Fun and power. Two words that, for me, best describe the Honda CR-V. Fun because this all-wheel-drive vehicle can tackle most terrains while the 150bhp 2.2 litre diesel unit has enough oomph to travel from 0 to 60mph in a little over 10 seconds.
I’m testing the top-of-the-range £33,000 plus 2.2-litre four-wheel-drive version. As I look down the side panels I’m instantly struck by how this fourth generation model reminds me of the BMW X5. It looks grander, more striking and capable than its predecessors. I like the polished metal finish. Eldest daughter Harriett likes the way water jets clean the headlights at the push of a button.
In fact this sports utility vehicle (SUV) is fitted with a number of luxury features including the power tailgate that makes light work of closing the boot, extremely easy to fold rear seats and a panoramic glass roof.
My test takes in Dorset, Hampshire and Oxford. A selection of artists have opened their studios and so it is an ideal opportunity to go and visit them. Interestingly the route is pretty much a straight run from Oxford down to Dorset and we are able to take in an average of three studios a day, racking up just over 500 miles and returning at best 39.7mpg at a constant 56mph.
As temperatures drop to minus figures in the winter months it is reassuring to be driving a vehicle that is fitted with permanent four-wheel drive, especially when visiting the remote parts of the country that our trip takes us to. In fact on a number of occasions we find ourselves parking in farmers’ fields to visit the studios and the CR-V makes extremely light work of such requests. Hill descent is a useful feature too enhancing its capabilities when tackling such scenarios.
The black leather interior is comfortable and the power front seats are easy to operate, although the driver’s seat does seem to remember a different position on locking the vehicle. This is no doubt down to me not setting my desired position on the memory function. Similarly my wife and I find the radio frustrating because it refuses to play our favourite station, bypassing it at every request.
The automatic gearbox is smooth. The centre armrests front and back together with the blacked out rear windows add to the hint of luxury.
Parkers, the car experts, say: “The British-built Honda CR-V is now in its fourth generation. The five-seat SUV has been in production since 1995 and has proven incredibly popular for the Japanese manufacturer. Indeed, five million CR-Vs have gone to happy homes around the world. Its blend of practicality, reliability and efficiency has stood it in good stead, but competition from the likes of Mazda’s CX-5, Nissan’s X-Trail and even BMW’s X3 means Honda really has to be on its toes to retain its share of the market.”
Honda CR-V 2.2 iDTEV EX 4WD Auto
New price range: £21,735 – £35,465
Top speed: 118mph
Accessories for the CR-V including roof boxes and roof racks are available from www.roofcarriers.co.uk
Watch the video at www.testdrives.biz