August 21, 2017

DRIVEN: HONDA CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC 160 EX AUTO

Since it was introduced in 1995, over five million CR-Vs have been sold across the world and the new, fourth generation (when launched in 2012) was comprehensively redesigned for the European market building on the success of its predecessors with greater quality, practicality and refinement.

Time moves on quickly and to keep the CR-V fresh Honda have revised it for 2015. The big changes are the introduction of a higher power (160 PS) version of its 1.6-litre clean diesel engine, mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission.

2015_Honda_CRV_writeonmotoring_reviewVisual changes include a new look grille and updated headlights and tail lights, while under the skin, suspension tweaks aim to bring improvements to handling and ride quality.

CR-V comes in four trim levels: S, SE, SR and EX. SE offers the best mix of kit, including: Bluetooth, parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, and a leather steering wheel. SR trim adds heated, part-leather seats, xenon headlights and a DAB radio, while top-of-the-range EX trim adds full-leather seats, sat-nav, a panoramic glass roof and a powered tailgate. Further optional safety kit on SR and EX includes Honda’s Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC). City braking is now standard across the range.

2015 CR-V also showcases the all-new Honda Connect in-car audio and information system (standard across the model range) which uses a 7-inch touchscreen and Android-based software. This proves more responsive than before, with the use of familiar pinch, swipe and tap functionality.

The cabin has a solid quality feel, with liberal use of soft-touch materials and different contours and shapes. Switchgear has a tactile and pleasing quality to it and seats are comfortable and supportive, while offering a range of adjustment. Space also impresses in both the front and rear – there will be no complaints from passengers on head, shoulder or legroom – the latter helped by a lack of transmission tunnel hump. The CR-V provides a class-leading 589 litres of boot space, expanding to a vast 1648 litres, seats down. Accessing this extra space couldn’t be easier; a simple pull on a lever flips down the Honda’s 60/40 split rear seats in one smooth motion. Cabin storage is perhaps less noteworthy, as the glovebox is on the small side and the door bins are of modest proportions. You do get a collection of cup-holders and a generously sized centre cubby though.

On the road the new 160 PS variant of the firm’s capable 1.6-litre diesel engine impresses from the off. Not only does it muster more power than the old larger (and heavier) 2.2-litre diesel, but mated with the new nine-speed auto box proves more responsive and refined. Of course, what will attract many buyers is the drastic improvement in fuel economy (combined 55.3 mpg) and emissions (139g/km) – especially laudable given that this model is four-wheel drive.

The CR-Vs handling isn’t as sharp as a Honda Accord, but once you adjust to the different Crossover/SUV characteristic, it’s perfectly acceptable. The ride does shimmy around a bit, but this doesn’t detract from the car’s ability to be both comfortable, yet also dynamically satisfying – steering is accurate enough and brakes feel responsive and strong, without being over-sensitive. Refinement levels impress, too – new thicker door seals proving effective at shutting out road noise – and while there’s some road noise present, it never gets intrusive.

 

Verdict:

2015 revisions add to the Honda CR-V’s key qualities of comfortable, versatile and well-built family transport. This higher-power version of the firm’s 1.6 i-DTEC clean diesel engine also brings substantial improvements over the old 2.2-litre model in both driving dynamics and efficiency.

 

Tech spec:

Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC 160 EX Auto
OTR Price: £34,120
Max power: 160 PS @ 4000 rpm
Max torque: 360 Nm @ 2000 rpm
Gearbox: 9-speed automatic
Max speed: 122 mph
0-62 mph in 10 seconds
Combined MPG: 55.3 (combined)
CO2 emissions: (g/km) 139
VED band: E

 

 

 

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