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Car Review

Honda CR-V (2016-2023) review

£25,710 - £38,065
610
Published: 09 Jun 2022
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

Honda knows how to make a fine-handling car. The regular Civic is pretty good for what is ostensibly a humdrum, family hatchback, while the Type R remains one of the greatest hot hatches in recent history – Top Gear’s 2017 Car of The Year, no less. Even if it does look a bit ridiculous.

The CR-V is no Type R, obviously, but it does drive quite well for what it is – a big, heavy, family SUV that majors on practicality instead of outright fun. Most impressive is the ride, which is helped by hydraulic bushings, with the CR-V handling our pothole-scarred roads with dignity. It doesn’t roll too much and the steering is progressive and well-weighted – not too twirly-light – if lacking much in the way of any feel. But it’s a family SUV, so who really cares.

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Can you drive it on electric power alone?

Propulsion comes in three ‘Drive’ modes: EV, Hybrid, and Engine. In EV mode, the battery supplies power directly to the motor, meaning at low speeds you can theoretically drive it using the motors alone. However, due to the size of said battery, you won’t get very far – just over a mile, according to Honda. 

Which means, realistically, you’ll spend most of your time in Hybrid mode, in which the petrol engine drives a generator, which in turn powers the electric motor. This not only helps improve efficiency, but also means any excess power can be diverted to recharge the battery.

Full Engine mode only really kicks in when you’re cruising at higher speeds, and connects the 143bhp petrol engine to the wheels via a lock-up clutch, leaving you with a single gear. As CVTs go, Honda’s isn’t a bad one, with the rubber-band effect you often get with CVTs not so pronounced thanks to clever mapping.

How does it handle day-to-day driving?

When you’re pootling around town the electric motor is as quiet and well-mannered as anything, with the electric motor providing a useful burst of acceleration. Things do, however, get a little louder when you start to plunder the depths of the electric/engine power combo, particularly at motorway speeds in full Engine mode.

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Zero to 62mph takes 8.8 seconds in front-wheel drive models and 9.2 seconds in all-wheel drive models due to the extra weight, while top speed is 112mph – not that you’ll likely get anywhere near that – while tyre noise and wind noise are minimal. We managed a respectable 39mpg on a real-world town/motorway run.

Highlights from the range

the fastest

Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC 160 SE 5dr [Nav/DASP]
  • 0-629.6s
  • CO2129.0g/km
  • BHP160
  • MPG57.7
  • Price£29,425

the cheapest

Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC S 5dr 2WD [Nav]
  • 0-6211.2s
  • CO2115.0g/km
  • BHP120
  • MPG64.2
  • Price£25,710

the greenest

Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC S 5dr 2WD [Nav]
  • 0-6211.2s
  • CO2115.0g/km
  • BHP120
  • MPG64.2
  • Price£25,710

Variants We Have Tested

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