Honda CR-V 2010 car review
- We like...Easy to drive in town
- We don't...Thrashy engine
Honda’s treated its CR-V to a visual nip and tuck for 2010. It gets new bumpers and a new grille outside. The changes are so subtle, though, that you’d need to park new beside old to spot ‘em.
Inside, there’s more sound deadening, nicer plastics and a new music system. And, if you go for the ES model we tested, you get seats covered in leather and Alcantara (a posh type of suede fabric).
If you’re looking for a vehicle such as this, you’re spoiled for choice. Not all are alike, though. Some, like Land Rover’s Freelander, promise to be fully capable off-road; others – like Nissan Qashqai may look the part but have only front-driven wheels, so they’ll struggle in anything more than a muddy puddle.
The CR-V? Sits right in the middle of the pack. Running normally, the engine’s power goes to the front wheels but some’s diverted to the rears whenever the going gets slippy. There’s better ground clearance than in a regular car but there’s not a choice of transmission settings to help you if mud-plugging. It’ll cope on an unpaved track, in light mud, or in a few inches of snow, but don’t go yomping cross-country in one.
No matter, because the CR-V is an easy drive in town. Although it’s one of the bigger cars in its class it rarely feels it, because the high-set driver’s seat and big screen ‘shrink’ it when you’re at the wheel. And the wheel, gears and pedals move easily but with a sensible, reassuring weight. The steering won’t egg you on to take bends quicker than you might, though. It feels accurate enough but doesn’t communicate much of what the tyres are up to. Even so it enters a bend flat unless you really cane it and will hang on gamely and without drama. The ride’s a good compromise – not too soft, but certainly not harsh. Yet a long stretch of ripples in the road can catch it out, sending thumps into the cabin.
Otherwise, it’s pretty quiet inside although the 2.0 petrol motor sounds thrashy at high engine speeds. And you’ll need to push it to make rapid progress because it only comes alive when spinning freely. If you need low-revs slugging power, you’d do far better with the 2.2 diesel that’s the other engine option.
Inside it’s all pretty sober, borrowing from the Volkswagen school of black ‘n’ chrome interior design. The plastics aren’t as nice to touch or good-looking as VW’s though. There’s a double glove box, the top one carrying a cable for your iPod, and a sizeable bin between the front seats.
Unusually, the cabin floor is dead flat, making it dead easy to get into and making it feel even roomier than it is. There’s good space for five grown-ups, while a tough adjustable parcel shelf helps to organise luggage. Take this out and the seats fold easily to flat, freeing up as much space as in a small van.
Should you buy one? Definitely: it’s smart, sharply priced and good to drive, to say nothing of its reputation for toughness and dependability. If you need a pukka off-roader this ain’t it: but for every other purpose this is one of the best.
* Insurance grouping shown below is from new 1-50 ratings system
- Engines2.0 VTEC petrol
- 0-60 mph10.2secs
- Insurance groups27E*
Motors.co.uk value verdict: