Thursday 18 December 2014

Easy on the eye and on the pocket

Published 06/04/2014 | 02:30

The Honda CR-V with its new 1.6 i-DTEC engine returns a very respectable 5.01/100km

The Honda CR-V with its new 1.6-litre diesel engine offers great comfort with low fuel bills.

It isn't hard to write good things about the Honda CR-V and its new diesel 1.6 i-DTEC engine. In fact it's difficult not to sound like a press release for the engine which gives the large SUV the "fuel efficiency of a supermini."

The first two-wheel drive CR-V in Ireland is the first in its class to have sub 2.0 engine and leads the class for fuel efficiency and emissions.

When I picked up the CRV for the week's test the dashboard indicted a range of 1004km, when I gave it back after a number of local trips and one to the Dublin Mountains it had hardly budged.

The day I got the car I received a note that it had been named by What Car? Magazine as the most fuel-efficient SUV tested under their True Economy Tests, returning a real-world result of 5.0l/100km (56.5mpg).

Yet what struck me about the CR-V was its overall solidness and reliability. We sometimes forget just how well-engineered Hondas are.

It is surprising that the company only introduced its first diesel seven years ago, also in the CR-V. But that's where the similarities end as the new CR-V is cheaper, bigger, safer, more highly-equipped and much cheaper to tax and run than seven years ago. Even the asking price of €31,995 plus p&p for the 2WD 1.6 i-DTEC is some €13,500 cheaper than the 4WD model of 2007.

There's massive cargo space, really good passenger comfort and loads of spec. However, being a 2WD version does limit it to very much a soft-roader and you wouldn't want to put the model through any off-road course.

The engine gives a very bland drive if you are going to get that great MPG, and unfortunately the car has the looks to complement this.

For the price, the Honda CR-V 1.6 is excellent value for money, it is far bigger than the likes of the Nissan Qashqai and offers so much more. Yet by only being 2WD it is a bit of big girl's blouse... There have been over five million CR-Vs sold since their launch 19 years ago, the miserly engine will add to this total.

Sunday Independent

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