Honda CR-V 1.6

i-DTEC EX 4WD

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, boot
Honda CR-V, static above
Honda CR-V, 2017, rear
Honda CR-V, 2017, tail

SUBSTANCE over style has proved a winning formula for Honda as its compact SUV the CR-V continues to blaze a trail of success.

Already one of the most popular vehicles of its type in the world, the CR-V has more than 800,000 sales to its name - and that's just in Europe.

No market is more competitive for SUVs than in the UK and while a plethora of, to be brutally honest, more sharp-looking contenders continue to enter the sales arena, buyers still flock to the CR-V.

For good reason too, because the ‘beauty' of this conservatively designed model is that it does everything with exceptional competence.

Want a car that's meticulously engineered - actually British-built and developed in Swindon - expertly refined, sensibly designed and has rock-solid reliability, then the Honda ticks the boxes.

Up for grabs with a choice of two diesel engines, with 120 and 160ps of power, plus a 2.0-litre petrol unit, and in four trim grades, the CR-V costs from an attractive £23,475 for a 2.0 i-VTEC petrol S variant with front-wheel drive.

This model came with the higher powered of the two diesels, which is from the Japanese brand's Earth Dreams Technology series, a six-speed manual gearbox plus four-wheel drive.

And while the car's official Combined fuel consumption figure was 57.6 miles per gallon, we managed to eke out an average 46.8mpg over a stint of what was exclusively urban driving.

In the circumstances that was a pretty fair return, in a car that's comfortable, spacious and quite relaxing to pilot.

Safety kit like intelligent-Adaptive Cruise Control and Honda's City-Brake Active System come as standard on all models and there's an upgraded connectivity and infotainment set-up too.

The dash is wrapped around a seven-inch touchscreen to which a smartphone can be connected via MirrorLink and the short-shift gearstick is mounted high for easy access.

Otherwise you get a genuine five-seater with plenty of head and legroom - including in the centre rear seating position - and in the case of the high grade SE trim, the seats are in a classy perforated leather finish.

The CR-V is also top of the pile when it comes to luggage space which ranges from a useful 598 to 1,669 litres, and that's not far off the capacity of a small van.

And if mucky trips to the sports field or local tip are regularly on the agenda, well the CR-V's flush-fit plastic tray in the boot is a God-send.

FAST FACTS

Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC EX 4WD

Price: £33,630

Mechanical: 160ps, 1,597cc 4-cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via six-speed automatic transmission

Max Speed: 122mph

0-62mph: 9.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 57.6

Insurance Group: 25

C02 emissions: 133g/km

Bik rating: 31%

Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles

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