Tim Dickson
16 January 2010

What is it?

This is Honda’s popular and versatile CR-V quasi-off-roader, facelifted for 2010.

But while aesthetic updates are kept to a minimum it’s under the bonnet that the most significant changes have been made. Most notable of these, and driven here, is the addition of an automatic gearbox option for diesel models.

What’s it like?

It’s a mixed bag. The 2.2-litre common rail i-DTEC diesel engine has been breathed on to liberate fractionally more torque and power, and also clean up its particulate emissions. It’s smoother and quieter too, although as much work has been done to soundproof the cabin as it has on the motor itself.

But while the engine modifications should translate into marginally more sprightly performance, the reality is disappointing as the motor feels somewhat hamstrung by the five-speed automatic ’box.

From a standstill the CR-V pulls away just about briskly enough, but at A-road speeds and above it only ever feels like there’s just enough power available, no more.

At lower speeds the upshifts are noticeable without quite being intrusive, while the kickdown can feel lethargic for higher speed overtakes.

It never feels anything short of refined and capable, but it lacks verve.

Economy suffers, too. We struggled to better 34mpg on the motorway, with figures dropping well into the 20s around town. CO2 emissions are a hefty 195g/km, compared to the manual variant’s 171g/km.

The Honda carries and hides its size and bulk remarkably well, and is more manoeuvrable, nimble and car-like than a 4x4 of this size really has a right to be. Body roll is minimal too, but there is a lot of tyre noise – not to mention wind noise over the screen and door mirrors – and the chassis transmits bumps and potholes into the cabin with a thump.

Negatives aside, the CR-V has a quality interior and the cabin is a pleasant place to be, while the rear seats two full-size adults in comfort and the split-level boot is large and versatile. In short, then, all good things that make it an enjoyable and practical everyday drive.

Should I buy one?

Not an automatic, no. Were it not for the strain that auto box puts on the motor, the CR-V scores far better as a capable, if expensive, large family motor with four-wheel drive security and a degree of off-road ability.

But if you want a CR-V then as it stands the manual version is better to drive and cheaper to run, and is by far the better option.

Join the debate

Comments
21

Re: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX automatic

4 years 26 weeks ago

Wow, 29k!

Re: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX automatic

4 years 26 weeks ago

This or an Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 170(£30k)?

Honda - "the power of dreams" - nightmares, if you buy this joke. Sayonara Honda.

Re: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX automatic

4 years 26 weeks ago

I see they haven't sorted out that ugly front end with this 'refresh'.

Re: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX automatic

4 years 26 weeks ago

BigEd wrote:
This or an Audi Q5 2.0 TDI 170(£30k)?

Note this is the top spec 'EX' CR-V, I started spec'ing up a Q5 2.0 TDI 170 SE Automatic with what the Honda has and got bored and gave up at £35905.. and I hadn't finished!!!

Re: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX automatic

4 years 26 weeks ago

The Apprentice wrote:
Note this is the top spec 'EX' CR-V, I started spec'ing up a Q5 2.0 TDI 170 SE Automatic with what the Honda has and got bored and gave up at £35905.. and I hadn't finished!!!

Fair enough, but in the end you can either have a base-spec good vehicle, the Q5, at or near the top of its class, or you can have a also-ran loaded, like gilding a turd.

Re: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX automatic

4 years 26 weeks ago

fair enough.. choice between a turd or a c*ck is up to the individual.

Re: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX automatic

4 years 26 weeks ago

Autocar wrote:
aesthetic updates are kept to a minimum
Shame!

Re: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX automatic

4 years 26 weeks ago

This CRV like all Honda's is practical and reliable,but i never thought it possible to make this car uglier!!! Honda have though.Yeuch!!!!!

Re: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX automatic

4 years 26 weeks ago

merci beaucoup

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

Re: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-DTEC EX automatic

4 years 26 weeks ago

BigEd wrote:
Fair enough, but in the end you can either have a base-spec good vehicle, the Q5, at or near the top of its class, or you can have a also-ran loaded, like gilding a turd.

Buy the Audi and it'll spend most of its time in the dealership, and you're into the horrendous arrogance of Audi dealerships and VAG UK Customer "Service". I've been there - never again.

Honda's just work.

The review is disappointing though - I had high-hopes of the auto diesel CRV.

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Our Verdict

Can the Honda CR-V bring anything new to a crowded arena?

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