|Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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CR-V is wheely good for Honda 

IT just happened to be the hottest day of the year in the UK – and that even included us up in Scotland – when I had planned a family trip.

The prospect of driving there and back while I could be lounging in the sunshine had come into my thoughts.

But my transport for the day – not anywhere near as costly as the attraction we were going to visit – was still one of the highlights of a super day.

And there was no chance of us being tinned in like sardines as we were trave-lling in Honda’s new CR-V.

There was ample room in the rear for 16-month old Cooper to enjoy the view – from his baby seat that clicked in ever so quickly – alongside gran Jackie and mum Alex.

An early attraction for him was the full panoramic glass roof with its electric sliding cover to keep the rays out when required.

Up front, comfort was excellent and included a sliding armrest between my son Scott and me.

Honda has upped the interior quality in the CR-V and this top-of-the-range 1.6 i-DTEC EX 9AT 4WD came with full leather upholstery and electric driver’s seat with memory settings.

With more than 750,000 sold in Europe since its launch in 1997, this is already one of the most popular compact SUVs sold around the world – it was also the world’s best-selling SUV for the first nine months of last year.

And Honda is keen to continue to build on this success with its fourth-generation CR-V.

Exterior changes at the front include a new grill, redesigned headlamps, new bumper and skid plate with restyled LED lights at the rear as well as new design 17 and18-inch alloys.

Three power options are available – 1.6-litre diesel, 158bhp and 118bhp, and a 2-litre 153bhp petrol engine.

The four-wheel drive test car featured the more powerful turbo diesel unit and a superb new nine-speed automatic transmission.

This combination worked perfectly in the CR-V, allo-wing us to power away smoothly and smartly with its acceleration time of 10.6 seconds from zero to 62mph.

The engine was never too noisy and there was always instant response when extra power was required.

This model has a top speed of 122mph and also offers low CO2 emissions of 139g/km and is capable of com-bined economy figure of 55.3mpg.

Ride comfort has been enhanced with major upgra-des to the chassis, and the CR-V glided over potholes and broken tarmac.

Steering is more responsive in this model and it proved to be pretty agile at speed.

Little road, wind or engine noise comes through to the cabin.

It’s six per cent quieter than the previous model and that’s down to doubling the thickness of door seals, changes to floor carpet and use of sound absorption materials in the dash, doors and pillars and other measures.

The stylish redesigned dashboard has a seven-inch touchscreen that displays the new Honda Connect system.

Though this you get easy access to everything, from vehicle information and rear-view parking camera, to music and Bluetooth connectivity for smart phones.

Its functions include internet access, two pre-installed apps, Honda App Centre, optional Garmin satellite navigation, DAB/FM/AM and internet radio, phone interface and Bluetooth connectivity, rear-view parking camera with dynamic guidelines, and a range of vehicle information, such as trip meter, fuel economy and journey time.

We didn’t need satnav for our trip but I did sample this and it was easy to use and connect mobile phone to.

The power tailgate allowed easy access to a boot that has a capacity of 589 litres, extending to 1,146 litres with seats folded flat.

There are lots of safety features in the new model with city-brake active system standard across the range.

The test model came with Honda’s new intelligent adaptive cruise control which automatically reacts to other vehicle cutting in to the your lane with its camera and radar, enabling your car to react quic-kly.

After a pleasurable drive we arrived at our desti-nation which is one of Scotland’s top attractions – the Falkirk Wheel.

This is the world’s first and only rotating boat lift and connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.

It was built at a cost of £17.5million and was opened in 2002.

The 35-metres tall wheel is a spectacular structure and if you visit Scotland is well worth seeing and enjoying a one-hour boat trip on it.

Back in our £34,120 CR-V – prices start at £22,340 – it was time for Cooper to enjoy a nap on the smooth ride home.

And after parking up Honda’s gleaming new model we still had time to get the barbecue fired up and enjoy the sun’s rays.