A very adaptable vehicle that makes an impressive family vehicle.
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“It’s surprising how large the CR-V is if it’s correctly packed,” smirks my wife as we head away from Suffolk.
She’s a cheeky girl sometimes. I had spent ages loading the Honda up for our trip away but only minutes into the journey Harriett (3) and Heidi (1) were busy helping themselves to the provisions for our self catering break. My wife was keen to nip this in the bud on our return journey. And of course she did by loading the vehicle herself. I’m not complaining though, it gave me a rest.
I must say though that this 2WD SUV always surprises me. It must be the third or fourth time I have had the privilege of driving this model and this version is by far the best of them all in my opinion. And that’s not just because my wife can load it up better than me. You see this version is a diesel example and the 1.6-litre is claimed to return over 60mpg. Despite very careful light-footed driving I have only been able to see it return 54mpg. That could be due to the amount of luggage we are carrying. Anyway this is still a very respectable figure for such a large vehicle. It means that it will easily travel 600 miles on a full tank. Equipped with both cruise control and a speed limiter it is easy to drive sedately.
Travelling all the way to Suffolk gives me ample opportunity to put it through its paces. Driving rain and heavy winds are certainly challenging but the CR-V takes it all in its stride. The six speed manual box is a little clunky but very precise so no complaints. The front seats have ample lumbar support too, which is very welcome especially when staying in a holiday cottage that has the most uncomfortable beds I have come across for some time resulting in me suffering from prolonged and persistent backache. “But more padding on the actual seat would be beneficial over a long journey,” suggests my wife.
The CR-V has an enormous boot meaning that we can travel with our tandem pushchair and there is plenty of room in the back for our two daughters and luggage. The useful rubber cover inside the boot means that no matter how filthy the pushchair is the inside of the boot remains clean as you can see in the video at testdrives.biz.
It is helpful that there is a roof mounted mirror that allows the driver and their passenger to check on the rear occupants (which is how we saw the antics of our daughters in the first place).
The chunky tyres cope well with off-roading, not that I was expecting to do much of this but in this part of the world there are a surprising number of potholes especially when approaching the plentiful free car parks near the coast such as at Aldeburgh and Walberswick. My wife and children would appreciate softer suspension that soaks up these bumps in such situations.
The wing mirrors fold electrically and when reversing they drop automatically, if near a kerb, which is extremely helpful so that you don’t clip the kerb, not that it matters much with such large wheels. There is also a useful camera for reversing, which appears in the central display. It’s equipped with all the usual mod-cons including air conditioning, all round electric windows and much to my wife’s pleasure heated front seats as you can see in the video at testdrives.biz.
Pearlescent paint, a £500 option, really sets this vehicle off and even those in much more expensive Range Rovers can’t help but taking a second look. It’s a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde vehicle too because one minute it will be happily pottering around the quiet Suffolk country lanes and the next minute it will just as competently be travelling at speed in the outside lane of the motorway regardless of wind conditions. A very adaptable vehicle that makes an impressive family vehicle.
Honda CR-V 2012 onwards
Facts at a glance
Price used: £14,986 - £30,550
Price new: £21,995 - £36,245
Top speed: 113mph
Watch the video at www.testdrives.biz