I’m really enjoying running the CR-V – it is more than just a company car, more like an extension to my life outside the office. The Honda has already endured two camping trips since it arrived and its practical and versatile interior has been a real boon.
The integrated dashboard coolbox has been permanently filled and the picnic table, which neatly doubles as the floor in the boot (see left), has also been put to use as an al fresco dining room.
The CR-V is proving to be fairly frugal, too. Its claimed combined fuel economy figure of 42.1mpg is respectable when compared with some of the more common choices of company car.
The much smaller Ford Fiesta 1.4 petrol – a car that anyone would call frugal – does 42.2mpg, so for an SUV the CR-V isn’t faring too bad. In my hands, it’s averaging 40mpg, which is not far shy of Honda’s claimed figure. So much for the ‘gas-guzzler’ label with which these vehicles seem to be have been saddled.
The CR-V also belies the stereotype that SUVs can be bulky and cumbersome in the handling department.
Driving the CR-V is hardly different from being at the wheel of any large saloon or estate.
It is simple to manoeuvre, has a tight turning circle and, thanks to the high seating position, gives a better view of the approaching road than most vehicles.
I am biased as I am a great fan of 4x4s but in my view they can be economical, are practical and feel safe to drive. As awareness improves they are becoming more common on fleet choice lists.
There is one slight problem, however – with all my camping gear stowed in the boot, there is no room left for two mountain bikes, and my universal bike rack won’t fit on to the back of the Honda due to the spare wheel being stored on the rear door. A quick glance through the Honda accessory catalogue has given me the answer – a bespoke bicycle rack for the CR-V which mounts on the back of the car. I’ll report further on this next time.
Model: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi Executive
Price (OTR): £22,800
CO2 emissions (g/km): 177
Company car tax bill (2005/6) 40% tax-payer: £166 a month
Insurance group: 12E
Combined mpg: 42.2
Test mpg: 40.0
CAP Monitor residual value: £9,500/42%
Typical contract hire rate: £438
Expenditure to date: Nil