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Honda CR-V
5/10

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Road Test

Honda CR-V 2.2i-DTEC EX Auto

Driven May 2010

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For this facelift, Honda has avoided the full Gok Wan makeover and instead given the CR-V a subtle array of enhancements. It was hardly a minger before the changes, so the new bumpers and grille are probably all it needed. It also gets a more powerful 2.2-litre diesel, as seen in the Accord, paired with an auto box for the first time.

The engine and gearbox suit each other well and conform to the CR-V's straightforward style. There isn't a flappy paddle in sight and the gearstick appears to be borrowed from the Eighties. It's a slide-straight-up-n-down layout, with no extra notch for sport mode or manual override. And that's probably a good thing, because - despite its 257lb ft - the diesel is best left unprovoked. Better to let the old-skool five-speed transmission do its thing while you worry about the balling baby in the back. It may be uninspiring, but it continues to demonstrates the CR-V's unfussy competence.

Back in the fledgling days of SUVs, the CR-V was a novelty. Now in its third-and a-half generation, it's encircled by stylish competition like the Hyundai iX35. While both cars do roughly the same job, the iX35 is designed with more verve and, crucially, costs much less.

The entry-level Honda CR-V diesel costs £22,135. A basic iX35 with similar spec costs £4,140 less. That's a fortnight in the Maldives - we know what we'd do.

Dan Read

Performance: 0-62mph in 10.6secs, max speed 116mph, 38.2mpg
Tech: 2199cc, 4cyl, 4WD, 148bhp, 258lb ft, 1713kg, 195g/km CO2

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