Those who follow us regularly know we had been running a CR-V in our fleet. It came down for our awards beginning of this year and while every other car went back to their respective manufacturers in a week, I held on to the big Honda. Why? First of all, it is a different car to the Hondas I have known and loved. Small, light, fast, efficient and agile – sums up most Hondas but that is not how you describe an all wheel drive crossover with a 2.4litre engine. But it did grow on me, so much that despite its appetite for fuel, soon I was using it every day.
RELAXING TO DRIVE
Part of the reason why it was put to daily duty was how relaxing it was from the driving seat. It is a suitably large and supportive seat with all the controls falling into the hand nicely. Slot it into D and you laugh in the face of everything the traffic and bad roads can throw at you. The tall seating offers good visibility while the chunky wheels and long travel suspension soaks up all the bumps on the road. It is as easy as sitting in your arm chair and waving your magic wand around. Out on the highway, it was even easier, because the cruise control does most of your work.
The CR-V made for a great support vehicle for our photoshoots.
And it is not just the driver who enjoys this car either. The rear seats are comfortable enough for three. The high seating posture is near perfect. The refinement of the car is commendable too. I am not a huge fan of the brown and grey colours used in the interiors. The old CR-V felt more premium with its beige, but the improved dashboard design is a welcome change. The AVN system works well, but the interface could have been slicker considering the modern day user is spoilt with so many gadgets. The extra display on top of the dashboard doesn’t serve much, except show information that is already available on the AVN and instrument console.
And that brings me on to the engine – a 187bhp K24 unit – one of my favorite ever naturally aspirated four cylinder engines. Yes, it is mated to an auto box, and yes, it has to lug around a big crossover body with large wheels, but what an engine! Once you account for the slight delay in the transmission, it is unbelievably responsive and reasonably fast. It weighs almost 1600 kilos but it does 0-100kmph in 11.08 seconds. Work the paddles on the steering wheel and you make brisk progress through traffic. It has good road manners too, so you can carry fairly high speeds into corners that would otherwise have been unimaginable in a tall car.
The slightly questionable fuel consumption was actually my fault. You see, I was driving it like the Civic. I was demanding more from the engine and letting the auto box work up and down its gears. This five speed transmission doesn’t like to be hurried. It has a rhythm and once you settle into that, it is easy to get 10-11kmpl on average. I even managed 13.4kmpl on a highway drive, with cruise control set at 80kmph.
Like all good things must come to an end, we returned the CR-V back to Honda but retained fond memories of the time it was here with us. DL 01 CP 6091, you’ll always be remembered.