Update - 2nd October 2019
Until this point I had steadfastly believed that no matter how you drive, fast or slow, the Honda would always return 41mpg, which is also just above the official fuel figure for the large SUV.
However, a recent refuel followed by 50 mile cross-country run in the CR-V hybrid, mostly consisting of hilly B-roads and busy A-roads, resulted in the trip computer reading 53mpg.
Even allowing for overreading of about 4mpg, that’s 10mpg up on normal.
Interestingly, as soon as I got back to my normal habitat of town and motorway, the figure fell again.
At least now I’ve got something to aim for, because I now know the Honda will give even better fuel figures.
Three Month Report - 18th September 2019
A short week’s holiday in Northumberland has certainly shown up the Honda CR-V hybrid’s considerable strengths.
The boot feels significantly larger than the official claimed figure of 497 litres, and so can easily accommodate our double dog cage. There’s also plenty of rear-seat legroom, which means the kids are less inclined to kick the back of your chair. Or if you’ve left them with relatives you can stuff squashy overnight bags into the footwell.
The long motorway journey from Surrey also gave me time to mull the whole ‘hybrid’ terminology. Given the only fuel you ever put in the CR-V is petrol (it’s not a plug-in hybrid) and that you can’t guarantee it will run purely on electricity even if you press the EV button, it’s really just a very efficient petrol car. And that’s the point. Honda has built a large 2.0-litre petrol SUV that’s as efficient in the real-world as the 1.6 diesel it replaces.
I’m getting an almost unwavering 41mpg and paying petrol prices for the fuel, plus the CO2 figure of 120g/km means the car’s in a lower tax band (28%) than the outgoing diesel (31%).
A win for all concerned.
Update - 7th August 2019
Everything is going swimmingly with our long-term Honda CR-V. Almost.
The infotainment system is not what you’d call intuitive. Sure, it’s got an amazing array of functions and many, many customisable settings, but some things that should be easy just aren’t.
The perfect summary came from my tech-savvy teenager who tried and failed to switch to a non-preset radio station in the CR-V (because she didn’t like my choice of Absolute 80s– or anything else I’d preset) and uttered the immortal phrase: “I feel like a granny with a new mobile phone.”
Fortunately, if it does all get a bit too much, Apple CarPlay is standard, so I find myself just using this more and more.
First Report - 24th July 2019
This is a first. After more than 20 years of running a range of test cars, the Honda CR-V hybrid is the first to achieve a real-world fuel efficiency figure better than the official mpg.
Yup, the CR-V has averaged 41.7mpg against the official 40.9mpg.
What’s more I have to admit that just about all of this has been done with the Sport mode engaged (see Tester’s notes). I’ve only briefly tried Normal or Eco, which are also on offer, but will remedy this soon.
The Honda has provided a few other positive first impressions, too.
First up is comfort level, which is excellent. I’ve already been on a few longer journeys and can report zero back pain or discomfort. It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position and there’s a good range of seat adjustments including powered lumbar support.
Also helping longer journeys is the adaptive cruise control, which includes a stop-and-go function. In traffic jams it’s the smoothest system I’ve tested and tries to keep the car creeping for as long as possible before it has to stop.
Also worthy of early praise is the size of the boot. Not only is there a decent expanse of floor area, but it’s good height, too. And with the seats folded you can get two ‘dumpy bags’ in for a tip run.
Long may the CR-V continue to outperform my expectations.
Preview - 26th June 2019
Honda is no stranger to the hybrid market, so it should come as no surprise that the latest version of the CR-V, introduced at the start of this year, is now offered as a self-charging petrol-electric hybrid.
The hybrid element means company car drivers can now have a family SUV with one of the most competitive benefit-in-kind tax positions going.
The 120g/km emissions figure is already better than most diesel adversaries’, which incur a 4% penalty. For this tax year, the CR-V comes in with a 28% tax band.
Fuel consumption is where the Honda could struggle. Its official figure of 40.9mpg is some way behind diesel rivals’. But as we’ve said before, petrol is a lot cheaper than diesel these days and it could be that the CR-V costs less per mile.
Over the next six months we’ll find out.