Crunch time. With the Kia Sportage, Subaru XV, Hyundai ix35, Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Qashqai all rubbing shoulders, there’s plenty of high-value choice challenging the Honda CR-V.
Added to that, Honda’s pricing (and the CR-V’s size) straddles both ends of the market, so it must also be considered a rival for the Land Rover Freelander, BMW X3 and the new Hyundai Santa Fe.
Heady competition, then. The cheapest CR-V, with its 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine and two-wheel drive, is £21,395 and comes with dual-zone climate control, cruise control and USB connectivity. That makes it noticeably more expensive than most of the orthodox crossovers, but on a par with the Freelander and Santa Fe.
In the middle of the four-trim line-up (S, SE, SR and EX), where an AWD 2.2-litre i-DTEC SE adds the parking sensors and Bluetooth connectivity that everyone will surely want, the gap is much the same.
But for the £32,650 required to snare a range-topper like the one on test, you could have an BMW X3 xDrive20d. And, frankly, you would.
On CO2, the CR-V is competitive but far from class-leading. If your tax bill is an overriding concern, the exemplary 119g/km extracted from the CX-5’s own 2.2-litre diesel engine is our current benchmark. However, it should be noted the 1.6-litre diesel will be introduced to the CR-V range in 2013, promising CO2 emissions around 110g/km.