Honda has gone to a great deal of trouble to make the new CR-V a match for the compact SUV class’s better-driving cars, and give it the air of sophistication that you would expect of a car that’s been established for so long. Although there is greater ground clearance than before, that hasn’t come at the expense of a raised centre of gravity, its maker points out.
Most of the details you might read about in the brochure, however (such as a longer wheelbase, hydraulic suspension bushings and new noise and vibration insulation techniques), seem to have been intended to boost the car’s refinement credentials.
They succeed, to a point: the CR-V becomes one of the compact SUV class’s quieter and comfier customers, without setting a really exceptional standard on either score.
The CR-V is certainly not one of the more engaging or poised compact SUVs on the market from a handling perspective. Grip levels are adequate and handling is secure, but body control is only average, and there is nothing you would characterise as particularly agile about the way the car changes direction. In this respect, just as with its powertrain, the Honda makes it clear that it doesn’t much cater for the interested driver.