The CR-V is a no-brainer for families, too, as it provides so much space for the driver, passengers and all their luggage. Add in a dose of extra refinement, and it could be a winner."
3 / 5
"The Honda CR-V gives you masses of space, great versatility and relaxed driving manners. However, there are plenty of other SUVs that offer more equipment and superior refinement for less money."
What owners say 
4.3371428571429
4.3 /5 based on 350 reviews
69%
 of people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
21 Apr 2015
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