Coupled with the CR-V Hybrid’s Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), the adaptive cruise can quickly reduce a lot of the fatigue of driving. In fact, I’d go further than that. When in EV mode, with only the soundtrack of a digitally generated noise for pedestrians, and both ACC and LKAS activated, the interior of this hybrid SUV is so relaxing it could host one of your hygge, millennial, meditative hot-yoga classes.
And it’s a similar story on the motorway, even with the Atkinson-cycle combustion engine ignited. Recently, we journeyed to South Wales to film an Ariel Nomad take on a Triumph Scrambler on a mini forest rally stage for Autocar’s YouTube channel. The vast majority of that schlep from Autocar’s HQ in outer London is spent sitting on the M4. After several hours with adaptive cruise and lane keep assist firmly set to on, I was notably less tired than on other occasions when we’ve filmed on roads around the same area.
In this way, the technology packed into our Honda is gradually changing my driving habits. Besides ACC and LKAS, another system weaselling its way into my everyday style is this hybrid derivative’s regenerative braking. On the back of the steering wheel, there are two flappy paddles.
Rather than shifting up and down gears (as the Honda has a rather complicated eCVT ’box), the paddles control the amount of regenerative braking induced by the hybrid powertrain. Pull the left paddle up to three times, and it increases the retardation force, while the right one eases this same effect off.
As the cyclist slowed on the uphill rise, I took a clear opportunity to pass and I soon approached one of the meze of mini-roundabouts dished up around Richmond Park. At this point, rather than braking with my right boot, I used my right thumb to deactivate the adaptive cruise control and then pulled the left paddle to slow the car down more aggressively. I could see it was clear, so I reactivated ACC and pulled the right paddle to reduce the braking force. The CR-V accelerated back to 20mph and settled into a comfortable cruise once more.
Passing through the gates at the top of the hill and into Richmond, I realised I’d driven through the entire park without using my feet at all. The CR-V Hybrid is undoubtedly changing me: not just in driving style but also in my natural distrust of such systems. I’m impressed.
Hardy hybrid The all-wheel-drive system put up with all the weather this summer could throw at it.
Dodgy doors Unlocking the passenger doors takes multiple key presses, even if the boot’s already open.