Why would anyone choose a petrol-powered Honda CR-V? Actually there have been some grounds, none more compelling than the fact that, model for model, the petrol car is more than £900 cheaper than the 1.6-litre diesel.
If, therefore, you were a low-mileage user, wanting the elevated seating position of an SUV but as little of the expense as possible, a petrol CR-V may have made a great deal of sense. However, all this was before the dawn of the 1.6-litre diesel. It asks for another second and a bit to get to 62mph, but it will reward you by travelling more than 20 miles further on each gallon of fuel while chucking in a free tax disc for good measure.
For many, however, the obsolete 148bhp 2.2-litre diesel motor would found under a majority of used CR-Vs bonnets. As we shall see, it is not only more frugal than the petrol version but also, less predictably, given that it has more weight and less power, offers better performance.
That sounds like a mathematical impossibility, but it’s not. The petrol motor may have three extra horsepower but that paltry advantage fades to total nothingness when you consider that it develops just 141lb ft of torque at 4300rpm compared to the substantial 258lb ft made by the diesel engine at fewer than half the revs.
Not only does that make the diesel fractionally faster on paper (0-62mph is 9.7sec compared to 10.2sec for a petrol all-wheel drive CR-V), in the real world there’s really no comparison. While you’re wondering just how many gears you may need to drop to clear some traffic in the petrol CR-V, the diesel has already gone.