Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Suburban Warfare ; Andy Enright Tests out the Latest Honda CR-V, Which Benefits from Nearly 20 Years of Continuous Improvement and New Technology

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Suburban Warfare ; Andy Enright Tests out the Latest Honda CR-V, Which Benefits from Nearly 20 Years of Continuous Improvement and New Technology

Article excerpt

AFEW years ago, buying a Honda CR-V was the signal that you'd almost given up on life. The styling was pretty bland, the engines unexceptional and it was just another one of those boring schoolrun cars. Then Honda started building in some design flair, the interiors went upmarket and the engines got a whole lot better. These days, the CR-V is one of the more extrovert choices in its segment and the latest one hopes to convince you it's the smartest too.

The big news with this CR-V is the fitment of a 160PS 1.6-litre diesel engine, which replaces the old 150PS 2.2-litre diesel, an engine that was looking a bit off the pace in terms of efficiency. The 120PS 1.6-litre diesel carries on much as before and there's a 2.0-litre petrol engine offered that's probably going to be largely ignored by UK buyers.

Specify the CR-V with a manual gearbox and you can also have it in front as well as four-wheel drive guise. But you shouldn't. That's because Honda has replaced the old five-speed auto with a nine-speed automatic that then sends drive to all four wheels. It's an impressive piece of technology and does a great job plugging the diesel engine right into the meat of its 350Nm of torque available from just north of 2,000rpm.

The CR-V was never marketed as a particularly sporty drive and the updates to the car's suspension and steering don't aim for that goal. Instead, the steering has been revised to offer an eight per cent quicker ratio, while revised bushings, dampers and other suspension fettling aim to deliver a smoother ride.

Refinement is something valued by CR-V owners and the latest car features added sound insulation material, thicker carpets and chunkier door seal rubbers. The net result is a six per cent reduction in cabin noise at speed.

The changes to the latest car could best be described as a facelift, although Honda has gone further than the usual grille, bumpers and lights.

You'll need a budget starting from around the Pounds 22,500 for a 2. …

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