Honda CR-V 1.6

i-DTEC EX MT DASP

Honda CR-V, 2017, front
Honda CR-V, 2017, head on
Honda CR-V, 2017, nose
Honda CR-V, 2017, side
Honda CR-V, 2017, interior
Honda CR-V, 2017, tail
Honda CR-V, 2017, rear
Honda CR-V, 2017, dashboard

SINCE it was launched in Europe 20 years ago, three quarters of a million Honda CR-V models have been sold, so clearly it is a winning formula that appeals to the masses.

It has always been viewed as an exceptionally practical, reliable and comfortable car and it was in fact one of the very first SUVs to grace our roads.

Since then, however, the market has become awash with SUVs and compact crossovers of all shapes and sizes making it the fastest growing sector of present times.

With such demand and models appearing from every quarter - Jaguar even produced one called the F-PACE - it would be easy to get left behind, but that isn't the case with the CR-V which still possesses all its charm and appeal.

I tried out the 1.6-litre 160bhp diesel model with all-wheel-drive, a six-speed manual gearbox and in range-topping EX trim which included all the bells and whistles.

This car was priced at £33,630 which increased to £35,680 with a couple of optional extras fitted.

Although the CR-V has never been considered the most exhilarating or dynamic option out there, the car could reach from 0 to 62mph in 9.9 seconds and maxed out at 125mph.

According to official figures, it could deliver combined fuel economy of 55.4mpg with carbon emissions of 133g/km.

The CR-V is a good-looking car with plenty of eye-catching design cues, including a bold stance, sweeping light clusters with active cornering and high beam assist, front fog lights, roof rails, privacy glass, 18-inch alloys, body-coloured door handles and mirrors, smart chrome trim, a panoramic glass sunroof and a powered tailgate.

The interior is equally impressive with a clutter-free, modern and premium feel to it with plenty of soft-touch surfaces. There is a wealth of on-board technology to explore with creature comforts including the likes of full leather upholstery with heated seats, an electrically-adjustable driver's seat with memory settings, ambient lighting plus an excellent sat nav infotainment system with seven-inch touchscreen.

The cabin is spacious with ample room for five adults to travel in comfort and the driver benefits from great all-round visibility thanks to the elevated driving position.

All dials, controls and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use and the car has a real user-friendly feel about it.

It's nice to get into a vehicle that boasts all the technology we demand but has a set-up that is simple to navigate.

When it comes to storage, the CR-V is superb. The boot has a capacity of 589 litres which can be increased to 1,146 litres with the rear seats dropped down. And a special mention to the powered tailgate which is a life-saver when approaching the car after a busy day at the sales.

When it comes to performance, the CR-V is not as dynamic as some rival SUVs, but it is no slouch either.

The acceleration is smooth through the six-speed manual gearbox and there is ample power on tap to overtake whenever necessary.

As is typical of this type of model, there is a little body roll in tight bends, but otherwise the car is an accomplished all-rounder that is equally happy on the school run as it is on the open road weaving through the countryside.

And it has an excellent safety record too. This car featured Honda SENSING as an optional extra that added £1,500 to the cost and introduced collision mitigation braking system with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.

This was on top of a comprehensive list of features included in the Driver Assisted Safety Pack that was factored into the starting price.

The CR-V also features 4x4 capabilities so will be ready for any sudden changes to driving conditions.

All in all, it's easy to see why the CR-V has proved and continues to prove such a popular model.

Yes, it is a tad pricey and it may not be as exciting as some other models, but it does all the basics really well.

FAST FACTS

Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC EX MT DASP

Price: £33,630

Mechanical: 160bhp, 1597cc, 4-cylinder, diesel-driven engine with 6-speed manual transmission

Max Speed: 125mph

0-62mph: 9.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 55.4

Insurance Group: 25

C02 emissions: 133g/km

Bik rating: 28%

Warranty: 3yrs/unlimited miles

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