The Honda CR-V was one of the first compact SUVs for sale when the first generation arrived in 1995. Since then it has been a hugely popular model around the world.
A significant number of changes have improved the Honda CR-V and its breadth of ability. There’s a sharper driving experience, increased space for passengers and better interior quality which have been added to the last car’s already impressive levels of practicality and reliability.
Honda has made a number of significant changes to the steering and suspension settings of the latest Honda CR-V in order to improve its performance on challenging roads. Overall, it has pretty much been a success. A quicker steering rack means there are fewer turns from lock-to-lock, giving the CR-V a more reactive and responsive feel when negotiating corners.
Much more emphasis has been placed on ride quality in the latest CR-V, so the suspension is much softer than before. That makes the CR-V significantly better at absorbing lumps and bumps in the road, increasing comfort for passengers. And although the trade-off is an increased amount of body roll in corners, many prospective owners will be happy to make this compromise.
The result of several enhancements throughout the car is that the CR-V offers more driving pleasure and is more comfortable to travel in than before, with high levels of refinement, low noise levels and a smooth ride. The driving position offers an excellent view out too, and although the CR-V is not an exciting car to drive, it’s undemanding, which will be a major plus for many owners.
Honda clearly felt that the previous generation CR-V had the right kind of exterior style because the new generation model is very similar in appearance. There are flashes of chrome around the nose and large alloy wheels as standard on higher specification models, but ultimately this is a safe and sensible design. It’s unlikely to win the hearts of buyers, but at the same time it won’t put many off, either.
Inside there are more significant changes, and the CR-V benefits from a push upmarket with improvements to the materials used and the layout of the controls. Choose a top-specification EX model and the cabin is finished in high-quality leather and wood, and although some of the lower sections still use less appealing plastics the overall effect is pleasing to look at and to touch.
The layout of the CR-V’s dashboard is sensible and convenient, with a high-set central spar putting the major controls close to the wheel, including the manual or automatic gearlever where fitted. It also leaves plenty of space beneath the centre console and gives the driver the sense of being in command of the car. A digital instrument display is fitted as standard and gives the driver plenty of options to display the required information, while a head-up display system is also available as an option.
The driving position in the fifth-generation CR-V is one of the best aspects of the car’s interior, with plenty of adjustment in the seats and steering wheel combined with an uncluttered view through the windscreen, while the view out is also good for passengers in the rear seats. There are plenty of storage areas in the cabin, in particular, the centre console offers an adaptable amount of space by offering the facility to slide forwards and backwards.
Honda vehicles generally offer a high level of reliability and owner satisfaction.