The sixth-generation CR-V marks a step forward for Honda

Honda's CR-VHonda's CR-V
Honda's CR-V
TWO words effectively describe why Honda’s first plug-in hybrid – the sixth-generation CR-V – is a success… fuel efficiency.

The crazy nature of today’s testing regime means that fuel economy figures well into the hundreds of miles per gallon are often quoted for PHEVs which, ultimately, disappoint when they run out of charge.

While the new CR-V can cover up to 50-miles on electric power alone, its two-litre petrol engine and hybrid set-up will deliver over 50mpg once its 17.7kWh battery is depleted. CO2 emissions are just 18g/km.

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The front-wheel-drive powertrain is not primed for outright performance, with a modest (for a PHEV) 184PS and 335Nm output delivering a 9.1-second dash to 62mph.

That PHEV drivetrain provides seamless acceleration, though, relying on its electric motor for propulsion most of the time. The ride is extremely pliant. Not sporty or dynamic, but comfortable.

There is more than a whiff of BMW about in the new CR-V’s styling, particularly at the rear. It also feels more premium that its predecessors and, at £53,995, is several thousand pounds more than Toyota’s rival Rav4.

At 10mm wider and 80mm longer than the previous CR-V, Honda’s flagship offers impressive space, with acres of rear legroom and a whopping 659 litre boot.

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The Honda SENSING range of driver assistance aids are said to “alleviate the burden of driving”. I love driving, and generally hate modern driver aids, but these work well (and are easily deactivated).

The CR-V’s cabin architecture is very similar to the Civic’s, albeit with a more upright driving position.

A mesh grille spans the dashboard, incorporating the air vents and emphasising the width of the vehicle.

The broad centre console houses push-button gear selectors and the ‘Drive Mode Select’ rocker switch.

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A panoramic sunroof, head-up instrument display, wireless phone charger and heated seats are standard.

Honda’s sat-nav system will tailor routes to optimise the fuel-saving served up by the CR-V’s available charge and you also use your smartphone as a key, if you wish.

Like the excellent Civic, the sixth-gen CR-V marks a step forward for Honda. Only that premium price may stand in its way of success.

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