Here’s a handy tip: there’s a great way you can get drivers to improve their economy…

30 APRIL 2007
Mileage 2689
Forecast CPM 38.3p
Actual CPM 42.0p
Want drivers to improve their mpg? Twiddle the onboard computer display to show real-time mpg – a graphic EQ-style bar – then request a steady right foot and see that average mpg rise.
18 APRIL 2007
Mileage 2598
Forecast CPM 38.5p
Actual CPM 42.0p
Three things make this compact 4×4 great for in city: the high-up driving position, the reversing camera, and the one-touch folding wing mirrors button to minimise the chances of side scrapes.
4 APRIL 2007
Mileage 2598
Forecast CPM 38.5p
Actual CPM 42.0p
Back to the urban sprawl after a few longer journeys, our average economy has dropped from 36.8 to 34.1mpg bumping our actual CPM to 42.0p.
21 MARCH 2007
Mileage 2466
Forecast CPM 38.0p
Actual CPM 40.4p
Because the CR-V doesn’t look like a 4×4, a 4×4-owning a neighbour asked if it was a hybrid. “No, but it’s one of the cleanest small 4x4s going.” We think she’s a little envious.

Main Report

The last CR-V never did it for me, with its not quite right boxy styling, limited engines and late-to-the-diesel-party status.

Still, when Honda did finally make its own diesel it was definitely worth the wait. The resulting 2.2 i-CTDi that carries on into the much more curvaceous and stylish new CR-V [1] makes the vehicle simply one of the best diesel small 4x4s around for flexible driving. It doesn’t stutter and stall around town, is smooth and quiet on long motorway hauls, and has great economy and emissions.


The frugal unit offers 43.5mpg and 173g/km CO2 in the all-new CR-V, figures that are well within the territory of similar-sized non-4×4 Hondas using the same engine, namely the FR-V (44.8/167g/km) and Accord Tourer (47.9mpg/155g/km). For the record, it also emits less CO2 than all petrol-engined versions of the Vauxhall Zafira (which was a mini-MPV last time I looked) and is close to the best diesel-engined Zafira’s 167g/km.

That 173g/km puts the CR-V into a 24% BIK bracket, band E for road tax and well away from the top band of any future high emission (tacitly SUV-hating) taxes like graduated road charging, parking permits and possible variable congestion charging too.

Beyond the solid environmental case, it’s doesn’t hog too much road space – it’s smaller than a Ford Mondeo – and even has a three-star rating for pedestrian safety from EuroNCAP as well as five stars for occupant and four stars for child seat safety. That’s the same pedestrian test the Chrysler Voyager still gets ‘no stars’ for – but very few green protesters give that big MPV ‘the poor vehicle choice’ sticker. I think they must be ‘shapist’.

Our particular CR-V is the top of the range EX with the Advanced Safety Pack, which includes the sort of gadgetry normally reserved for upmarket luxury saloons, such as lane departure alerts and a ‘collision mitigation braking systems’ where the car will brake to reduce crash severity if you fail to. The car also comes with lights that see round corners and adaptive cruise control. To be fair, we haven’t felt the benefit of most of that tech yet and it does add £2000 to the basic EX top spec price of £24,700 – pricey for a small 4×4 – but they should make for interesting testing for our six-month evaluation.

Even in ‘basic’ EX spec you still get an excellent colour DVD satnav, rear reversing camera (super useful in tight parking spots) [2], leather seats, dual climate control and a clever split-level capacious boot (556-955 litres) [3].

It’s early days on the economy but our real world 36.8mpg seems good going for now. And we’ve reported no nasty stares from eco types in the city as yet. Maybe its rounder shape [4] has people thinking it’s one of those ‘harmless’ mini-MPVs. Things are looking up.