Honda CR-V Hybrid EX

AWD

Honda CR-V, front
Honda CR-V, front
Honda CR-V, rear
Honda CR-V Hybrid, interior
Honda CR-V Hybrid, boot

JUST a couple of years ago, the best selling Honda CR-V was a diesel.

Today, the Japanese maker has shelved the diesel version and is only selling petrol models in Britain.

A sign of the times, as more and more manufacturers switch to electrification. So stepping into the high economy role, in place of the diesel, is the Hybrid. Not that you notice much difference at a glance between the diesel and the hybrid - only a small badge gives the game away.

And it's a similar story when it comes to driving the latest car. As a self-charger, you don't need to bother with plugging in leads and cables or searching for a public charging point - just hop in and let the onboard technology do its job.

Available in three trim levels and with two or four wheel drive, it was the AWD EX, the top level that we sampled. About the same size as Disco Sport or VW Tiguan, the CR-V remains distinctively styled with bold lines that are non-aggressive and have family appeal in the modern style of high-riders.

It's got just enough attitude about its lines to make it interesting without risk of it falling into the Chelsea tractor category.

As a family all-rounder, it ticks all the boxes. The cabin is absolutely huge with stacks of leg and headroom all round and a smart fascia complete with obligatory touchscreen, loads of pockets, bottle holders and bins to store your clutter.

Switchgear feels tough and long-lasting although the fake wood inserts appear a tad naff, in my view. When it comes to luggage space, the boot at nearly 500litres is up there with the best. Rear seats fold to more than treble capacity.

Some families will be disappointed to find the Hybrid has had to sacrifice its final row of occasional seats for the electrical workings beneath the luggage platform.

When it comes to economy, expect a similar consumption to the replaced diesel model. Most owners will have little trouble in getting around the 45mpg mark, so noticeably better than the pure petrol version.

With a two litre, four cylinder petrol engine allied to an electric motor the all wheel drive Hybrid has reasonable pace and has ample urge for speedy overtaking. The CVT gearbox is operated by a simple button rather than a conventional selector and works well. Only going up gradients on full power dos the characteristic drone become a bit wearing.

A lever behind the steering wheel adjusts the amount of recuperation you get when lifting off the throttle, sparing the petrol consumption and boosting the electrical charge. It's both entertaining and economical.

The tall standing CR-V handles confidently and securely but its height underlines the fact that it's no sports car. Hence cornering roll is prevalent if hustled into bends. The intelligent four wheel drive system ensures slippery surfaces are easily dealt with.

FAST FACTS

Honda CR-V Hybrid EX AWD

Price: £38,280

Mechanical: 181bhp, 2.0-litre, 4 cyl, petrol engine with electric motor, driving all 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 112mph

0-62mph: 9.2sec

Combined MPG: 38.2

Insurance Group: 24

C02 emissions: 126g/km

Bik rating: 29%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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