Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Smart, Spacious and Sensible Soft-Roader; Families Will Love the CR-V for Its Internal Flexibility

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Smart, Spacious and Sensible Soft-Roader; Families Will Love the CR-V for Its Internal Flexibility

Article excerpt

PULLING up at the lights, it was clear we were embedded in the soft-roader revolution.

Across three lanes we were surrounded in our 2010 model Honda CR-V.

Circling was a Kia Sportage, Nissan X-Trail, Toyota RAV4 and a Mitsubishi Outlander.

All are contenders in a heavily populated compact SUV genre, and all have recently released improved models that have helped reduce Honda's slice of the pie.

The Japanese car maker is hitting back with an upgrade of its solid performer, one which has been selling in good numbers since 1997.

Exterior and safety upgrades are accompanied by an aggressive price cut, to the tune of $2000.

It's an important move considering other contenders are starting base models cheaper, while the range-topping Luxury model is facing competition from the likes of BMW's X1 and the VW Tiguan.

We sampled the mid-range Sport derivative to see if it had what it takes to remain an important player in a crowded field.


Space confronts you from the moment you step inside.

Unlike some others in the segment, the CR-V doesn't feel like a cocoon.

Five adults will have few issues finding room, and the wide child seat anchorage points, along with belt placement in the rear, means the kiddies' pews don't take up too much room across the bench seat.

The cabin has its fair share of plastics but they still manage to look classy. Ambiance is especially good at night when the electric blue-ringed analogue gauges come alive, along with white-on-blue buttons across the dash.

Clarity is another plus. All the dials and buttons are clearly labelled and easy to operate.

Changes to the front suspension make the CR-V more car-like than ever.

It's a trait we have seen increasingly in soft-roaders, and while there is still some body roll in corners (no worse than many sedans), the compact SUV is reliably agile.

Steering can be lifeless and you are not inspired to drive the CR-V hard, but the 2.4-litre engine is honest in its performance. Pulling the accelerator trigger won't fling your head back into the seat but the power delivery is consistent.

With the peak torque band high in the rev range (4200rpm), the CR-V does start to become noisy as you urge it for extra muscle.

What do you get?

Every CR-V in the range has dual front, side and full-length curtain airbags as standard, along with stability control, while other complimentary items include air-con, CD stereo, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, cruise, trip computer and power windows.

Sport gets new, seven-spoke alloy wheels, a sunroof and a few extras; the Luxury has leather trim, five twin-spoke alloys as well as auto headlights and wipers.

Two new accessory packs are available: the Active or Modulo Sports which are $2699 each. …

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