If you remember, earlier on this year we toured Brittany with a Honda CR-V 2.2i-Dtec EX 4WD . We loved the car, so when Honda offered us a go in their very eco-friendly 1.6 i-DTEC model we jumped at the chance. We basically whooshed around for a whole week, using the car for everyday driving: school runs, shopping etc, sailing past petrol stations and feeling really smug.
About not being Jeremy Clarkson
I know I’ve already done this gag, but this is very much a family review and won’t contain anything about rack ratios (snigger) or wheel bases, but I know people google these things when they’re choosing a car, so hopefully this will be helpful if you’re considering a change.
We love the look of the CR-V. It’s enormous inside and even Sam with his massive lanky legs can sit in the back in comfort. The 1.6 i-DTEC has less bells and whistles than the high spec EX version we had last time, but there are still enough brilliant gadgets to keep everyone happy. We were also pretty gobsmacked to find on delivery that the screen showed a potential mileage of 650 miles. Apparently you can get up to 800 miles out of one tank which I guess means you could end up filling up about once a month – fabulous for all those petrol station phobics like me.
The best bits
I particularly love the rear video parking screen. It makes reversing into spaces so easy, and the beeper means you can edge up to the next car (or anything else) knowing that you’re not going to clonk it.
The boot is huge (589 litres, whatever that means) and the 60/40 rear seats fold down with a single pull. So our first trip was off to the Christmas tree farm…
I also headed up the M1 to pick Mr English up from the airport and found the large wing mirrors and fantastic visibility right into the boot meant it was really easy to drive on the motorway.
The eco function that we liked so much on the EX still features on the SE – you can turn it off if you want, but it’s a great way of driving economically and I don’t find it distracting at all.
I loved driving the Honda – it’s smooth and easy to drive (although I found the 6 gears confusing at first, and spent miles sailing along in fifth), and although it’s not super-speedy, it was fine for everyday driving around town and on the motorway.
The boys loved the sound system – you can connect your phone by USB or AUX cable, but the best bit was connecting by BlueTooth. I had no idea I was even connected on one journey (my phone was in the boot) when suddenly the music stopped and a voice informed me that I had a text message from Sam: ‘okay cheers Mam smiley face ex ex‘ which made me laugh – dead handy if you’re ever tempted to look at your phone while you’re driving. It will reply for you too!
What we didn’t like
The BlueTooth connection didn’t like my Windows phone and continually connected and disconnected. The keyfob only unlocks the drivers door, unless you click it twice, which is brilliant for safety if you’re driving alone because you know no lunatic is going to leap into the passenger seat or steal your handbag, but to let anyone else in you then have to push a button on the driver’s door. I constantly forgot to unlock it when the kids got in the car, leaving them yanking at locked doors outside the school. Still, you soon get used to it and apart from that, we really couldn’t find anything to complain about.
This is our second Honda CR-V and we absolutely love them. If we had the budget to move up from our somewhat ancient BMW X5, it would be the first on my list – it’s an excellent all-round family car with bags of room and frankly amazing fuel economy. It’s incredibly practical for families with all the handy gadgets, storage spaces and cup holders (and that massive boot), it’s built in the UK and because its emissions are below 120g/km* of CO2 (nope, no idea either), the road tax is only £30 A YEAR!
I’ve added it to my Christmas list for next year, so let’s hope Santa is feeling generous. I’d like the white orchid pearl colour please!
The vehicle we tested was the Honda CR-V1.6 i-DTEC SE 2WD Manual, OTR £24,660 or £25,160 with the pearlescent paint.
Massive thanks to Honda (UK) for their generosity, patience and time. You can find more information on the Honda CR-V here.