Intro: Many strong points
Here before you is the third generation Honda CRV, an SUV that built its reputation on two strong arguments: road handling and the modularity of the interior space. For this Japanese constructor it was never a question of breaking away from its past. The new CRV follows the continuity with refreshed lines and new and improved safety elements.
The CRV is doted with non-permanent all wheel drive: there is more delivered to the rear wheels in the case of a loss of traction at the front axle, which provides more safety but it is far from being a panacea for taking on obstacles.
This isnt that important because this car was built for the occasional off-roader, the city dweller who wants to climb a sidewalk, which the CRV has no problem tackling.
Esthetique: More modern
The interior of the new CRV has been vastly improved from its predecessor. It was inspired by what seems to be working in the luxury SUV market. The words of the day are shorter, wider and smaller. To complete the panoply there are the profiled headlights, the large 17 or 18 inch wheels depending on the finish chosen, rounded lines on the flanks and a massive even aggressive opening at the front end. These fittings have lowered the aerodynamic drag by 12% compared to the more angular CRV of the past. From the side the car looks a bit like the Audi Q7, especially the rear windows.
Also new is the rear door, which is now a hatchback and the spare tyre is housed under the boots floorboard.
The interior resembles that of a sedan. The standard equipment is all there and luxurious for a prior generation SUV but very standard in comparison to current models and to be quite honest the materials used and finish could have been given a lot more consideration.
Motorization: 1 petrol only, just 1 diesel
One lone petrol engine is proposed: an all-new 150 brake horsepower two litre, which comes with a valve closing system that improves consumption.
On the road: Neither rough and tough nor city dweller
Despite its length of 4.5 metres, the CRV can go just about anywhere with little effort thanks to its particularly smooth power steering. Even though it isnt really in its element of predilection, this Honda is quite at home in town.
There is also a camera pointed towards the rear for parking assistance, which is surprising for a vehicle that wants to be known as being robust. And while buffaloes haven been seen in cities for quite sometime, many are still afraid and this protects them
On the open road, the CRV is quite convincing. Comfortable with little noise coming from an engine that is both strong and muted...these are its best qualities.
Unfortunately, things change once you reach the twisty bits. The soft suspension poses traction problems at the exit of the tighter corners. But it is even worse when accelerating.
The engine is not the culprit; the problem stems form the automatic transmission. It is so long that you get the sense youre never in the right gear and theres nothing that can be done because there is no sequential mode, just D for drive and two blocking positions. A manual gearbox would be a very welcome addition.
Not the most efficient on all surfaces, too large for the city, too soft to offer a true rigorous comportment. In an attempt to be all things to all people, the new CRV, despite its strong points, isnt totally convincing.