Watch this space: Honda luxury and tech combine for a sweet family ride

By David Nothling-Demmer

Split rear seats allow for multiple load configurations and all doors open to a 90-degree angle. ANDREW COFFEY
Split rear seats allow for multiple load configurations and all doors open to a 90-degree angle. ANDREW COFFEY
More power, more room, more luxury, more tech – more CR-V. We take to the roads in Honda’s class-leading SUV.

As a mum of two young kids, Ashley Moloney does a lot of driving. Between all the school runs, sports practices and weekend getaways with the family, it is fair to say she spends a fair bit of time in her car.

“Having two active kids means I am always on the go – just load up all the school bags, netball gear or scooters, and we’re off,” Ashley says.

It should come as no surprise then that when it comes to Ashley’s driving pleasure, it’s all about functionality and safety.

“Space is a big consideration. I look wholeheartedly for practicality in a vehicle,” she says.

Split rear seats allow for multiple load configurations and all doors open to a 90-degree angle. ANDREW COFFEY
Split rear seats allow for multiple load configurations and all doors open to a 90-degree angle. ANDREW COFFEY

So when she hopped inside the very spacious Honda CR-V Limited 7, boasting a stylish new look as well as class-leading space for passengers and cargo – including seven comfy leather seats with multiple load configurations – she was “seriously impressed … the back seats are huge”.

And that’s not where her amazement with the look and feel of the CR-V stopped.

Behind the wheel

As she receives the keys, Ashley’s told that the CR-V has a keyless start. Just put your foot on the brake, press the start button and you’re off – in Friday afternoon Auckland traffic, to fetch the kids from school.

“It is comfortable to drive. The controls are beautifully set out in front of you, and it was very easy to navigate my way around adjusting things to my preference. The drive was an absolute pleasure – it made the traffic quite bearable. Hill Start Assist was a feature I particularly enjoyed,” Ashley says.

The fifth-generation CR-V offers the model’s first-ever turbo engine, as well as a host of exciting new features and technologies for improved safety, comfort and connectivity.

Honda’s commitment to, and investment in, research and development over the years has seen the car manufacturer create an array of revolutionary new technologies, such as its VTEC engine. The CR-V’s 1.5-litre DOHC VTEC turbo engine kicks out an impressive 140kW of power and 240Nm of torque.

“I thought it was going to be daunting to drive as the car is big – however, it was the complete opposite. I felt very confident behind the wheel of the car; it was easy to drive through the traffic. The ride was smooth and comfortable,” Ashley says.

Despite the family SUV’s size, the environmental performance is outstanding thanks to Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology engine – which delivers great driving enjoyment with just 166g/km CO2 emissions.

Another selling point for Ashley is the CR-V’s fuel efficiency of between 7.3L and 7.4L per 100km. Even the kids – Caitlin, nine, and Ethan, seven – are sold. “The space of the seats allowed them to be far enough apart to not get in each other’s ‘bubble’ … They loved how the seats reclined so they could sit back and relax,” says Ashley.

With the kids preoccupied with the reclining seats, Ashley has time to pair her phone with the Advanced Display Audio system. This offers both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. “I enjoyed how the audio info scrolled on the dash display behind the steering wheel,” Ashley explains. “It avoids you having to move your eyes across to the main display.”

Light it up

While the CR-V has LED daytime running lights, it’s at night that the stylish-looking vehicle really shows off its sophisticated new look. As the sun sets, the CR-V’s distinctive new headlights and fog lights illuminate the SUV’s sharp profile, as well as its aerodynamic hood pop.

Not wanting to miss his chance to get behind the wheel, Ashley’s husband Grant takes it for a spin.

“‘It’s spacious inside; big without feeling like a tank’,” Ashley says he tells her when he gets home.

“The seat positions could easily be adjusted when he hopped in after me.”

Saturday morning means an early start for the Moloney family – with soccer practice for Ethan and netball for Caitlin. “I’m sure I got a few envious looks from the other mums at netball as we got out of the car – sports gear and all,” Ashley smiles.

She forgets to mention to Grant that when collecting the car, she’s told it’s so spacious it even fits a surfboard.

And all of the doors open to a 90-degree angle, making it incredibly easy to get bulky items in and out. “Grant’s quite the surfer,” she explains.

So, taking advantage of a sunny Sunday, the family’s off to the beach for a picnic (and surf). “We could fit in everything we needed, and then some,” Ashley says.

Driving on the open road and off the beaten track was just as enjoyable as suburban driving, she adds – “an absolute pleasure, really”.

The CR-V also gets a 5 Star ANCAP safety rating, thanks to a host of impressive features such as the Emergency Stop Signal and Tyre Deflation Warning – which makes it one of the safest SUVs around.

Try the HR-V

For those who want the luxury of space, versatility and even leather seats at a slightly lower price point, then the new HR-V Limited model crossover SUV may suit your budget.

Practical around town – with its LaneWatch Camera, City Brake Assist System, reversing camera and rear parking sensors, as well as loads of other features including Bluetooth phone and music connectivity and inbuilt navigation – this top-selling SUV ticks all the boxes.

Click here to find out more 

CR-V Limited 7 specs

Price: From $39,990

Engine: 1.5-litre DOHC VTEC Turbo

Fuel Consumption: 7.3L – 7.4L/100km

CO2 Emissions: 166g/km

Maximum Power (kW/rpm): 140@5500

Safety: ANCAP 5 Star safety rating

Seats: Seven


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