Reviewed for you: Honda CR-V

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20 Jun 2019 by smartleasing

The Honda CR-V manages to duck under $30,000 for the first time with this new generation model. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

What’s the price and what do you get?

Honda recently announced a price-leading update for the CR-V range and that is the new entry-level Vi variant which lists from $28,290+ORC. From there you move through the VTi, VTi-S, VTi-E7, VTi-L in the two-drive line-up and the VTi-S and VTi-LX in the all-wheel-drive line-up. Pricing now runs from the Vi at $28,290 up to $44,290+ORC.

Depending on the variant, you get things like a full-size spare, dual-zone climate control, seven-seats, sunroof, folding door mirrors, keyless entry, power outlets, rain-sensing wipers, leather interior and much more. Unless, oif course,  you choose the entry-level Vi variant which is 2WD only and gets its own unique 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine instead of the 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine the rest of the range gets.

What’s the interior like?

No matter the variant, the dashboard design is the same, although the infotainment screen in the entry Vi variant is just 6.5-inches whereas all other variants get a 7.0-inch screen. This offers Apple and Android connectivity.

The dashboard is well laid out although at first glance it looks as if it’s been mounted too low, but that changes once you slip behind the wheel and realise everything’s been placed perfectly. No matter the variant, there’s a fair bit of hard scratchy plastic around the cabin but there’s plenty of contrasting trims to keep it looking interesting.

The storage space inside the car is astonishing although a little too ‘on-display’. With an electric handbrake freeing up space, the centre console storage can be adjusted to the point where it’ll swallow an A4-sized laptop. Beyond this, there’s room to stash your phone, bottles and more in various cubbies and hidey holes around the cabin.

What’s the passenger space like?

The front seats are broad but comfortable, and there’s good adjustment on them so that drivers of all shapes and sizes will be able to find a comfortable driving position. Over in the back is where things get really good because there’s plenty of foot, leg and headroom in the back of the CR-V, and the large glasshouse (large windows) makes the back seat feel bright and airy. You’ll fit three adults across the back and with directional rear air vents, everyone will be comfortable.

If you choose a seven-seat variant then the third row should be left for teenagers only. Anyone around six-feet tall will struggle for leg and headroom – seven-seat variants feature a sliding second row to free up a little more legroom in that third row.

What’s the boot like?

Standard five-seat variants offer a boot with 522 litres of storage space; fold down the second-row seats and this expands to 1084 litres. It’s worth noting that Honda measures the volume up to the bottom of the windows whereas most car makers measure to the roof. If you’ve got a seven-seater you’ll have 150 litres with all rows used, and 967 litres with the third- and second-row folded.

What’s the performance like?

Until recently, there was only one engine available, a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine making 140kW at 5600rpm and 240Nm of torque at 2,000-5,000rpm. This is mated to a CVT and while some groan when they hear that, they shouldn’t because the CVT in the CRV is good and even better in the entry-level Vi. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine in the entry Vi makes 113kW at 6,500rpm and 189Nm of torque at 4300rpm.

What’s it like on the road?

No matter the variant, the CR-V is comfortable and quiet with good steering response and body control when rushed through corners. It might not be quite as dynamic as, say, a Mazda CX-5 when cornering but, around town it’s more comfortable than the Mazda. This is a medium-sized family SUV that’s enjoyable to drive whether you’re out of town for a weekend away or running the kids between school, home, the shops, work and sport.

What about safety features?

The entry-level Vi gets airbags, traction and stability controls and reversing camera but no parking sensors and or active safety features. These are available as a package, called HondaSensing which includes forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, autonomous emergency braking, and lane-keep assist – it’s a must. That it’s available now as a package is good because at the launch in 2017 Honda had said it wouldn’t be able to offer these features as a pack – they were standard on the top-spec models only. But with many other carmakers fitting this sort of active safety as standard, hopefully it won’t be too long before Honda makes HondaSensing standard, because in all other areas this is an outstanding family vehicle.

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