The CR-V nameplate is one of particular note when it comes to being top of its class. Collecting over 142 global awards, this crossover came to define what the masses would soon adopt as one of the most purchased car segments. I first got behind the wheel of a new fourth generation Honda CR-V in Germany on the cars launch. Most of my time was spent in the diesel variant and now I thought was a good time to clock up some miles in the 2.0 litre petrol.
Our test car, in top spec EX trim, not only has every gadget and gizmo imaginable but, is also equipped with permanent all wheel drive. Having a big petrol engine in the world that we live in today is not the most popular choice, especially in a car as big as this. However, Honda must also cater for those wanting a petrol driven car for whatever reasons and so their 2.0 litre i-VTEC engine finds a home here.
The cabin of the CR-V is a ergonomic master piece with generous amounts of space for both front and rear passengers. In the back all three seats in the can be utilised by adults thanks to a transmission tunnel that doesn’t protrude up through the floor. The boot is vast with space for not only a months worth of shopping but likely a baby elephant or two! A nice feature is a leaver that folds the rear bench flat with one pull. The spring loaded mechanism has everything stowed flat in a second or two enabling you to load heavy items with minimal fuss. Up front the neat and tidy architecture is continued with buttons in logical locations and a brilliant dual screen navigation and entertainment system. All in all the interior of this Honda CR-V is not only well equipped with Bluetooth, DAB radio, heated seats and a beautiful glass roof, but it is also a comfortable environment to be in for long periods.
Starting this CR-V is as simple as pushing a button thanks to the keyless function. The ease continues as you move out from where you were parked with the aid of a rear camera, all-round parking sensors as well as dipping wing mirrors. In fact this big car is so easy to park that you can take advantage of a space that is only just big enough to fit in, perfect for those in densely populated areas. On the move the 2.0 litre engine pulls well but needs to be revved high to get the most out of it. Engine noise is minimal and the lack of wind noise intruding makes for a relaxing drive. The steering is nice and light making manoeuvres and the fight through built up areas a breeze. However, as you would probably expect with the configuration of this car, it is on the motorway where the diesel car makes much more sense. Though the petrol model is very refined at speed, even more so than the diesel, with the higher revving engine and the weight of its all wheel drive system its predicted range started to diminish faster than anticipated. That said on our best behaviour in ECON mode we managed a respectable 33.7MPG.
At £29,400 our test car with all of the toys doesn’t come cheap, yet for that money you get a lot of equipment. Another very large plus point to the CR-V is that it wears a Honda badge. The build quality is exceptional and everything you touch has a feeling of durability and longevity.
Though the diesel engine is the specification we would recommend, this highly capable petrol is ideal for those with a family and for whatever reason requires a petrol car. It has been well over a decade since the introduction of the MK1 CR-V and in our eyes this MK4 simply picks up from where the old car left off. Top of class.