The new Honda CR V Diesel Estate might not have the desirability factor that some of its rivals have, but it’s hard to beat if you need a safe and reliable large family car.
It’s solidly built too. Four-wheel-drive is available should you need it, and Honda have fine-tuned its suspension setup so that it feels rather car-like on the road.
Founded shortly after the second World War, Honda started manufacturing motorcycles. We look at the history of the company and their plans for the future in our brief history of Honda.
OSV takes a closer look at what it’s all about with our 2018 Honda CR V Diesel Estate review.
Overview of the Honda CR V Diesel Estate
On the Road
It feels rather car-like, but that doesn’t mean the CR V is fun to drive. Honda have put the onus on comfort first and foremost here, and you’ll probably shy away from throwing it into corners with much enthusiasm.
There’s plenty of grip on offer, though, but the inside front wheel is inconsistent and spins if you do take corners with too much speed.
The two-wheel-drive model is the one to go for if you want your CR V to be as surefooted as possible. The four-wheel-drive model reacts slowly, feels numb and finds it hard to resist body lean.
Moreover, it comes paired up with a hesitant 9-speed automatic transmission, too.
(and nine gears seems like a lot to pick from)
In terms of its engines, the 1.6-litre 118bhp diesel is our highlight. It doesn’t make too much noise on start-up and remains relatively quiet as you pick up the pace. It’s the smallest engine in the range but a 0-62 time of 11.2 seconds isn’t bad at all.
It does need to be worked hard, which is why it’s a good thing that its 6-speed manual gearbox is a real treat. It lacks much of an impact on acceleration but its laid-back nature matches the car’s laid-back character.
The bigger diesel delivers 158bhp and replaces the meaty 2.2-litre 148bhp diesel of last time. It’s powerful, has 350Nm of torque on hand, and can complete the 0-62 dash in an impressive 9.6 seconds. However, its 9-speed automatic gearbox is – as we mentioned – too hesitant.
Both engines make for fine motorway cruisers.
Honda CR V Diesel Estate Interior, Design and Build
The best thing about the CR V’s cabin is how well-built it is. This is a strong, durable interior that’s going to last.
It’s not perfect, though, and connoisseurs won’t appreciate its lack of high-quality materials. There are some, but many of the plastics used look and feel cheap.
Comfort is good on all models and much better than last time, and the same thing can be said about insulation, too. 19” alloys will diminish ride quality, though.
The swooping dashboard is a highlight, as is the raised ride height. The driver’s seat comes with height adjustment, and visibility from the cabin is just fine.
Is the Honda CR V Diesel Estate practical? As well as offering good visibility, the higher spec models really benefit from front and rear parking sensors that make it super easy to park this large car. A rear parking camera is also standard on the SE Plus and upwards models.
Interior space is very good, with all passengers getting plenty of head and legroom. Five people should be able to sit in comfort, and even the middle seated passenger will be happy back there as there’s no awkward central transmission tunnel.
Storage space is generous too, with Honda adding a big glovebox and a big bin that’s sandwiched by the driver and passenger seat.
The boot, meanwhile, measures 589-litres. Fold the easy-to-fold Magic Seats, and it increases to 1,669-litres. These Magic Seats fold away at one pull on a lever and it’s a simple operation.
Is Honda reliable? Read our honest assessment about the manufacturer.
Equipment and Safety of the Honda CR V Diesel Estate
Standard kit across the range is good, but it’s a shame that the entry-level model misses out on parking aids. What it does get is a dashboard multifunction display, an alarm, a digital radio, cruise control, climate control and alloys.
The SE Plus model adds useful parking aids, leather trim for the gear knob and steering wheel, front fog lights, power-folding mirrors, automatic lights and wipers and Bluetooth.
The Navi version nets you a cheap-looking sat-nav, while the SR gets roof rails and automatic dipping headlights. The EX model rounds things off with keyless entry, a powered tailgate, a panoramic roof and heated leather seats.
In terms of how safe the car is, it was no surprise that Euro NCAP awarded it all five stars for its crash test performance. Autonomous emergency braking comes as standard on all models, while buyers might want to take a look at the Driver Assistance Safety Pack, which comes with a very handy collision-warning system.
Four-wheel-drive is well worth adding if you want more grip.
Costs of the Honda CR V Diesel Estate
Prices for the new car start out from £23,760 and rise to £37,065. If you’d like more detail on our leasing deals then you can For more information on our leasing deals, you can check out our page.
In terms of its running costs, the 1.6-litre 118bhp diesel is the most frugal in the range if you stick to two-wheel-drive. In this variation, it can return 64.2mpg at best and emits 115g/km of CO2. This gives it a BiK rating of 25%.
The bigger 158bhp diesel is more costly to keep on the road. If you pair it up with four-wheel-drive and the 9-speed automatic transmission, it can return 55.4mpg on a good day. It emits 134g/km of CO2 and has a BiK rating of 28%.
Insurance-wise, the CR V Diesel ranges from group 22 to 27.
