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The Top Gear car review:Honda CR-V
On the inside
Layout, finish and space
It’s big in here. The wider track, longer wheelbase and sculpted front-seats give good legroom in the second of the CR-V’s three rows, and because the rear-doors open to almost 90 degrees getting things/tiny people in and out should be easy as.
The optional third row does eat into boot-space even when it’s folded flat (561-litres plays 472, with the third row stowed and front two in place), and is really only suitable for small children. Access isn’t quite as easy here as it is elsewhere in the class, either. Even though the 60/40 split second row can slide forward by 150mm, getting back there is still a two-tab job – the second pull requires a bit of effort that’s tricky to muster from the angle at which you have to come at it. Requires two hands…
The boot itself is big. Really big. The loadbay is a class-leading 1,860mm long with all the seats folded, giving a total of 1,756-litres of usable volume in five-seater cars. Storage is ample in the passenger cabin too – the centre console can be configured through three modes and can swallow a laptop or handbag if asked, and Honda’s moved the speakers up so all four door bins can be way, way bigger than before.
The dashboard will look familiar to anyone who’s sat in a new Civic. Good news is that material quality is broadly on point – everything feels reassuringly solid. As, indeed, a Honda ought to. The front seats are comfortable and together with reach/rake adjustment for the wheel mean most normally-shaped drivers ought to be able to get comfy. The bad news is that the design/layout of the controls feels a bit…old. This is almost entirely the fault of the Peugeot 5008 and its space-age ‘I-Cockpit’ interior – the CR-V’s looks a bit plain in comparison. The wood trim is naff, and the CVT’s gear lever flimsy.
And then there’s the infotainment system – the same as the one you get in the Civic. It can do things – many of them. But all you’ll want to do is plug your phone in and use CarPlay/Android Auto instead. Honda’s UI isn’t easy enough to use, the graphics aren’t good enough and the navigation is childish. You can read about all the troubles we’ve had with it in our Civic Type R by clicking on these words.