The upgraded version of the fifth-generation Honda CR-V, now offered only as a hybrid, makes a lot of sense, says Jonathan Crouch.
ten second review
As a sign of the times, the Honda CR-V only has a self-charging hybrid engine. This change in focus comes with a slight internal and external update. Otherwise, though, the essential character of this fifth-generation design hasn't changed. Neither is its main competitor, the Toyota RAV4.
Soon, non-electric motors will be a thing of the past. In fact, they belong to the Honda CR-V range, which is now based entirely on the brand's e:TECHNOLOGY i-MMD full hybrid powertrain. The CR-V has never been a competitor to break out on the spec sheet. No. You have to drive it. use it Fill it with your family. Many of those who have experience with this probably won't even bother with the alternatives before replacing their second, third, fourth or fifth generation CR-V with this updated MK5 model. After all, according to its manufacturer at least, it offers a depth of engineering that many other competitors simply don't have, and hasn't since the original version of this "compact RV" became segment-defining, if you will. , in 1995, with later models in the years 2002, 2007 and 2012 before. This fifth generation design was introduced in 2018 and improved upon two years later to create the car we have here.
behind the wheel experience
If you're already familiar with this car's fully hybrid i-MMD self-charging gas/electric engine, the main change we have to share with you concerns the suspension upgrades on this revised model. Honda says the damping has been tuned to offer a more linear ride and achieve what it describes as "increased low longitudinal stiffness for optimized road compliance." We think that means it handles bumps a bit better and doesn't spin around corners as much. Otherwise it is the same as before with the hybrid model. Thanks to a combination of electrification and a larger displacement 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine, which together generate 315Nm of torque, this model is easy to drive. This is further bolstered by the fact that the non-negotiable automatic transmission you must have in hybrids dispenses with a rubber band CVT in this case, instead allowing for a proper mix of fixed gears allowing for a direct connection between the parts. mobile phones and internal combustion power. The plant works with the support of two electric motors, one for propulsion and the other for power generation, which is stored in a lithium-ion battery. Depending on the road conditions and the desired driving style, the powertrain switches between three modes: "Hybrid", "EV" and "Motor". Only in the least efficient driving mode, 'Motor', is the petrol engine directly connected to the wheels; That's the configuration you'd be in if you took this variant's specified rest time at 100 km/h, a sprint time of around 9 seconds, or reproduced the top speed of 112 mph. Most of the time, however, you will use more or less power assistance. With the "hybrid" drive, the motor is there to supply electricity to the generator, which in turn transmits it to the drive motor. Finally, in EV configuration, this Honda is fully electric, however its milk float range of mobility is only 1.2 miles on a fully charged battery. You can also use the paddle shifters located behind the steering wheel to maximize the recovery of engine braking energy, charging the battery faster and increasing the amount of time the system can be disconnected from the gasoline feed.
design and build
Visual changes to this upgraded CR-V are minimal; a blue-rimmed Honda badge on the grille, fancier 18-inch alloy wheels and standard rear privacy glass, that's it. It's still apparently (according to Honda) "the most popular SUV in the world," so many people will have an opinion on what this fifth-generation version looks like. Most should be happy. There's plenty of chrome to please the transatlantic crowd, while the wide arches and large wheels pushed closer to the car's ends ensure some road presence. In general, however, there is nothing too controversial here. Maybe it's the way it should be. The visual appeal of this car has always been underrated, and you can tell it's liked as much as loyal customers. Inside, the recent changes are a bit more obvious; a sleeker silver finish for the center console, door panels, and dashboard. Many of the features are still borrowed from the brand's tenth-generation Civic, including the instrument panel, which you can see through the three-spoke wheel. It's one of those combined digital and analog devices, with slimline analog fuel and temperature gauges flanking a central TFT LCD display. The back seat is quite roomy. Unfortunately, the optional third row of seats that was possible with the old traditional 1.5-liter gasoline engine cannot be incorporated into this hybrid model. The trunk is not as large as the previous variant with a conventional combustion engine either, with a capacity that drops from 561 liters to 497 liters in this hybrid version (and 1,694 liters with the rear seats folded down).
market and model
Added tech has to come with cheaper prices, which is why the CR-V range now starts at just over £30,000. To spice things up, a few extra features have been added here, including smarter 18-inch alloy wheels and, on the flagship "EX" model, wireless smartphone charging as standard. There are five trim variants to choose from: "S", "SE", "SR", "Sport Line" and "EX". Even the base “S” models get full LED headlights, an 8-speaker DAB audio system and electric lumbar support. The most obvious competitor to this car is the similarly priced Toyota RAV4 Hybrid; You could also consider HEV hybrid versions of the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson. All other class competitors use nominal mild hybrid technology or expensive plug-in PHEV technology. All CR-V variants have very high safety standards, with the Honda Sensing Package offering one of the most comprehensive packages of active safety and driver-assist technologies in its class, combining radar and camera technology. These include 'Forward Collision Warning', 'Collision Mitigation Braking System', 'Lane Departure Warning', 'Lane Departure Warning', 'Departure Warning' and 'Traffic Sign Recognition'. The basic design is also quite safe, thanks to Honda's "ACE" "Advanced Compatibility Engineering" body structural design technology, which uses a network of connected structural elements to more evenly disperse impact energy.
cost of ownership
Let's get to the WLTP numbers. For the 2WD hybrid model, it's 42.8 mpg combined cycle and 120 g/km of CO2. For the AWD hybrid, which most customers will opt for, the numbers are 39.8 mpg and 126 g/km. The big picture here is that, taking fuel costs and actual running efficiency into account, this hybrid CR-V will cost about the same as the old diesel model, and be much better for the environment. And your total cost of ownership will be lower when you factor in the lower in-kind taxes of this hybrid model. Whether that's enough to justify the current price of this car is, of course, another question. If your annual mileage is relatively low, this may not be the case. Honda offers a range of driving tools to help owners maximize their earnings potential. Of course, there is a system of stopping and starting the engine. In addition, in the "Trip Computer" section of the "Vehicle Information" section of the Honda Connect screen in the center of the dash, there is "Current Trip" and "Previous Trip" information, as well as average fuel consumption and the autonomy. readings With a "History" section, which allows you to better track your frugality efforts. As for the warranty, it's the usual three-year package, but in this case the warranty covers up to 90,000 miles instead of the 60,000-mile cap imposed by most rivals. In terms of depreciation, the Honda is among the best in this segment with a residual value of 40% after three years. The insurance is from group 22E-24E.
That's about as sensible as it can be to drive a lifestyle-oriented SUV in the family segment. A car for people who care about what a vehicle can do for them, not what it says about them. As you can see, end use was the key design parameter here, not cutting-edge styling, clever gimmicks, irrelevant crisp handling or mindless powerful engines. So it's extremely easy to live with a CR-V Hybrid, the kind of car you own, and then wonder how you ever did without it. That may not be a recipe for headline-making, but it's an approach other brands could certainly learn from, and it explains why so many CR-Vs are bought by people who previously owned one. In short, we can see why so many global customers accept nothing less than Honda's take on what such an SUV should be. And what's on offer with this upgraded gasoline/electric version is a model that could interest many more. Ultimately, it remains clearly different, unmistakable... CR-V. Which could ultimately be all you need.