2018 Honda CR-V VTi-LX.
2018 Honda CR-V VTi-LX.

ROAD TEST: Honda CR-V one of the most underrated SUVs

THE Japanese brand's mid-size SUV may not match its rivals on the sales charts, but it is well ahead in other areas.

VALUE

The VTi-LX is the most dressed up of the CR-V family. As such the seven-inch (should be eight) infotainment display will handle smartphone mirroring along with in-built satnav and digital audio, pumped in the cabin via eight speakers. Leather highlights and heated front seats are standard, as is a panoramic sunroof, tinted rear windows and LED lights all around. The five-year/unlimited km warranty is welcome. Service intervals are 12 months/10,000km and the first four trips are capped at $295 each.

 

COMFORT

There are 522 litres of boot space in the CR-V contained by a height-adjustable powered tailgate. Leg and headroom is OK for four adults, though the sunroof does use some headroom for taller types in the back. Finding a comfortable position in the Honda isn't a hassle and the look is classy without being class-leading. The ride is better composed than in previous models while still leaning towards comfort.

All-rounder: The CR-V is a well rounded mid-size SUV.
All-rounder: The CR-V is a well rounded mid-size SUV.

 

SAFETY

Active driving aids, from autonomous emergency braking to lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control, are only found on the VTi-LX. That puts the rest of the range at a disadvantage over some key rivals, who have it as standard or in option packs. ANCAP rated the CR-V a five-star car when it was assessed last year, earning a score of 35.76/37 points.

 

Well presented. The CR-V has a quality cabin though it is not class leading.
Well presented. The CR-V has a quality cabin though it is not class leading.

 

DRIVING

The VTi-LX is powered by the same 1.5-litre turbocharged four cylinder found in the Honda Civic. In this case it sends 140kW/240Nm to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission. If slip is detected, it can transfer 40 per cent of the that urge to the back wheels. The CR-V steers well and handles OK for a family people mover. It's basically not the sharpest tool in the mid-sized SUV shed but it one of the better all-purpose products. Claimed combined fuel use is 7.4 litres/100km, rising to 9.3L/100km around town.

 

ALTERNATIVES

2018 Hyundai Tucson Highlander
2018 Hyundai Tucson Highlander

Hyundai Tucson Highlander

$45,450 driveaway

The top-spec Tucson ups the ante with an eight-inch touchscreen and a torquier 2.0-litre turbo but doesn't have the cargo area at 488 litres.

Mazda CX-5 Akera
Mazda CX-5 Akera

Mazda CX-5 Akera

$47,990 driveaway

Mazda's updated CX-5 has the shiniest and smartest interior of this group and handles well. On a more pragmatic front, it cedes some versatility to the CR-V in terms of cargo space at 442 litres.

2018 Nissan X-Trail Ti
2018 Nissan X-Trail Ti

Nissan X-Trail Ti

$48,262 driveaway

The X-Trail has the passenger and cargo space to out-rate the Honda but the price isn't sharp enough to overlook the CR-V's five-year warranty.

 

VERDICT

The new CR-V has a sharper look than its predecessor but the packaging is smarter still, making this a favourite multi-tasking machine, be that for people or cargo.

 

Honda CR-V VTi-LX

$42,600-$43,420 drive-away

SAFETY 5 stars, 6 airbags, AEB, lane-keep assist

ENGINE 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol turbo, 140kW/240Nm

TRANSMISSION CVT AWD

THIRST 7.4L/100km (91 RON)


The absolute joy of sharing your garden

The absolute joy of sharing your garden

ENJOYING the trees and plants from someone else’s garden while out in your own is...

New medical centre to operate 365 days a year

premium_icon New medical centre to operate 365 days a year

THE new business, located within a shopping centre, promised to be open from 8am to...

Investigation into ‘incorrect’ landing at Ballina airport

premium_icon Investigation into ‘incorrect’ landing at Ballina airport

Captain realised plane’s speed and altitude were higher than normal