HONDA CR-V e:HEV: upmarket move for a winning formula

THE racetracks of the world are a happy place of late for Max and his Honda powered Red Bull colleagues, and so are the car showrooms of the Japanese company for people buying their wares.

Take the latest CR-V – the epitome of all that’s good in a family sized SUV and propelled by their 2.0 litre hybrid petrol engine.

It’s a responsive unit and plenty of torque equals swift forward movement, safe overtaking and fairly relaxed cruising.

It’s a winning formula that has found many, many homes worldwide in those 28 years since it made its debut in 1995.

Take a glance at the traffic around you at any given time and it’s a fairly safe bet there will be a CR-V in one of its many guises still providing its owner with sterling service.

The latest variant has a chunky look and comes with that valuable commodity that families crave in a car – loads of space.

The aggressive look is a definite improvement on its predecessor and instantly gives the CR-V a bit more appeal and less anonymity, though the styling changes over the years have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary.

Its biggest plus point for me is the fact that hidden inside that smart exterior is a very useful sized boot – 497 litres with the seats in place and up to 1,692 litres with all the seats folded.

It’s got a wide opening and the loading height is low, though the power tailgate doesn’t quite extend out of “ouch, *@*&!” territory, so big blokes beware. And big babes too, for that matter.

In the back there’s more than enough room to allow three adults to travel in comfort and with a flat floor they can stretch their legs without obstructions.

And the front cabin doesn’t disappoint either, with above average head, leg and shoulder room and a good all round view through the glass. It could do with a bigger and more up to date sat nav system but that’s one for a future upgrade…

CR-V has always found favour for its car-like driving dynamics. There’s a bit of roll but nothing that makes you want to grip the wheel tighter for reassurance, because everything hidden away underneath is doing what it’s supposed to. The brakes are good, the e-CVT gearbox does its thing efficiently but it’ll let you know its working hard if you’re too heavy on the accelerator when overtaking.

But with that electric power available, you’ve got instant oomph to power away from lights and junctions.

There’s no gearshift, just four drive-mode buttons to press on the centre console (Park, Drive, Neutral and Reverse. Pulling away in near-silence adds a touch of calm to your trip – before you hit the traffic.

Honda’s commitment to hybrid powertrains means there’s no diesel available – the hybrid is the only option.

When CRV first appeared back in 1995, it was the year appliances were first sold with a pre-wired plug. Honda certainly plugged a gap in the market with the CR-V too…….


Honda CR-V EX 4WD

Price: £40,910 (£41,560 as tested)
Engine: 2.0 litre, four cylinder, petrol hybrid
Power: 143bhp (133bhp electric)
Torque: 129lb/ft (232lb/ft electric)
Transmission: e-CVT
Top speed: 112mph
0-62mph: 9.2 seconds
Economy: 39.2mpg
CO2 emissions: 163g/km

© 2023

CR-V Sportline