After 3 generations and more than five million examples sold worldwide, Honda CR-V has reached its fourth generation. Following a natural evolution, the vehicle has reached a certain degree of maturity – its design is better penned, an expansive range of equipment is included as standard and the build quality and the interior atmosphere have been drastically improved.
At the date of its introduction, more specifically in 1995, it had little to no rivals, but as time and competition moved along, challenges have risen in its path. Over the course of 19 years, its dominance has been put to the test, while manufacturers moved in strides to push their offering as better, at the expense of the veteran Honda CR-V. In 2014, Honda has answered by introducing a new generation of its award winning SUV, which promises it’s still ahead of the competition. Is indeed, the new iteration of the CR-V up to the task? Let’s find out, shall we?
First of all, from a visual standpoint, the car makes a powerful statement, at least from the front. The large, three strake chromed grille with the large logo dominates the nose, flanked by the sharp headlights that bear reminiscence to both Saab and Subaru. In fact, its aura appears to be more that of a sporty crossover than of a fully fledged SUV, especially when taking into consideration that its off-road capabilities are limited to mild and moderate terrain. Perhaps this stems from the fact that the height has been reduced by 30mm, creating a much lower and aerodynamic profile that not only contributes to the car’s looks, but also plays a role in improving the fuel economy. Moving on, the bumper houses a flattened trapezium air intake, with two large fog lights sitting in dedicated positions, in line with the front wheels; beneath, a large shield is in charge of protecting the engine assembly from damage.
The characteristic window line has remained almost the same as before, being a particular trait of the vehicle that has received little alteration. A subtle chrome trim ornament outlines it, whilst little else stands out. The mirrors have integrated, clear glass turning signals, while the black plastic add-ons covering the front and rear bumper, as well as the side skirts serves as a reminder that the car may indeed, step –occasionally, that is – off-road.
The rear section has changed a bit, as the vertical rear lights have thinned down and the whole tailgate appears to be much taller, but it’s mostly a false effect, created by lines, as the car sits lower than its predecessors. On the upside, the key will open the door at the press of a button, saving you the effort and an internally placed control will close it.
Honda CR-V – 5 Point Review
Rather than introducing a radical design for their fourth generation Honda CR-V, Honda preferred to take the more subtle approach and enough bits and pieces to make the car look new, but also have a touch of the familiarity, much like the treatment that Volkswagen is applying to its own range of automobiles. The interior of the SUV promises to be comfortable and welcoming, the ample space in the back easily allowing for extended drives without the passengers complaining of insufficient room to stretch their legs. Although the roof has been chopped by 30mm, both tall drivers and passengers will not find reasons to protest as the seats are mounted in a manner that does not interfere with their well being whilst inside.
One of the highlights of the car is its steering – light and precise, it will follow your guidance to the millimetre. The suspension system is tuned in order to absorb the irregularities of the road in the most efficient manner possible, but this comes at a cost, as the body roll is noticeable in tight bends. Even though it does not claim to have the pedigree of a sports car, the Honda CR-V feels somewhat sluggish at times, losing some of the agility that characterized earlier variants. For some, this might be a deal breaker, but then again, it depends on the preference, as the ride comfort is easily one of the best we’ve encountered.
On its website, Honda proudly displays the award that the Honda CR-V was bestowed with from behalf of Which? Car Survey, that is, the title of the most reliable SUV of 2014. Seemingly, the average cost of service for this model was a mere £10, and with zero breakdown reported, this was enough to put the CR-V at the top of the charts. A host of safety features, including the Advanced Driver Assist System which is able to lightly correct steering and apply the brakes when needed, as well as a full 5 star Euro NCAP rating make it a smart choice for a driver that values a reliable, safe automobile.
The range consists of the base Honda CR-V S, with a price of £22,000, and it moves progressively through S-T, SE, SE-T, SR and the top of the range EX (£30,255). Two special editions, the Black and White, start from £28,405 and include special paintjobs, 19 inch wheels, a custom mesh grille and individualized interior trims. The only available petrol engine is a 2.0 litre i-VTEC, with either a manual or automatic transmission with either 2 or 4 wheel drive. The manual has a reported consumption of 39.2 mpg for the 2WD and 38.2 for the 4WD manual and 37.7 for the 4WD automatic. On the diesel front, there are two options, either a 1.6 litre i-DTEC manual with only 2 wheel drive, which manages the best mpg, at 62.8 or a more powerful, 2.2 litre i-DTEC 4 WD, with either a manual (50.4mpg) or an automatic (42.8mpg) transmission. The latter is also the most potent diesel power plant, as it develops 174 bhp, while the petrol automatic manages to squeeze out 175 bhp.
Despite being 5mm shorter, the 2014 Honda CR-V has the same interior space that the third generation boasted, only smarter organized. The rear doors open wide, permitting passengers to step inside without turning into a contortionist and the ample back seat is easily able to sit three adults; the best part of all is that the transmission tunnel has a low profile, meaning that you won’t have to sprawl your legs to sit comfortably if you ever find yourself in the middle, which we appreciate. The boot space is one of the largest in class at 589 litres with the seats in place and more than 1,669 litres with them folded, enough to dominate most of the competition.
If you would like to know more about the Honda CR-V this is a link to the official dealership website.