Honda CR-V – Under the radar!

2019 CR-V hybrid

There are some cars that operate under the radar, you can forget they’re out there and this is arguably the case with Honda’s CR-V. It isn’t exciting, it’s not head turning and it’s certainly not going to set your motoring senses aflame.

What it does though is provide ultra-reliable, comfortable and well equipped family transport. The build quality is superb, in fact it puts some premium models to shame, and even the lead-in model comes extremely well equipped.

You get leather upholstery, heated front seats windscreen wiper de-icer, auto wipers, auto LED lights, powered, heated, reverse tilting, folding door mirrors, parking sensors front and rear, cornering lights, auto high beam headlights, auto dimming rear view mirror, adaptive cruise control, dual zone climate control, navigation with Car Play and Android Auto and a plethora of safety kit that’s not overly intrusive like so many modern cars.

The Honda comes with a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol unit that’s mated to a twin electric motor hybrid system that recharges on the move. The system automatically uses the most efficient drive whether electric, hybrid or engine. It’s a perfect compromise for those who see having to plug-in your hybrid or electric car as a bit of a faff. Inside it’s remarkably spacious and there’s plenty of room for the family to stretch out, not to mention stow all their luggage.

The range starts from €41,558/£36,580 and there are three trim levels with two and four-wheel-drive and just one 2.0-litre engine. As with most electric and hybrid vehicles the transmission system is automatic, however the Honda uses a single fixed-gear ratio creating a direct connection between moving components. Otherwise known as e-CVT.

While very smooth under hard acceleration – the 2WD version reaches 62 mph in 8.6 seconds, so impressive for a low powered large car – it is noisy. This is in direct contrast to lower speed city driving and cruising when the CR-V is impressively quiet and refined. The transmission and drive modes – EV, Econ and Sport – are all switch operated rather than by levers and make for a compact and easy to use driving environment.

On the road it’s a genuinely nice drive and surprisingly nimble, the ergonomics are first class with a touch screen and instruments of excellent clarity. It may be discreet and sensible, as opposed to so many models that are overtly bold and-in-your-face, but that’s the secret of its success. It’s a touch of class and class doesn’t have to announce its presence.

Facts at a Glance

  • Model: Honda CR-V SR 4WD
  • Engine: 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder petrol with self-charging hybrid system
  • Gears: e-CVT automatic
  • Price: €42,695/£37,580
  • Performance: 0-100 kmh (62 mph) 9 seconds/Maximum Speed 180 kph (112 mph)
  • Economy: 7.0 l/100km/39.8 mpg
  • Emissions: 161 g/km

Model tested was UK-specification and equipment levels and prices may vary in other markets.

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Written by

Mark Slack

If you're a petrol head you're in good hands with Mark Slack, whose expert take on the latest car releases will help you make your next purchase.