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Honda CR-V (2015 - 2018)

The independent definitive Honda CR-V (2015-2018) video review

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    By Jonathan Crouch

    Introductionword count: 94

    In 2015, Honda's fourth generation CR-V evolved into something cleverer, classier and much more efficient. Targeting family Crossover models as well as small lifestyle-orientated SUVs, it's a strong package if you're looking at petrol power or an entry-level 2WD diesel. What changed with the post-2015-era facelift though was that buyers got the option of hi-tech automatic transmission and the more sophisticated pairing of high performance diesel power and 4WD. In other words, in this guise, the CR-V sharpened-up its act. As a result, it's a hard car not to like as a used buy.

    Modelsword count: 12

    5dr compact 4x4 (2.0 petrol, 1.6 diesel 120/160PS [S, SE, SR, EX])

    Historyword count: 412

    How do you right a best seller? Back in 2015, this was Honda's answer to that question when it came to the fourth generation version of their CR-V, the company's mid-sized SUV model, a car that has frequently been the strongest selling model of its kind in the world. By 2015, it had already found over five million global buyers over two decades in over 160 countries, with over 750,000 examples sold in Europe since an original launch in 1997. This updated design wasn't radically different from the original MK4 version we first saw towards the end of 2012, but the changes Honda made to it were nonetheless significant - as was necessary in a segment that by the time of this model's launch was saturated with clever rivals. So customers were brought a smarter shape, a classier cabin, more efficient engines, stronger safety and extra hi-tech equipment. At the time of this revised MK4 model's introduction though, the headache for Honda was that all of its obvious competitors in this sector had recently launched rival models claiming much the same. Which perhaps explains why this isn't a car that jumps out at you from the spec sheet. No. You have to drive it. Use it. Fill it with family. Many of those experienced in doing just that probably won't even look at the alternatives before replacing their second, third or early fourth generation CR-Vs with this improved MK4 model. It does, after all, offer a depth of engineering that some other rivals just don't have - though there's some difficulty in determining just which kinds of cars these are. Mid-sized soft roading SUVs like Toyota's RAV4 are an obvious target, but when this car was new. Honda also believed that lower-order CR-Vs would appeal to buyers looking at slightly more affordable Qashqai-class Crossover models. And hoped that plusher versions of this car would even attract folk who might be looking at a pricier premium mid-sized SUV with a prestigious badge on the bonnet. In all these objectives, the brand's cause was helped by the introduction of Honda's award-winning 120PS 1.6-litre i-DTEC diesel engine, also available in pokier 160PS guise to drive 4x4 diesel models and interest folk shopping at the premium end of the spectrum. Honda also targeted these kinds of people with a higher-tech 9-speed automatic gearbox option and a much smarter cabin. This facelifted MK4 model CR-V sold until mid-2017, when an all-new MK5 CR-V model range was announced.

    What You Getword count: 230

    This facelifted MK4 model has a very CR-V-style look and feel but has a front end that adopts a more dynamic, planted stance than earlier models, changes over the original fourth generation design including redesigned headlamps flanked by LED daytime running lights flowing into a smarter grille. As usual with this model line, it's very practical inside. Pull a little fabric handle on the seat base (or either of the cargo sidewall levers in the luggage bay) and the seat base tumbles forward, the seat back dips down and the rear headrest tucks in snugly. This has to be one of the cleverest seat-folding mechanisms around from SUVs in this era, a lovely piece of engineering that leaves the seats folded completely flat - the kind of thing you'd find useful day in, day out. So this car's easy to live with - and comfortable to drive too. We particularly like the way that the gear stick is located just a few inches from the steering wheel for snickety-quick changes. The key change though with this revised MK4 model lay with the addition of a larger 7-inch 'Honda CONNECT' colour infotainment touchscreen. Provided you avoid entry-level trimmed variants, you'll find that this Android-based set-up is standard across the range, controlling stereo and informational functions, dealing with the optional Garmin sat nav system and providing full internet browsing when you're stationary.

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    Scoring (subset of scores)

    Category: Crossover or SUV 4x4s

    Performance
    70%
    Handling
    70%
    Comfort
    70%
    Space
    80%
    Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

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