“Dude, I think you’re lost!” mumbles my colleague as we idle along a dirt road just outside Stellenbosch.
“No,” comes my reply. “I’m just taking a short cut.” We both start laughing. I turn on the Honda CR-V’s own GPS to find out where we are. After a few moments we’re back on track. The GPS is a great little extra for their top tier of three trim levels and is just one of the features offered in this well thought out SUV. The Honda CR-V remains true to form and is one of the best choices available in the areas of on-road drivability and practicality.
The Honda CR-V's list of merits is a long one. At first glance the overall impression is elegant and sophisticated, shall we say crossover with purpose. The grille and bonnet have been given sharper lines and the front and rear bumpers have been reshaped. The interior is comfortable and boasts high-quality materials. Additions include an eight-way powered drivers seat, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, heated front seats and electric sunroof. Honda claims to have upped their game on plastic and vinyl finishes and from the look of the metallic outline on the dash and soft black trim, I’ll believe them. My personal new favourite feature is the USB connection, which worked beautifully with my Ipod. The short bonnet coupled with the raised position of the front seats provide good line of sight and makes parking a breeze while the rear seats split and even recline to really let rear passengers ‘chill out’ on longer trips.
Powering the Honda CR-V is a highly advanced 2.2i D-TEC engine the benefits of which are really felt when flying past yet another petrol station with a half a tank still showing and a feeling a mighty surge of torque when you circle the roundabout and shoot down the motorway on-ramp. Unlike many 4x4s in this sector the CR-V handles well too
The ride is comfortable and quiet, its handling is nimble. So many of its rivals pitch and lurch along, generating what chassis engineers describe as ‘head toss’ dampening the driving experience. The CR-V is different thanks to Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist system.
Like every “soft-roader”, the CR-V wasn't really intended for terrain more rugged than gravel road, but its ample ground clearance and available all-wheel drive does give peace of mind for even the most daring city slicker. That said, the CR-V is widely praised and remains one of the most complete compact SUVs around.
Price: R425 378
0 – 100km/h: 9.6
Top Speed: 190km/h
Economy: 6.7 litres/100km
CO2 emissions: 176g/km
Luggage: 513 litres