Fleet News

Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi Executive

Honda

Review

I HAD to double-take when I totted up the miles I’ve covered in our CR-V over the past couple of months.

The Honda is racing towards the 20,000-mile mark, with more than 3,000 miles added in just over two months, and, so far, it is contending for top spot as the most economical vehicle on our fleet.

I’m averaging 45mpg – very good for a car like this with its weight and blunt aerodynamics, and above Honda’s claims.

This performance is even more impressive when you consider that other vehicles on our fleet include diesel lower-medium cars – even they can’t match the CR-V.

And these aren’t spurious readings from the onboard computer either, these are exact calculations based on what is going in the tank and how far I am travelling.

Despite some wag in the office suggesting that I tell my kids to get out and push occasionally to boost fuel economy, achieving this level is more straightforward.

I recently attended a SAFED driver training course, which is funded by the Department for Transport and is aimed at showing van drivers how to be safe, fuel efficient, but just as quick as they were before training.

I simply took some of the ideas they gave me and applied them to car driving and – hey presto, 45mpg.

In real-world terms, that means I’m getting up to 519 miles from a tank of diesel, whereas before I was getting about 430 miles.

Over 60,000 miles, that means I could make 24 fewer trips to the filling station, which more than makes up for driving in a less aggressive manner and not revving the engine right up to the red line.

I wasn’t relishing high-mileages in an SUV such as the CR-V, but it is more comfortable than you might think.

The steering is weighted just right, the 2.2-litre diesel engine can hustle along when needed and the seats leave you feeling fresh after covering a few hundred miles. It can just about take corners enthusiastically and doesn’t have the choppy ride its high stance suggests it might.

But it hasn’t all been sweetness and light. I’ve come very close to smashing the dashboard to pieces in a fit of rage at one of the most un-Honda like aspects of this car – the satellite navigation system.

It is fiddly, difficult to master and sometimes inaccurate. On the M6 heading south last week, it tried to route me up a slip road, over the roundabout, then back on to the motorway again, rather than leaving me alone.

Our Honda has also taken up smoking, which is a nasty habit that I didn’t think cars went in for nowadays.

At start-up, a fine cloud of smoke appears – quite a lot some days – which is just like diesels of old.

It has recently been serviced and nothing untoward was found, so I suppose it is still just a trait of diesels. However, after a few minutes of the engine warming through the cloud disappears.

Despite these few annoying glitches, the CR-V has transformed my view of SUVs.

It is comfortable, quiet, reliable, easy to drive and incredibly economical. But it is nearly time for a change and anyway, the kids need a rest after all that pushing.

Model: Honda CR-V 2.2 i-CTDi Executive
Price (OTR): £23,105
Mileage: 18,100
CO2 emissions (g/km): 177
Company car tax bill (2006): 40% tax-payer £191 per month
Insurance group: 12
Combined mpg: 42.2
Test mpg: 45.0
CAP Monitor residual value: £9,975/44%
HSBC contract hire rate: £437
Figures based on three years/80,000 miles

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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