This is the latest CR-V from Honda, one of the original popular SUVs in the UK and indeed the world. This sixth generation is a big deal for Honda as the CR-V is such a big seller for the brand. CR-Vs have changed little over the last couple of generations but, from the front especially with its new, oversized grille replacing the prominent chin, this Mk6 represents a sea change over the model it replaces. Look at it from the side and things are a bit more familiar. Loyal CR-V buyers will find some reassurance in the glass-housing and around the C-pillar.
Huge improvements inside…..
Inside the new CR-V, Honda continue in their constant quest for improvement. Thankfully the days of a confused jumble of fonts and colour schemes are long gone, as is the dated switchgear. In their place is a retro-inspired grille that was first resurrected in the now sadly defunct Honda e dissecting the dash. Honda‘s done a great job of keeping things as uncluttered and minimalist as possible without squirrelling every single control away inside a touchscreen.
……but still no 7 seat option
The view out is as user-friendly and unobstructed as you deserve when buying an SUV; a genre that, let’s remember, was made popular on the school run thanks to its high ride and generous vantage point down onto lesser vehicles. One aspect of the CR-V that may continue to put some drivers of larger families off is its lack of a third row of seats. Despite the CR-V growing in size it’s still strictly 5-seats only.
One aspect of the new CR-V’s interior that impresses is how much more refined than previous generations it is. Despite those oversized door mirrors that go a long way to eliminate blind spots there’s little wind noise, even at high speed. This CR-V averages 64dB inside, compared to the previous model’s 78dB, apparently. Honda’s gone to great lengths to take most aspects of the interior up to a higher level, from materials to design, it’s punching above its weight.
Three specs, AWD or FWD
The CR-V comes in three grades; Elegance, Advance & Advance Tech, priced at £45,895, £48,995 & £53,995 respectively. Whichever one you opt for, under the bonnet you’ll find the same 2.0l, 146bhp petrol engine mated to a 135kW, 181bhp electric motor. That’s where the similarities end, though. The Elegance and Advance specs are self-charging hybrids and AWD, the Advance Tech is a PHEV and is FWD only. Go for one of the self-chargers and you’ll get a potential range of just under 600 miles from a tank of fuel, the PHEV takes 2.5 hours to charge to 100% from a 7kW outlet and has a claimed electric only range of 82 miles.
Just leave it in economy
Our test car is the Advance spec – the more expensive of the two self-charging hybrids and I’d say this is the CR-V to go for. The claimed range of nearly 600 miles is very accurate, even with its AWD kicking in every now and again in the cold temperatures a UK winter can bring. There’s four drive modes; Economy, Sport, Normal and Snow. Eco is the obvious choice due to the nature of the car and it’s by no means a complete fun-sponge should you keep it in its cleanest setting.
That’s not to say the CR-V draws a direct line between itself and its Civic Type R distant cousin – this will never be any kind of track weapon. It does, however, have a lot more about it than the last CR-V with less body roll and more general poise around the bends.
Should I buy a Honda CR-V?
Every CR-V since its launch has ticked many boxed for many families and this one is no different. It does a great job of upping its game both in terms of tech and refinement, but then it should when the average cost is hovering around the £50k mark.
By Ben Harrington
2023 Honda CR-V 2.0i-MMD Advance Specifications:
Engine – 2.0-l petrol & 135kw electric motor, Transmission – auto, Layout – Front engine, AWD, Power – 146bhp + 181bhp, Emissions – 151g/km CO2, Economy – 42.8mpg, Maximum Speed – 116mph, Acceleration – 9.5s – 0-62mph
The 2023 Honda CR-V is available now, priced from £45,895. For full details go to:www.honda.co.uk