For my job I drive around Auckland city during the week, but I also use my car for trips down to the mountain or up north to the beaches on the weekend. So when I got the opportunity to drive the new 2018 Honda CR-V Sport Sensing, I was fascinated to see how much cars have changed in the 10 years since mine was made.
Honda introduced the idea of an on- and off-road crossover car in 1995. The new model, a top of the range all-wheel drive SUV, looks smart. It’s Honda’s most powerful CR-V.
The shape of the rear headlights and the chrome detailing make it look edgy. The sleek look means that, when comparing it to other SUVs, the CR-V doesn’t seem like a big car, but it’s actually very spacious inside. There’s good leg room front and back, and the boot is a great size, even with the spare wheel inside.
IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT
The interior finish is high quality and gives a solid, not at all flimsy, impression. The leather seats feel luxurious and I love, love, love that they are heated. That was a winner for me and my front passengers on cold winter days. There are also memory settings for the driver’s seat so you can save a couple of your favourite positions.
The dashboard is great. I really enjoyed the seven-inch touch screen, which was pretty easy to figure out and use. The Apple CarPlay app is fantastic – I was voice recording and sending text messages (while parked, of course).
I had a good play with the display on the driver’s console, which showed lots of useful information.
The safety features were excellent. The company calls it “the Honda Sensing Suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies”. Without getting into the alphabet soup of LSF, HSS and RDM, it’s a bunch of warning systems that let you know about crossing lanes and getting too close to other objects. There is also a side-view camera to show your left-hand blind spot while turning, a rear-view camera that can be used at multiple angles and much more.
The navigation system was brilliant. It shows the map on the touch screen and on the driver’s console, which makes it far safer to follow directions and not have to look away from the road too much.
There was lots of speakers so playing music through CarPlay sounded fabulous.
The car I was driving had a sunroof. I liked having the screen open for more light in the car. There is also a seven-seat model, available in New Zealand for the first time.
The turning circle is really good. In my car, pulling into an angle park can be a three-point turn, whereas the CR-V turned straight in. The accelerator and brakes were very responsive. I found the car had lots of pick-up and go without even needing to use the sports gear. And I loved the sound of the Honda engine – a bit growly but unobtrusive.
I think the new CR-V will suit a wide range of people. It’s an easy car to drive around the city and to park. It’s not too big and has good visibility, yet drives nicely on the open road. It has superb safety features and is spacious enough to fit the family and luggage in the back. I was impressed with how far car technology has come.
• Engine: 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder, VTEC Turbo
• Seats: 5
• Price: $47,900 + ORC
• Fuel consumption: 7.4L/100km
• Power: 140kW at 5500rpm
• Torque: 240Nm at 2000-5000rpm
• Drive: EarthDreams automatic CVT
• Seats are leather, with heating in the front two. Driver’s seat has power lumbar support and memory function
• Active noise cancellation
• Cruise control with speed limiter
• Front and rear parking sensors
• Electric park brake with automatic brake hold and hill start assist
THE COMFORT ZONE
Bold Design: The new CR-V styling heads in a fresh direction thanks to crisp and sharp front-end design elements, aggressive stylised headlights, muscular fenders and a long hood.
Spacious Cabin: The CR-V raises the bar for interiors, utility and premium features in the medium SUV class. The spacious cabin, with best-in-class interior space, has upgraded quality materials throughout.
Get Connected: Offering the latest in vehicle connectivity, features include a seven-inch touch screen with advanced display audio, in-built navigation and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
PERFORMANCE ART: 2018 Honda CR-V AWD Sport Sensing
Safety First: The CR-V has advanced safety and driver-assistive features including collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, auto high/low beam headlights and a LaneWatch camera.
Interior Space: The CR-V’s interior boasts a larger cabin with best-in-class rear leg room and a bigger cargo space. The back seats fold down to a totally flat floor for easy loading.
Fresh Face Lift: The car’s new windswept front end includes signature Honda LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels and narrower A-pillars for improved visibility.
Photography by Andrew Coffey.