Driving a car stacked to the gunwales with extras can make it a lot more appealing than the entry-level version most company car drivers are used to.
Our Honda CR-V has its fair share of goodies. As we’ve got the EX version most come as standard but you still have to pay a premium over the entry-level model.
The list is exhaustive and includes built-in satellite navigation, adaptive cruise control, heated leather seats and rear view parking camera.
As a driver it’s fantastic to have most of these to hand but I’m not sure some of them would improve either business or the residual value.
Let’s consider each on individual merit. Sat-nav is probably the most requested extra and it’s understandable.
The CR-V’s system is simple to use, has clear maps and I’ve even got to grips with switching the unit off in a matter of seconds. I find factory-fit units much easier to use than some of the hand-held versions offered on the high street.
The best thing about sat-nav is not just getting you from A to B but that if you’re stuck in a traffic jam in an unknown area, you can switch on the map and find a back street shortcut to navigate around the masses.
Sat-navs are known to reduce business mileage, minimise stress for drivers and save companies money so it’s a thumbs up for this extra.
Cruise control is fairly common but adaptive cruise control, which judges your distance from the vehicle in front and adapts your speed accordingly, is still usually on the options list.
Personally, I don’t think it’s worth it and find it annoying.
The CR-V’s version is simple to operate, basically the same as you would ordinary cruise control, but I find it jerky and can’t get to grips with it.
Once set, if the vehicle in front brakes the Honda reduces its speed but often it feels stop, start, stop, start and after a few miles I switch it off. I much prefer standard cruise control and wouldn’t pay any extra to have this luxury.
Leather seats have been known to improve the residual value of the vehicle at auction and I’d definitely pay extra to have the heated version.
There’s nothing better in winter months than switching on the seat and having a toasty rear within seconds.
In previous tests I’ve said I think it’s unnecessary to have a rear view parking camera and parking sensors on the same model. In fact, I see the camera as more of a gimmick.
Passengers are suitably impressed when reverse is selected and the sat-nav unit turns into a camera screen but a few days of bad weather and all you get is a grey screen (the camera is mounted in the rear bumper and gets covered in grime).
I also find it difficult to judge the distance to the object behind.
Give me parking sensors any day.
The audible beep is simple but effective and makes parking a breeze. If your fleet has a high number of rear-parking incidents then the price of adding sensors to the options list is worth it.