HONDA’S new fourth generation Swindon built CR-V has got off to a very good start following its recent launch by winning a top award from a leading 4x4 journal and also by being listed by residual value experts CAP as having excellent resale values, writes Bryan Longworth.
However, the latest CR-V is going to find life more difficult than when the first generation model was launched in 1995 for the competition is now much tougher from rivals including some in the premium sector and several others that have caught up in the last few years.
But the significantly improved CR-V with both two and four-wheel-drive should prove to be a formidable competitor to these rivals.
The latest CR-V has more assertive styling and the reduced height gives it a sleeker appearance - my butcher (who is a car buff) thought it looked great.
My test car was the CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC SE with four-wheel drive and six-speed manual transmission costing £26,105 - prices start at £21,395 for the entry-level two-wheel drive petrol-powered model and rise to £32,650 for the top auto diesel model.
Hill start assist was standard along with front and rear parking sensors but the powered tailgate which Honda highlight in their publicity for the new car and the very useful collision mitigation braking system are only available on the top model and the rear manual tailgate opener on other models is prone to being covered with road dirt.
I liked the driving position which provides a commanding view ahead and to each side and the way the car handles and the steering were features that impressed along with the rear view parking camera.
The CR-V has a nice solid feel about it and has an extremely roomy and comfortable interior particularly at the rear and the latest instrument binnacle with the speedometer in the centre is easy to see in all light conditions.
There is a huge load area and this can be extended by easily folding the rear seats.
The CR-V is not a full blown 4x4 and does not pretend to be such. Honda has done a good job and the British-built vehicle is much better than the previous model.
My verdict: A good quality family 4x4.
Model: New Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC SE 4x4.
Engine: 2.2-litre four cylinder diesel.
Transmission: Six-speed manual.
Top speed: 118mph.
Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 9.7 seconds.
Fuel consumption: 50.4mpg combined.
CO2 emissions: 149g/km.
Price: £26,105 on the road.