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Honda CR-V

Road Test

Honda CR-V 1.6 diesel driven

Driven October 2013

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Not so fast, Honda CR-V diesel shoppers. There you were, about to choose the 2.2 i-DTEC that, so far, has been the only diesel in the range. But now, in search of reduced emissions and fuel savings, Honda has added a 1.6-litre diesel from the Civic. Big car, smaller engine. Isn't that like giving a donkey a dog's lung?

Not in this case. For starters, the 1.6 is only available with 2WD, and throwing out the 4WD gubbins saves weight. Further fat trimming comes courtesy of an aluminium engine block and head. So even though it's down 30bhp compared to the bigger diesel, the 116kg weight saving makes up for it. And provided you're not tugging a caravan, there's plenty of energy to transport you plus whatever's in the monstrous 1,669-litre boot (seats down).

Tweaks have also been made to the dampers and rear bushes, and the rear anti-roll bar has been stiffened to stop the body movements suffered by the 2.2. These are welcome changes, but Honda still hasn't cured the amazingly vague steering.

But the best bit? It's just over £2k cheaper than a similarly-specced 2.2 diesel. And because it's cleaner, you'll pay less tax. Throw in another 10-or-so mpg if you drive nicely, and it's starting to look very attractive. A win? We'd say so.

Rowan Horncastle

The numbers
1597cc, 1.6 diesel, FWD, 118bhp, 221lb ft, 62.8mpg, 119g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 11.2secs, 113mph, 1541kg, £22,800

The verdict
Practical, economical and competent for a smallish diesel engine. And spec for spec, it's about two grand cheaper than the 2.2.

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