Honda CR-V Hybrid EX

AWD CVT

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

THE Honda CR-V arrived back in 1995 and although it has always been a steady seller in the UK it has had much more success in other markets and can boast that it is the world's best-selling SUV.

That is mostly down to its huge sales in North America where it takes a huge chunk of the market.

With the arrival of this latest generation model the Japanese car maker has introduced hybrid technology to the popular SUV and ditched diesel power.

The muscular and handsome family favourite looks great from any angle thanks thanks to its strong upright stance, privacy glass, daytime running lights, opening panoramic glass roof, LED front fog lights, distinctive rear light clusters and smart alloy wheels.

Inside the CR-V offers stacks of room for five, a neat layout that is free of fuss and bags of technology that is easy to use.

Some of the plastics on parts of the dash and door toppings are still a bit harsh but the seats are upholstered in fine leather and are comfy and power adjustable.

All the controls and dials are nicely lit in blue and are refreshingly easy to read and use.

This flagship model has full smartphone connectivity via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, Honda Connect with GARMIN navigation, a pop-up head-up display, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a nine-speaker sound system plus subwoofer, ambient lighting, a seven-inch touchscreen, DAB radio with Bluetooth and everything else you could want.

Powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine that works in tandem with two electric motors controlled by an intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) system it offers three drive modes called EV, Eco and Sport.

It is a big vehicle but it can still sprint to 62mph in just 9.2 seconds before going on to 112mph and the Sport mode sharpens responses.

It delivers its power smoothly via the CVT transmission and even although it has all-wheel-drive it can still return a combined 51.4mpg.

As you would expect it is no hot hatch out on the road but it cruises superbly at motorway speeds and is surprisingly agile for its size. It is not particularly dynamic but it will certainly meet the needs of most drivers and its loyal customers.

Just don't try to push the CVT box too hard or you will just make things noisy.

The high driving position and the design provides great all-round visibility and that makes it good around town where it will spend most of its life.

The suspension deals well with all kinds of surfaces and there is very little road noise, while the steering provides lots of feedback.

The CR-V remains a very practical family vehicle thanks to its ability to seat five comfortably, a boot that is good for 497 litres and this increases to a whopping 1,638 litres if you fold the split rear seats flat.

The cabin also offers numerous storage options including a large glovebox, cup holders, door pockets, a central cubby with sliding shelf, trays and a sunglasses compartment.

The latest CR-V is crammed with safety specifications and driver aids. Honda Sensing is fitted as standard and includes a collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, intelligent adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and an intelligent speed limiter.

The AWD system is designed to make the car safe in adverse weather conditions rather than for off-road work and the result is a Euro NCAP five-star safety rating.

FAST FACTS

Honda CR-V Hybrid EX AWD CVT

Price:£39,050

Mechanical:181bhp, 1,993cc, 4cyl petrol engine plus two electric motors driving all wheels via CVT automatic gearbox

Max Speed:112 mph

0-62mph:9.2 secs

Combined MPG:51.4

Insurance Group:24

C02 emissions:126g/km

Bik rating:30%

Warranty:3yrs/90,000 miles

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