The Honda CR-V, arguably the most popular compact utility vehicle with retirees and people who really think about their purchase to be practical, financial and well, maybe a little bland. Much like Subaru Forester owners, they probably own a Labrador or two too. In my mind, this is the demographic I’ve seen driving the CR-V’s. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with playing it safe.
Thing is, the CR-V has always been a very good vehicle and interior quality with added trim levels have always been pretty impressive. The naturally aspirated models have been a little on the thirsty side, but you did get Honda’s majestical naturally aspirated K24 engine, which made near GTI like power. While the world has gone smaller on engines, all fighting for lower carbon emissions, so has these engines too and the biggest capacity engine available currently in the new CR-V is a 113kw naturally aspirated 2.0l single overhead cam with I-Vtec. It’s certainly not the most powerful but it will do the job.
The CR-V has now grown up even more and the interior space is nothing short of huge. There is enough rear legroom for 2 meter plus rear passengers and head room is pretty good too. The boot is also a very generous 522l and will jump to 1084l with a 60:40 rear seat split. This confirms it, the CR-V is still intended for larger families, who like to carry a lot of luggage and a dog or two.
While the seats are electronically adjustable with memory and heated, this Elegance trim means business. It’s even slotted in right above the entry level model and with a spec list that’s this impressive, value for money comes to mind. The upgraded infotainment carries the same theme as on all current Honda’s with a swipeable touch screen with your trip data and phone features integrated; it’s also peanuts to use.
That 113kw 2.0l engine is mated to a CVT transmission and while it works on paper and under everyday driving conditions, I can’t help but feel that it would probably have been better suited with an old-school manual box. Not that I have anything against CVT’ boxes, it’s that in this particular config, it feels lethargic. If that’s your driving style, it’s probably okay, because it does wonders for fuel economy with our lowest figures recorded, dipped into the mid 7l/100km. On the daily commute, I would expect mid 8’s to 9’s and be happy with it.
I don’t’ think the CR-V stigma will ever change and a previous brand loyal customer would buy another one. The new CR-V is currently on that level where it is just so good and offers good value for money, especially in this trim. It does not matter which model you buy, ultimately space and drive stays the same. It’s just a question if you prefer 2wd or Awd and if that 1.5Turbo engine excites you…
The CRV 2.0 Elegance has a starting list price of R477 900
For more info, check out Honda.co.za
The worlds most popular compact crossover is back, and it's good...