You should have been reading about the latest Civic on these pages, but a phone call late in the afternoon poured cold water on that idea, as the car that was allocated to us was no longer available. How do you fancy running a CR-V instead, said the man from Honda. Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, I readily agreed, especially as my last experience of the off roader ended in disaster. I’m actually surprised that Honda even entertained the idea of trusting me with another car, seeing as the last one ended up squashed, with a tree falling on it. A particularly windy storm overnight resulted in a tree at the entrance to our driveway coming down, and the CR-V was unlucky that it was in its path. Had it not been there, then it would have hit the house with potentially larger ramifications. There’s no recovering from a 100-year-old tree landing on top, so the only low-roof CR-V made its way to the scrapyard, despite only being a few weeks old.
We’ve got everything crossed to make sure that nothing untoward occurs to our beautifully bright Premium Crystal Red metallic CR-V, which comes kitted out in top-of-the-range EX specification. That means that it wants for nothing, with a list of standard equipment as long as your arm. Leather upholstery, an electric panoramic glass roof, reversing camera, electric tailgate and head-up display are just a few of the goodies that come crammed into the 4.6-metre Honda. Roominess is built in, and there’s generous capacity inside for five occupants, with each having room to spread out thanks to plenty of head, leg, and foot space. The boot is decent, too, with 497 litres of carrying capacity that opens up to a generous 1,638 litres. The aforementioned electric tailgate is intelligent, too, and with a kicking motion under the rear bumper, the tailgate will open automatically, which is handy if your arms are full with shopping or perhaps a wriggling child.
Four-wheel drive is standard, and while that isn’t quite as useful as in the winter months, it’s intelligent, and so the rear differential is disconnected most of the time for better fuel economy. Then when it is detected that extra traction is required, the system steps in and sends power to the rear wheels, for instance when climbing a hill, or tackling a road that has a loose, gravel surface. Here’s hoping that snow is in the rear-view mirror for the next few months, but no doubt there will be more than a few ‘British’ downpours that will test its traction ability to the full.
The e:HEV hybrid system is intelligent, and you don’t have to worry about plugging it in, as it is of the self-charging variety. So when you’re slowing down, the energy is harvested, ready to be utilised at a later date. The petrol engine can be used to generate electricity, too, and in most circumstances the car will start off in silent, electric mode, with the engine chipping in as the speed builds and more power is demanded. The system constantly balances the need for the engine and will drop into electric drive whenever there’s enough energy harnessed and conditions allow. Refinement is really good, and so it swaps about without you really knowing what is going on, and so the instrument cluster indicator is a good way of knowing what the drivetrain is up to. I find it also gives you a gentle nudge to drive more economically, encouraging you to ensure that energy is flowing into the battery pack, rather than from it. You’ll be thankful at the fuel pumps, as the more it harnesses lost energy, the less petrol it is gobbling up. And while the prices have come down a little of late, they are still way higher than they really should be.
Economy (combined) 39.2mpg
Economy (On test) 40.4mpg
Date arrived 3rd April 2023 (Originally registered 7th September 2022)
Costs None Faults None