Pros and Cons of the Honda CR V Diesel Estate
Head and legroom is good for all and you’ll struggle to find a roomier car in this market.
For such a big car, returns of over 55mpg from the biggest engine with four-wheel-drive are mighty impressive.
The CR V feels genuinely upmarket.
Some rivals offer seven seats.
To get the most out of this car, you’ll need to spend at least £25,000.
Honda CR V Diesel Estate vs Volkswagen Tiguan vs Toyota RAV4
Let’s see how the car fares against its rivals in the comparison section of our 2018 Honda CR V Diesel Estate review.
Honda CR V Diesel Estate vs Volkswagen Tiguan
The new Volkswagen Tiguan is a premium product that’s as quiet, smooth and well-appointed as premium products should be.
It’s not the most exciting car in the world to drive, but if you specify the Dynamic Chassis Control, it really is one of the smoothest cars of its type. In comfort mode, the Tiguan is almost unrivalled in terms of how comfortable it is, and this doesn’t change even if the big 20” alloys are fitted.
The steering offers lots of communication and insulation is good.
In terms of its engines, the 2.0-litre 113bhp diesel is probably going to be a tad too slow for most buyers. A 148bhp variant of the same engine is a much better option. It copes well with this sizeable car and comes paired up with a responsive DSG automatic transmission.
A bigger 187bhp diesel is next up but it’s not as enjoyable as the 148bhp variant. Rounding off the range is a 237bhp twin-turbo diesel engine that completes the 0-62 dash in 6.5 seconds. It’s four-wheel-drive only but hard to recommend due to its costs.
Running costs? Stick to front wheel drive and the 148bhp diesel is good for returns of 60.1mpg. Emissions are pegged at 123/km of CO2. The smaller 113bhp variant posts the same figures. Adding four-wheel drive to the 148bhp variant changes the numbers to 53.3mpg and 139g/km.
If you’re at all curious, the 237bhp variant can return 44.1mpg at best and emits 167g/km.
Inside, the Tiguan is very well built and looks nice and modern. In fact, it looks a lot like the latest Golf, which is a good thing. Interior quality is above and beyond the Honda and more on par with an Audi.
That said, you won’t have to look too far to find harder plastics.
Is the Volkswagen Tiguan practical? It’s got more space than last time, which is good news for your passengers. Head and knee room, in particular, have improved, while the rear seats can slide forwards and backwards by as much as 170mm.
Storage spaces include large door pockets and a flock-lined cubby, while the boot measures 615-litres. That makes it 145-litres bigger than last time, although it’s worth pointing out that you’ll lose some space if you push the rear seats back. A variable height floor is an optional extra and if you fold the rear seats you can increase the boot to 1,655-litres.
Honda – £23,760 – £37,065
Volkswagen – £23,250 – £39,510
Honda CR V Diesel Estate vs Toyota RAV4
The new Toyota RAV4 is a good-looking large family car that’s affordable to buy and run, and super practical.
More of a comfortable cruiser than anything sporty, the new RAV4 isn’t as fun to drive as the original model. There is a “Sport” mode available, but selecting it just firms up the steering.
This isn’t a bad thing, of course, because the RAV4 is what it is – a comfortable, capable and dependable family car.
In terms of its engines, there’s only one diesel available. It’s a 2.0-litre unit that replaces the outgoing 2.2-litre diesel. It’s more efficient than its predecessor, while a 0-62 time of 9.6 seconds means it’s just as fast. It also develops 141bhp, which makes it a more-than-capable workhorse for when your RAV4 is on a full load. However, it can’t be specified with four-wheel drive.
Running costs? The 2.0-litre front-wheel-drive diesel model is good for 60mpg economy on a good day and emits just 123g/km of CO2. That gives it a BiK rating of 26%.
Inside, it’s really easy for the driver to get comfortable, thanks to a seat and steering wheel that offer plenty of adjustability.
The quality of the materials is fine, and they look robust enough to stand up to family life on the road. However, nothing about this cabin is especially stylish, with a lot of the switches looking old fashioned.
Is the Toyota RAV4 practical? Its boot measures 547-litres, but that’s just the start of it. An underfloor storage area takes up 100 of those litres, while all models come with split folding rear seats. Icon and Excel models, meanwhile, benefit from a handy power-operated boot.
Other than that, this is a really practical effort from Toyota. The windows are nice and big and combined with the high driving position they ensure that visibility is excellent.
A reversing camera is standard across the range to make parking easier, and headroom is excellent for all. The rear seats recline, and there are lots of storage solutions dotted around the place.
Toyota – £27,290 – £33,570
Verdict of our 2018 Honda CR V Diesel Estate
Practical, premium and effortlessly easy to drive, this is a very good product from Honda. It’s an experienced head, having been around since 1995, and it knows its way around the market and rough roads. It’s usable, impressively economical, and its engines are strong and refined. It’s not the most fun car of its type, but anyone who invests in a Honda CR V Diesel Estate surely won’t be disappointed.