Jeep 2020 Dec

2018 Honda CR-V Longterm Part One - Honda's Sensitive CR-V


Honda’s CR-V has joined the long-term fold as we take the keys to the top of the range AWD Sport Sensing model for the next few months.

Words: Kyle Cassidy   |   Photos Tom Gasnier
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The CR-V is an SUV we’ve had a generally favourable view of over the years, a trend continuing with this one, the fifth generation. CR-V dates back to 1995, and so is one of the earliest entrants into what is now the most popular vehicle segment here.

As Louisson mentioned in the HR-V review, CR-V is not quite Honda’s best seller here, that being the Jazz. The wee five-door probably has the greatest owner retention rate as what does one replace their Jazz with? Another Jazz of course as the winning formula of a small car with oodles of space simply works for its owners.

And it must be a similar story with CR-V. Over the years, Honda has kept to a similar formula for CR-V, that being an SUV that’s big on space for its class with lots of practical features.

The consumption figure for Honda’s AWD CR-V is listed at 7.4L/100km, but that’s a combined average of the urban and extra-urban figures.

And it must be a similar story with CR-V. Over the years, Honda has kept to a similar formula for CR-V, that being an SUV that’s big on space for its class with lots of practical features. Like arranging the controls to perch on the dash, leaving the centre console area for oodles of storage space.

The boot is big too, with a low flat floor, easily extending with seats that fold and sink down to ensure the load space is level. While the rear seat accommodations are pretty good for the class, three kids across the back in close proximity can get tedious pretty quickly, at least for the adults. The CR-V range now features a seven-seat option in the Sport variant but it lacks the full safety fitout of the Sensing version, the rear seats take up boot space and it’s only available as a front-driver.

All CR-Vs use the same 1.5-litre turbopetrol, running through the CVT. It’s tuned to deliver more low end torque in CR-V, and so it gets by nicely during your average commute using moderate revs below 3000rpm.

While initially we thought it was a tad sluggish, we eventually twigged that the pesky Eco button had been switched on. In its default mode there’s a mite more urge to get up to speed while the economy rises only slightly, the figure up from an initial 7.8 to 8.1 for the first 630km in our hands.

The claim is 7.2L/100km, so not too bad at all then. This example had already covered over 16,000km with the interior holding up well, no untoward squeaks or obvious wear, and hopefully it stays that way over the coming months.


Touchy feely

Honda’s infotainment system, dubbed Advanced Display Audio, has a range of integrated functions. It still annoys us that you have to confirm a safety message everytime you start up, and if you don’t, it goes into its sleep mode. The sensitivity of the touchscreen can be adjusted, though even on its most touchy-feely mode it requires a deft prod to ensure it responds first time.

you don’t like Honda’s default set-up, or the way the inbuilt navigation operates, you can plug a phone in to enjoy either the Apple or Android way of doing things. The Honda system can also use either the Google Voice or Siri Eyes-Free voice commander to get operations done, which we haven’t yet mastered. Also handy, the USB port is a fast-charge type, so won’t take an age to zap your phone.

Keeping watch

We wondered about the merits of the Lane View Camera when Honda introduced it on the previous gen Accord; doesn’t it just replicate what you are seeing in the side mirror? Well yes, but it relays a wider 80-degree angle, giving a better view of what’s coming up alongside when you indicate left (or push the button on the end of the wand).

The lines on the monitor also give a better idea of how far away things are. As we motorists lose more of the roads to ill-conceived cycle lanes which merge with busy intersections, this improved side view could prove a life saver.

With traffic dodging about from lane to lane, the camera can pick up more of the surroundings, and you only need to take a quick gander at the monitor to check if a fast moving cyclist is gunning up the inside rather than turning your head entirely from the road up ahead.

Sensing danger

The Sensing part of this CR-V’s model name refers to the inclusion of all the active safety and convenience features. These include adaptive cruise which is simply set with one button, and ensures you maintain the correct distance to the car in front for a given speed. It leaves a conservative gap but will slow you right down to a halt in traffic, and keep you trickling along in a jam.

What it doesn’t do is keep your speed in check when descending a hill, which is usually where the speed camera is. The CR-V is pretty good at keeping you in the lane with its self-centring function, also easily switchable if you prefer not to have the car tell you how to steer. The forward collision alert system hasn’t fired off any false warnings yet.

Some systems can get flummoxed by parked cars in side streets, thinking you are imminent danger of a collision. We hope not to have the driver attention system go off, or experience the collision mitigation braking system in action either.

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