Honda CR-V 2.2i – DTEC 4WD Executive: Four with More
January 31, 2013
The new fourth-generation Honda CR-V is better equipped than ever to take on the SUV segment for number one position. It’s gentle on the eye; the engine is refined; and the drive system dependable. And there is a lot of functionality and plenty of accessories. So is that good enough to cut it?
The fourth-generation Honda CR-V was released in Poland at the end of last year. The styling should be pleasing enough to anybody. The front end, with its two-part front bumper and LED headlights connected to the grille, is original if nothing else. The side line has made a complete break from the previous version. The oval outline of the passenger cabin windows in the coupe version has been replaced with sharper angles.
Lights deeply set in the fenders bring out the sharpness of the rear end in stark relief. These stylistic cuts are meant to emphasize the car’s exclusiveness while adding a touch of dynamism to the profile. You can judge the results for yourself. I find the profile very attractive.
The interior is spacious and the finishing materials are of a very high standard. The car can comfortably seat five adults. There are a lot of compartments and ledges in addition to a well-designed trunk that packs an SUV record of 589 liters. The rear seats can be folded down using a lever in the trunk to create an even floor and a loading area of 1,699 liters.
The dashboard is ergonomics itself. All the indicators and switches are easy to read and clearly laid out. Driver visibility is exceptional. The steering wheel column can be adjusted for depth and height. The multifaceted seat adjustment and large rear view mirrors increase visibility even more. The small, convenient steering wheel fits into your hands perfectly. And as the Audio/CD and computer buttons are on it, you can play around with the various functions without taking your hands off the wheel. No complaints about the gearbox either. The gearshift is right beside the steering wheel and looks like a little joystick. Its small steps and precise operation make it a pleasure to use.
The vehicle we test-drove had a 2.2 l/150 hp turbocharged diesel engine that is one of the best in its class. It’s dynamic, flexible and fuel efficient. The ECON system sees to the fuel economy. Just push the green button on the dash and all the engine and air-conditioning parameters will be set to minimize fuel consumption. The engine has a maximum torque of 350Nm which kicks in at 2,000 rpm. The car can hit a ton in 9.7 sec. and has a top speed of 190 kph. And all this with an average fuel consumption of barely 5.81 l/100 km—or so the factory says. We fell somewhat short of these glowing parameters but given the weight and size of the car, and the winter conditions, our average fuel consumption of 7.5 l/100 km was not that bad. There is a six-speed manual gearbox and an optional five-speed automatic. The car is front wheel drive during normal driving conditions. The ground only has to change or the surface become slippery for the four-wheel drive to kick in. This advanced drive system works instantaneously without you even being aware of it.
The CR-V comes well stocked with standard equipment that includes a full electric set of windows and outside mirrors, ABS and VSA systems (Vehicle Stability Assist – equivalent to ESP), front, side and curtain airbags, active headrests, Audio/CD system, automatic air conditioning, onboard computer, rear-view video-camera, leather upholstery, bi-xenon headlights, and aluminum rims.
The CR-V was one of the first SUVs out there. The first generation came out in Japan in 1995. When it appeared in Europe two years later, it virtually had no rivals. The SUV segment is now of the fastest growing and most rapidly changing there is. Only time will tell whether the fourth-generation CR-V will be able to hold its own against a growing number of Asian and European contenders.