Given its new proportions, its spaciousness and the addition of a third row of seats to the options list, it’s probably time to stop thinking of the Honda CR-V as one of the world’s founding compact SUVs.

We must instead recognise it for what it has become: a full-sized, fully fledged, super-functional SUV that could easily play the ‘big car’ role and wants for little in terms of comfort, equipment, versatility or ease of use.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
Functional CR-V might find it tough at value end of family SUV market

That said, the CR-V does want for a few other things. It doesn’t offer a great deal of design appeal; it seldom even threatens to engage you much in the process of driving; it can frustrate with its sometimes unresponsive and unwilling-feeling two-pedal powertrain; and it fails to really approach the class-leading fuel economy that Honda promised.

With a different powertrain, the CR-V might surmount some of those shortcomings. That it’s unlikely ever to emerge from the shadows as a family car to really desire, however, probably says more about the CR-V’s servile, unpretentious character than any specific failing of its performance. And for that, you might quite like it.

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