Up to a point, that is. The 1.6 i-DTEC’s improved agility actually highlights the deficiencies in the 1.6-litre engine’s delivery. Peak power comes at 4000rpm but despite the 221lb ft torque figure arriving at 2000rpm it never delivers much mid-range urgency. That makes you busier with the six-speed manual than you would be in a European rival - or that Mazda. Corners you might expect to exit in third often require second, and if you’re after more than just moderate acceleration on the motorway you’ll need to drop a ratio, or two, too.
Adding revs only adds more noise and little increase in pace. If there is a sweet spot in the delivery it’s between 2500-3000rpm, but even there the 1.6 i-DTEC lacks the sort of effortless punch you’d get from its contemporaries.
That’s only likely to be exacerbated when it’s fully loaded, part of the CR-V’s appeal being its spacious cabin and capacious boot. The interior is well considered in its layout, if unremarkable, the short seat cushions lacking under thigh support and some of the plastics feeling a touch insubstantial. Honda has yet to confirm pricing, but the 1.6 i-DTEC will be offered in S, SE and SR specifications with prices anticipated to start at £22,000.
Should I buy one?
That probably depends if you or your company are paying for it.
It’s difficult to ignore those headline figures when they impact on your tax bill, but you will miss the easier performance of the 2.2 i-DTEC. Adjust your expectations slightly and the 1.6 i-DTEC is competent enough, though its improved dynamics only highlight the new engine’s relative lack of performance. Its CO2 emissions are matched by several rivals too, not least that Mazda - which knocks two seconds from the Honda’s 11.2 sec 0-62mph time - and costs much the same.
Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC
Price TBA - circa £22,000-23,000; 0-60mph 11.2sec; Top speed 113mph; Economy 62.8mpg; Emissions 119g/km; Kerb weight 1543kg (tbc); Engine 4 cyls in-line, turbocharged, 1597cc, diesel; Power 118bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 221lb ft at 2000rpm; Gearbox 6-speed manual