Test Drive: The New Honda CR-V Hybrid
Ian Lamming makes friends with Honda’s latest CR-V Hybrid
IT’S that time of the PCP year and my friend is thinking of what to get next.
Three years have gone in the blink of an eye – just where does time go? Thing is, she has been so happy with the previous two Honda CR-Vs she’s thinking about another, though her son his desperate for a change just for the sake of it.
“I’m not really bothered about cars but the CR-V has everything I need, never lets me down and does everything I want, so why would I change,” she says.
She’s right and I know this because I have the latest Hybrid version on test. Hybrid, Hmmm? Now there’s an idea. “Have you thought about the Hybrid,” I ask her. And that hi-tech addition might be enough to make number one son think she’d be having a change.
There’s a lot to be said for the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,’ philosophy of motoring especially if you are in the large section of the community who use cars purely as a means of transport.
I’m not in that community but I have to tell you that the new Hybrid is much more than a commuting workhorse, it’s smart to look at, brilliantly well-equipped and very nice to drive. I can see why my friend likes it so much, it really does have everything you need.
First, the look. Well it is large and imposing with great lights, trick and trendy indicators, ultra-modern back end and well-proportioned profile, with big meaty alloys.
That size is really useful providing a spacious cabin and enormous boot. My friend uses it to hump around prodigious amounts of school kit, office-size water bottles and now an ever-growing dog and its paraphernalia. My bicycle failed me yet again and slotted into the back without having to remove the front wheel for the undignified trip back to the workshop, which sweetened a bitter pill too.
Inside the aforementioned capacious cabin life is light, airy and plush. Seats are leather, trim a modern take on wood and the gear lever is replaced by push buttons marked P, D, R, N. Just above those lies the ubiquitous touchscreen, which is well laid out and intuitive to use, and the dashboard info can be projected onto the windscreen thanks to head up display.
In the back there is load of space for passengers but it does get a bit slidey as the bench is relatively featureless and the leather slippery.
It’s all very comfortable and cosy inside and light floods in through large windows and a glass roof.
Time to drive and all you do is press the starter button. Depending on the state of charge and the demands on the battery it may or may not even fire up the 2.0 engine so you will probably pull away silently on electric. The automatic gearbox is CVT so there are no changes to feel and everything is smooth and serene.
It’s only when you need to pick up the pace or are venturing up steep gradients that the noise of the engine becomes noticeable. But what catches your eye rather than your ear is the readout on the dash that tells you that you are averaging 57 miles per gallon – now that’s something my friend will really appreciate.
The hybrid system uses intelligent Multi Mode Drive technology combining two electric motors, a 2.0 litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, lithium-ion battery and a fixed-gear transmission. It is available in both FWD and AWD formats.
You also get the ability to switch between eco and sport mode and it will travel a short distance on full EV.
So, back to my friend; would I recommend the latest Honda CR-V Hybrid? You betcha and I think her son will love it too.
Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD
Engine: 2.0 petrol + electric
Power: 145PS, 184 including electric
0-62mph: 9.2 secs
Top speed: 112mph
Combined MPG: 51.4
Transmission: CVT automatic
CO2 g/km: 126