Honda’s refreshed CR-V range features the company’s advanced hybrid technology as standard for the first time, adding it to their e:HEV family of electrified cars.

The CR-V is a big, comfortable, capable, five-door SUV (sports utility vehicle) with a long and successful pedigree. 

The car combines kerb appeal with great engineering and there’s also the knowledge that you are enjoying some top technology.

I enjoyed a week-long road test of a top-of-the range EX model with all-wheel drive.

Style file
The CR-V has distinctive, dynamic lines. A sculpted front bumper is complemented by the body’s clean surfacing, with a smooth clamshell bonnet and an appealing, contoured shape for the rear.

The inside story is one of style and comfort. The cabin feels immediately welcoming, with quality leather upholstery and rewardingly tactile surfaces throughout. The car is airy and spacious, with bags of room for driver and passengers.

There’s a treasure trove of equipment, featuring heated seats (front and rear) and heated steering wheel.

Kit includes: Dual zone climate control, rain-sensing automatic windscreen wipers, windscreen de-icer, rear view camera and parking sensors, power-folding door mirrors with tilt-on-reversing function, active-cornering lights and dusk-sensing headlights with high-beam support, heads-up display, hands-free access powered tailgate, electrically adjustable driver’s seat with memory function and opening panoramic glass sunroof, satnav, wireless mobile phone-charging, infotainment and connectivity suite. 

On the practicality front, the car is full of clever storage ideas, including three-mode centre console storage, a generous amount of legroom and a cavernous boot of 1,638 litres capacity with the rear seats folded. You will also find one-motion folding seats and a flat boot floor.

Safety is to the fore, with a class-leading suite of passive and active safety systems.

There is also great attention to ease-of-use. For example, the powered tailgate has height-adjustable programming, to avoid contact with low ceilings in some indoor car parks.

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Tech time
The advanced hybrid powertrain technology is responsive and highly efficient. The ‘Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive’ (i-MMD) technology comprises two electric motors, a two-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, an innovative automatic transmission and three intelligent driving modes, delivering high levels of real-world efficiency and refinement.

The hybrid CR-V is non-plug-in and does all its charging as you motor along. 

It has three drive-modes: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive. Put simply, EV (electric drive) is when the car is running silently on pure electricity and drawing its power from the battery via a drive motor; this mode will usually be used when accelerating from standstill or during low-speed cruising.  

In Hybrid Drive, both the petrol and electric motors are sharing the work, for example when accelerating at speed. Engine Drive, as the name implies, is when the petrol engine is directly powering the car, such as during sustained high-speed motoring

And it’s all absolutely seamless, the iMMD system deciding when to shift between modes to maximise efficiency.

The word seamless can also be applied to the electronically-controlled all-wheel drive system, designed to automatically step in when loss of traction is detected. 

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On the road
With its raised ride-height, spacious, cossetting interior, armchair-like seats and well-thought-out features, this is a car that is at home in all driving conditions, from the tootle around town to the motorway haul. The driving experience is confidence-inspiring and progress is as smooth as the premium-feel cabin is comfortable.

Performance and fuel figures: 0-62mph in 9.2 seconds, with a top speed of 112mph. Combined fuel consumption is 39.2mpg with a CO2 figure of 163g/km (manufacturer’s figures).

The hybrid CR-V is a smooth and easy-going treat to drive. Generously-equipped and well-engineered it combines versatility and practicality with a feel-good factor.

Price: £41,155 (OTR).