Extended test: 2017 Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC

Which is the best type of family car?

More Info

Driving is testing the three key types of family car over the coming months: an estate (Audi A4 Avant); a people carrier (Renault Grand Scenic); and an SUV (Honda CR-V, seen here). Which will prove the most useful for parents?

  • Model 2017 Honda CR-V EX 1.6 i-DTEC EX 4WD automatic
  • Tested by Nick Rufford (@ST_Driving)
  • Price (with options) £35,280 (£39,550)
  • Delivery date March, 2017
  • Mileage at start 8,500 miles
  • Options fitted Aero Pack (£1,600); 19 inch Orion alloy wheels (£2,095); Detachable tow bar (£575). Total cost of options: £4,270.


May 4, 2017: Hello, Honda

Extended test 2017: Honda CR-V

SUVs like the Honda CR-V are synonymous with school-run mums and dads these days. A high up driving position and imposing road presence are key but are they really the best option for parents?

This is the fourth generation Honda CR-V, and an all-new replacement is due to go on sale next year, so it’s likely that drivers should be able to drive a hard bargain when walking into any Honda showroom in the interim.

That’s not to say that the current model doesn’t look contemporary. It has a distinctive look, helped in part by an optional body styling kit that the Japanese company calls an Aero Pack.

Our extended test car uses the 1.6-litre diesel engine, and this is paired with four-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Honda says this combination means it can achieve 55mpg and emit 139g/km.

Also of note: it’s got a tow bar to which you can fit a bike carrier, which will undoubtedly see some use.

Got a question about the Honda CR-V? Look out for updates on this page as we get to grips with the car over the coming months, and ask us questions via the @ST_Driving Twitter account.


July 2, 2017: First report on living with a Honda CR-V

Extended test 2017: Nick Rufford, Honda CR-V

Ask sensible, retired sorts at the golf or bridge club what car they drive and the chances are it will be a Honda, not an Audi or a BMW. They prize the Japanese car maker’s reliability, which scores highly in independent surveys.

So although the CR-V may not have a four-year warranty, like the Renault Grand Scénic which is being put through its paces by James Mills, you’re unlikely to need it. And it may lack that car’s seven seats, but most people need those about as often as one of those exercise bikes you end up using as an indoor clothes line.

The CR-V may not have a four-year warranty, but you’re unlikely to need it

What it does boast over the Renault is four-wheel drive. You can haul a horsebox across a field or tow a boat up a slipway without burning out the tyres or clutch. It also has a nine-speed automatic gearbox and, as any hassled parent knows, not having to change gears by hand and pump the clutch while in traffic is a blessing.

The downside to the auto box? The fuel economy — 53.3mpg — can’t match the Renault’s, but it’s none too shabby for this size of car and the Honda will sit comfortably on the motorway at the legal limit. Whereas the Renault’s diesel engine is reported to be a little too busy at speed.

The range-topping EX trim includes a powered tailgate, which makes unloading easier: trying to close a rear door while juggling flatpack furniture or beach bags is a challenge you can do without. The CR-V also coped well with wear and tear from tearaways, including a mixture of cereal bar crumbs and frozen yoghurt that set like concrete on the seats.

So while it’s hard to ignore the fact that the CR-V costs £6,675 more than the arguably more versatile Renault, the four-wheel drive, automatic gears and high trade-in value make it a worthwhile outlay.

Got a question about the Honda CR-V? Look out for updates on this page as we get to grips with the car over the coming months, and ask us questions via the @ST_Driving Twitter account.