Our Fleet Test Drive Honda CR-V - final report
21 August 2014
Six months with Honda's 119g/km CR-V was enjoyable, if a little lacking in pulse-racing excitement
There's nothing wrong with being sensible, and the Honda CR-V, complete with 120hp 1.6-litre diesel engine, is certainly that.
The sub-120g/km off-roader's capabilities off-road only amount to improved ground clearance thanks to it being front-wheel drive to keep emissions down, but it's a good-looking and practical big vehicle that fitted perfectly with my lifestyle, arriving a few weeks after the birth of my second child.
The huge 589-litre boot, flexible interior, comfort, refinement and great fuel economy mean far more to me these days than performance or near-the-limit handling, and that's where the Honda excels.
Compared with the official 62.8mpg, we managed a very creditable 49.3mpg, agonisingly short of breaking the 50mpg barrier. There was little variance in the average economy from tank to tank, with the couple of lower ones near the end being due to the CR-V being borrowed by a particularly lead-footed former colleague. But in day-to-day driving, nearly 9000 miles in six months was achieved with 50mpg being very attainable.
As good as the CR-V is, it's not without foibles. I was rather disappointed to find I'd have to wean myself off the golden age of music as Absolute Radio 90s wouldn't be available because our SE-T trim level deletes DAB radio and adds Navigation for the cost of £765. It seems off that you can't have navigation and DAB radio in the same car, but that's at least been rectified on the new Civic.
The audio system itself is a little behind the times, with everything controlled via the touchscreen or surrounding buttons, and there are no shortcuts for switching between radio stations, something I'm fond of when there's no DAB.
The SE is only the second one up of four trim levels, but is still pretty well equipped, and despite the only option on our car being the appealing Passion Red paintwork, there were still plenty of toys, although it's a shame the rear camera doesn't come with parking sensors too because it has a tendency to become grimy and therefore useless in winter, when parking sensors would still work faultlessly.
I never really switched the car out of the eco running mode. The savings and all-round smug feeling outweigh any performance benefits, but you have to remember how painfully slowly the cruise control resumes a set speed in the greener mode compared with regular operation. However, there's no other major impact to using the more fuel-efficient setting.
The only fault we had in six months was a dashboard warning, in the form of several yellow lights , that was reset by the dealer before popping up again a couple of weeks later. A wait of several weeks ensued while the dealer established that the problem was a faulty sensor rather than a new fuel pump being required, apparently an issue Honda is aware of. It meant running around with a warning light permanently on for longer than expected, while the car wasn't cleaned when finally fixed, but that was the only missed beat in 9000 miles.
The CR-V has proved itself time and again over the past half-year to be a sensible choice in every way, and the SE trim is the well-equipped route to go. As long a you don't want navigation and digital radio!
Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC SE-T 2WD manual
|Claimed combined consumption
|Our average consumption
- Only 120hp
- 'Nav deletes DAB radio