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MOTORS: Honda CR-V feels durable to stand the test of time

By Alan Douglas

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Honda CR-V.
Honda CR-V.

In an ever-changing world, it’s reassuring to know there are some things you can rely on. In my experience one of them is a Honda.

Many years ago I owned a Honda Accord. It was a quite remarkable car not for its performance but for its rock-solid reliability.

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In the three years I had it I can’t remember putting extra air in the tyres, adding oil to the engine or even topping up the windscreen washers.

I regularly forgot to have it serviced because it was so uncomplaining, firing up every time and it never missed a beat over many thousands of miles. I did nothing apart from put petrol in the tank.

It was the most reliable and uncomplaining car I have ever owned and, for me, summed up the engineering and technical brilliance and quality of this Japanese brand.

I’m delighted to say that after a week with one of the company’s latest productions, I got the same feeling that this quality standard has continued since the days of my Honda ownership.

Certainly I didn’t put the CR-V hybrid through the test of time but I’m pretty sure it will continue to give reliable service throughout its life.

My featured test car was the four-wheel-drive hybrid version e:HEV – there’s also a front-wheel-drive plug-in hybrid and both come with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine linked to an electric motor.

It comes with a clever CVT gearbox with seamless changes and in the PHEV it has a towing mode meaning it can haul a trailer weighing up to 1500kg, which certainly covers most standard touring caravans. The HEV test car is less capable, managing only 750kg so if you’re looking for a workhorse, you’ll need the plug-in which has about the same ability as the impressive Kia Sorento or Lexus NX.

Honda CR-V.
Honda CR-V.

The test car was the mid-range Advance version with plenty of comfort and safety features including comprehensively-adjustable seats with a memory function so you should be able to find exactly the right position and get back to it again after someone else has been driving.

The raised driving position is great for visibility and helped by the large side and rear windows and the car feels big inside with stacks of head and legroom for everyone on board. The driver’s 10.2-inch digital display is clear and concise as is the head-up display where you can also configure the information.

Every version of the CR-V comes with parking sensors at the front and back and a rear-view camera but on the Advance test car, that’s upgraded to a 360-degree, all-round version which should keep you out of trouble.

The standard LED headlights with automatic adaptive high beam are excellent, specifically lighting exactly what you need to see at night, without dazzling oncoming drivers or others in front.

Many of the controls are contained in the 9-inch touchscreen, high in the centre of the dash and it’s good that it’s quick to respond. What’s even better is that some of the more frequently-used functions can be accessed through physical buttons lying just below. Other buttons, including volume controls for the BOSE sound system, are on what is a pretty busy steering wheel.

It took me several days before I discovered how to cancel the annoying lane departure feature through a roller button on the wheel and then calling up some of the safety features, which I believe in themselves can actually create a distracting hazard.

On the road, the ride feels firm and secure and the little electric motor does a neat job in providing drive power for short periods or to give a boost to the petrol engine while helping improve economy and reduce emissions. There’s a choice of drive mode, including Sport to provide some extra liveliness.

The build quality throughout is superb and looks as though it will last forever – just like my old Honda.

Honda CR-V.
Honda CR-V.

Honda CR-V 2.0 i-MMD e-HEV Advance AWD CVT

PRICE: £48,995 (£49,990 as tested)

ENGINE: 1993 cc e-HEV petrol + electric motor

POWER: 183bhp

TORQUE: 189 Nm

TOP SPEED: 116mph

0-62mph: 9.5 secs

TOWING CAPACITY: 750kgs (braked)

ECONOMY: 43 mpg combined

CO2 EMISSIONS: 151 g/km

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