Honda CR-V 2.0 eHEV

Advance

Honda CR-V HEV, 2024, front, action
Honda CR-V HEV, 2024, side
Honda CR-V HEV, 2024, rear
Honda CR-V HEV, 2024, interior
Honda CR-V HEV, 2024, display screen
Honda CR-V HEV, 2024, console controls
Honda CR-V HEV, 2024, rear seats
Honda CR-V HEV, 2024, boot
Honda CR-V HEV, 2024, engine

IF anyone knows about designing a family SUV, it's Honda. After all, the Japanese marque arguably invented the sector nearly 30 years ago with the CR-V.

And, guess what, it's still with us. Now in its sixth incarnation, the latest CR-V is bigger, more luxurious and naturally more expensive, at least to purchase.

As it gradually drifted upmarket, Honda has introduced two high riders to plug the vacated smaller slots - the HR-V and more recently the ZR-V.

The all-new CR-V offers the choice of petrol hybrid or plug-in hybrid - a new option. Ours was the self-charger which gets a 2.0-litre, 181bhp petrol engine plus a 1.06kWh battery pack coupled to four-wheel-drive and automatic transmission.

At more than 4.7m long, it's hugely roomy inside, both for passengers and luggage. But the positioning of the necessary batteries means there's no chance of a final row of seats, unlike some obvious rivals.

The handsome new body is matched by a similarly well-thought out cabin which is both practical - loads of stowage spaces, cubbies and flat surfaces - and easy on the eye.

The Advance version we drove is well kitted out, justifying its not inconsiderable price tag. It gets leather seating, heated steering wheel and seats, glass panoramic opening sunroof, electric boot lift, rear view camera and LED headlights.

Honda's renowned engineers have skilfully managed to straddle the line between appropriate comfort and satisfying dynamics.

While it's no sporting star, it handles neatly with well controlled body lean and pleasantly weighted steering yet measures up impressively in terms of ride comfort and general poise, almost no matter how poor the road surface.

In other words, a good balance has been reached between composure and control, allowing the best of both worlds.

On the subject of comfort, the front seats are large and enveloping with sufficient lumbar and side support. Those in the rear, are also well shaped with ample leg and headroom. The bench is made to slide forward to increase luggage room.

Boot space at 579 litres is slightly less than that of the plug-in version due to the positioning of the battery. But the area is regularly shaped and the rear seats fold 60-40 to increase capacity. The rear seats have eight various settings for reclining.

Acceleration is a tad more leisurely than some hybrid rivals, with 62mph coming up in around nine seconds. Nevertheless, partly thanks to the high degree of refinement and comfort, long journeys are easily swallowed up with a minimum of fuss or fatigue.

Noise levels within the cabin are admirably hushed, unless the four cylinder engine is made to work hard when a degree of harshness creeps into the engine note.

While the plug-in version of the CR-V has obvious company tax benefits, both models are notably easy on fuel.

Our average over nearly 500 miles was 42mpg with a best of 47mpg during a gentle cross country drive.

The latest CR-V has raised the bar in terms of ease of driving and refinement, as well being among the best looking high-riders.

£48,995

2.0-litre, 4 cyl, 188bhp petrol hybrid engine driving 4 wheels via automatic gearbox

121mph

9.1sec

39.0

34

: 151g/km

35%

3yrs/60,000 miles

4.8

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