Honda CR-V - Used

Car Review

Honda CR-V Hybrid, 2019, front, action
Honda CR-V Hybrid, 2019, front
Honda CR-V Hybrid, 2019, rear, action
Honda CR-V Hybrid, 2019, interior
Honda CR-V Hybrid, rear seats
Honda CR-V Hybrid boot

HONDA'S reputation for reliability and longevity is envied by every other car manufacturer.

Its cars regularly come top in surveys and are capable of very high mileages without problems as long as the all-important servicing is properly carried out.

But this often makes them sought after and more expensive secondhand.

The CR-V soft-roader is no exception to this rule and every owner I have spoken to loves it.

The latest model to bear the name is sleek to look at, good to drive, very comfortable for five, and has a big boot as you might expect.

It is now only available with one engine option - a 2.0-litre petrol/electric mild hybrid. The 1.5 petrol turbo from the Civic was available when it was launched in 2018, but was soon dropped.

The hybrid is perky and reasonably quick when needed, and it comes with two or four wheel drive (4WD).

Peak power is 184bhp in total and it drives through an electronically controlled continuously variable automatic gearbox. The combination gives an absolute best of 54 miles per gallon and a 0 to 60 time of a decently quick 8.7 seconds.

It has three different driving modes that are selectable by the driver. In EV drive, the battery powers the electric motor alone, and as long as it has a full charge, this is good for just over a mile.

Next comes Hybrid drive, in which the petrol engine is simply used as a generator and the electric motor drives the wheels.

And finally, there is Engine drive, where the petrol engine drives the wheels directly and will also rechange the battery when decelerating, braking or cruising on a light accelerator.

In local journeys close to home, the drive mode switches between EV and hybrid drive as necessary, which makes for very smooth and quiet progress.

And even when the petrol engine is running all the time in hybrid or full petrol modes, the whole car is beautifully refined and quiet.

The only exception to this is when the right foot is planted on the accelerator for a swift burst of speed say for overtaking.

Then the petrol engine gets a little more raucous, but is still pretty smooth by most standards.

As you would expect, 4WD models are slightly thirstier and slightly slower on acceleration but most available on the secondhand market will be 2WD.

This is not an off-roader. It doesn't have the ground clearance to take to seriously rough country, and in most grass field situations, the 2WD models will be fine.

There's one caveat to that - if you want the top level of trim with all the bells and whistles, its only available with 4WD.

Despite its size and height, the CR-V handles very well, with little roll and good grip even when pressed very hard through a corner.

Body control at speed is also excellent, so that it never wallows over undulating surfaces as some other 4x4s do.

The steering is informative and chunky, and this combined with good roadholding, instills confidence in the driver.

With some cars, such suspension excellence might mean a poor ride, but here, the CR-V excels as well, smoothing out the worst of roads at any speed.

However, avoid larger wheels with lower profile tyres as they can worsen the ride quality noticeably.

The interior is probably the biggest in the medium SUV class, with plenty of leg and headroom, and rear seat comfort is as good at that in the front.

The rear seats fold easily in a 60/40 pattern to extend the loadspaceand equipment is good even in mid-range SE trim, which includes an alarm and alloy wheels,traction control, heated mirrors, climate, audio remote controls, lumbar support for the driver's seat, cruise control and parking sensors.

Pay about £19,650 for an '18 18-reg hybrid SE 2WD, or £24,350 for a '19 19-reg SR 2WD.

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