Sprint Review: Honda CR-V 2.0 Elegance FWD

A new car, plenty of information in random paragraphs.

Some facts on the CR-V: The Honda CR-V has been around for almost 20 years and happily it’s a car that our market carried almost from the start. With inoffensive looks, no-nonsense tech and clever interiors, the CR-V not only sold well but also commands some pretty impressive resale values.

Always available as a petrol four-cylinder with the odd turbo-Diesel in between, this range has just received a mild facelift and new toys. Choose between a 2-litre auto or manual in two trim levels or a 2.4 all-wheel-drive automatic; also in two spec levels. We tested the N$404,100 CR-V 2.0 Elegance FWD.

More information: The acronym for Honda’s SUV stands for “Compact Recreational Vehicle” and boy did they get it right. While not the smallest car around, it certainly drives and feels like something a little more compact. As with most modern Hondas, the interior’s versatility is simply gobsmacking.

Like its predecessor, this car can open its rear doors to almost 90 degrees and fold its 60/40 split rear seats completely flat. Honda gives you two options to do this: a chord next to the seat(s) or handles in the cargo area. In both cases you only need one hand to start the rapid collapse; same goes for the two-stage reverse process.

What he said: The other day I was approached by an acquaintance about car advice. At first cringing through the obligatory “what do you think of the…” my face instantly lit up when he concluded with “Honda CR-V?” This is one of those no-brainer cars, no matter its spec or price. “Go for it” I said.

I love the spacious interior.

This new face really suits the car, brings it up to date. The interior is still fantastic with that high gear lever position and loads of storage options. Honda’s new touch-screen infotainment unit is great to use – Bluetooth finally connects when asked to – but it looks a little foreign and doesn’t have a volume knob; only buttons.

What she said: I love the spacious interior. From ample leg and head room no matter where you’re seated to the cavernous boot  which is perfect for a shopping trip with the girls or school bags and kiddie paraphernalia if you’re in the family way.

The ride is super comfortable.

The ride is super comfortable. This car just fits a person well. No fiddling, no discomfort, all the right seat position to height ratios and an easy drive all together.

My only complaint is that I found the lower gear ratios to be a bit ‘pap’ and, given the typical poor torque offering from Honda, you do find yourself changing down a lot in town or hill driving and you also need to be a bit careful when pulling away in first or reversing up an incline, you’ll find you need a bit more gas than you might like. Other than that, a really fantastic drive.

Why you want one: Exceptional versatility and reliability blended into a good SUV. These new models won’t match turbo-diesels (or turbo-petrols) for power or consumption but they’ll probably out-last any rivals and give them a bloody nose in the second-hand yards, too.


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