Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX 4WD
Priced £31, 495
EAGLE-eyed readers will be right in thinking that it’s only about a month since we last reviewed a Honda CR-V.
Correct, but the two vehicles in question couldn’t be further apart in terms of drivetrain, comfort and gadgets.
The badge and model may be the same, but that’s were the similarities end.
If you remember, the last CR-V we reviewed was the two-wheel drive 2-litre i-VTEC version and the weather conditions during the review period were atrocious.
Starting with heavy snow and icy roads it wasn’t long before the temperatures climbed and the accumulation of snow in the Derbyshire Dales started to leave roads under several inches of water.
The two-wheel drive version proved to be astounding and although it’s a shame I couldn’t try this 2.2-litre four wheel drive version in the same conditions, I am more than confident that the four-wheel drive system would perform just as well — or better if that’s possible — just from the very nature of the transmission.
Another major change between this model and my previous review model was the increase in overall comfort, luxuries and gadgets.
The two-wheel-drive model I reviewed was the mid-comfort range SE model packed with Bluetooth telephone system, reversing camera, automatic lights and wipers and front parking sensors.
An impressive list for a mid-range model, but this time we were looking at the top of the range EX model.
This gives you the added extras of a panoramic glass roof, full leather upholstery, keyless ignition and entry, a DAB audio system, heated seats and a powered tailgate.
And of all the features which gripped most attention by passers-by was the powered tailgate.
Rather than give you my opinion on this gadget, I’ll instead recite the feelings of the crowd which gathered around to watch this process in motion.
The flick of a switch on the key fob is all that’s needed for the boot to automatically open — and then the press of a switch is all that’s needed to watch it self-close.
My crowd of onlookers thought that this gadget was probably one of the most usable new features found on high-spec modern cars.
They envisaged their wives loaded with heavy bags and thought the idea of a self-opening boot was quite simply amazing.
Yes it’s a gadget, but clearly it’s a gadget drivers feel they can use and a gadget worth paying for.
As well as the aforementioned gizmos the EX model also packs in a host of driver aids including hill start assist, cruise control with speed limiter, vehicle stability assist and emergency brake assist.
So how does it perform?
If you’re a fan of figures then this 2.2-litre diesel is bound to impress.
The two-wheel drive 2-litre petrol model returned 39.2mpg fuel economy whereas this diesel model returns a thoroughly impressive 48.7mpg. Emissions are also improved — 154g/km compared to 168g/km and likewise the performance is also improved with a 0-62mph acceleration time of 9.7 seconds compared to 10 seconds for the diesel.
And all of these performance improvements are achieved by giving the power output a massive shot in the arm.
Maximum torque ratings for the 2-litre, two-wheel drive petrol model was 192Nm, this four-wheel drive diesel almost doubles this to 350Nm.
Throw in cheaper road tax (Band G compared to Band H) and the increased price tag makes financial sense.
You get a lot more power, a lot more performance, bags more comfort and gadgets and far cheaper running costs.
Sometimes you have to spend a bit more at the outset to benefit more in the long run and this 2.2-litre four-wheel drive CR-V is certainly a good example of this principle in action.
As I didn’t get an opportunity to truly test the CR-V’s four-wheel drive capabilities, it’s only right that we conclude with results from the experts.
In December, this British built sports utility vehicle (SUV) scooped the prestigious ‘4x4 of the Year’ honour from respected publication Total 4x4 Magazine.
The competition was fierce and the magazine’s test team pitted the Honda against several key rivals in the ‘medium SUV’ segment. Sweeping them aside it took class honours, making it a contender for the overall ‘best of the best’ title… which it duly won.
Total 4x4 Magazine’s testing process is comprehensive, ranging from interior quality, comfort and practicality to repeated drives of a set road route by different judges.
The publication’s editor, Alan Kidd, said: “Never before have there been so many likely candidates for the overall title.
“However, from the moment we started crawling around inside the CR-V, it was clear Honda had hit the jackpot. The quality of its interior is on a par with the best, and its flexibility is exceptional — and that was before we actually drove it.”