WITH the plethora of new SUVs coming onto the market it's easy to lose track of tried and tested models which have continued to evolve.
So when a new Honda CR-V was delivered to my door it was a bit of a wake up call to consult my files and discover it had been four years since I last drove one.
Interestingly it was just at the time Honda made the switch from the well established 2.2-litre diesel to the 1.6-litre diesel then used in the Honda Civic.
And despite the drop in size the replacement proved to be even more efficient and a definite move in the right direction as most manufacturers were then downsizing engine capacity.
Sadly Honda no longer offers diesel engines in any of its CR-Vs. You have to opt for either petrol or the hybrid model driven here.
But diesel enthusiasts will be glad to learn that at least when it comes to economy the hybrid is pretty much a match for diesel with fuel consumption of around 52 miles per gallon.
And of course being a hybrid it has the upper hand, overall, when it comes to quiet, refined motoring.
The CR-V was launched in 1995 and has gone on to be one of Honda's biggest success stories, and become the world's best selling SUV.
Motorists like it for its looks, high driving position, reliability, exceptionally generous interior space and four-wheel-drive safety.
And while it is a big vehicle it has all the driving characteristics of a family hatchback, so unlike many of its competitors it's not intimidating to drive.
The hybrid version teams a 181bhp, 2.0-litre petrol engine with two electric motors for smooth power delivery, a respectable 0-62 miles per hour acceleration time and good economy.
The only time noise levels do rise are under heavy acceleration on inclines but even then it's all within acceptable levels.
With almost timeless lines and a high stance the CR-V has an abundance of kerb appeal. Build quality is excellent and everything about it feels robust. The doors close easily with just the slightest effort and emit a nice solid, satisfying clunk.
Opt for the top-of-the-range EX model and you get all the bells and whistles including a panoramic opening glass sun roof, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, heated windscreen, a head-up display and a powered tailgate.
And while the CVT automatic gearbox is supremely smooth and copes well with anything you can throw at it there are also paddles behind the steering wheel for manual gear changes.
There's no gear shift with the CR-V it's all done with buttons. One for drive, one for reverse and a third for park.
During normal motoring the hybrid system does its own thing, the car sometimes running on electricity, sometimes on the engine and often a combination of both.
But at least with this car you can if you want - at the touch of yet another button - lock in electric mode for towns and cities or sport for more responsive motoring.
And of course the beauty is with the CR-V Hybrid there is no time wasted having to wait for the battery to charge as it's continually charging from the engine, so no range anxiety.