Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Getting Better All the Time

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Getting Better All the Time

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bill McCarthy

Bill McCarthy takes to the road in the Honda CR-V

What British-built mid-size 4x4 offers superb practicality, decent performance, good economy and high levels of customer loyalty?

The Land Rover Freelander, perhaps. Not in this case ( here we are talking about Honda's CR-V.

Launched in 1997 in this country and now in its second incarnation, it is built at Honda's factory in Swindon.

The CR-V seems to get better and better ( in most areas ( particularly since the addition of diesel engines.

It has one of the biggest cabins in its class, seating five adults in relative comfort and offers loads of leg and headroom.

All round vision is excellent as is the elevated driving position.

The boot itself is more than adequate for most shopping expeditions, swallowing shopping bags with ease and even managing a couple of pushchairs, admittedly with the stowage space cover removed.

For extra space, the rear 60-40 split seats can be folded or slid forward or backwards to accommodate more challenging loads and the split rear glass door offers extra ease of access.

The rest of the cabin is well equipped and well put together, although some of the switchgear has a vaguely old-fashioned look to it and the trim, although well-made, a little bland.

The instrument panel is nicely laid out and all the controls are handily placed and easy to use ( including the handbrake which is designed to mould in with the fascia, thus freeing up extra space in the seatwell.

This in turn can be used as a walkthrough to the rear or a small drinks table can be swung into place.

That is not the only touch of innovative practicality. As well as the plethora of stowage spaces it has some clever extras. I wondered what was sliding around in the boot one day, but further investigation revealed the lid for a waterproof compartment that had worked loose ( it doubles as a folding picnic table. …

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