A Honda SUV with a small and efficient diesel engine? It doesn’t seem the likeliest thing but here it is; the CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC. The fourth generation CR-V is proving popular with British buyers, and in addition to the lightweight 1.6 diesel 118bhp that emits as little as 115g/km, there’s now the option of a pokier 157bhp unit with AWD too.
The 1.6 i-DTEC 157bhp diesel unit is only available with all-wheel drive transmission. It delivers a useful 258lb/ft of torque but produce CO2 as low as 129g/km for the manual transmission and just 134g/km with Honda’s new nine-speed automatic transmission. That’s more power and torque for you when you need it, without you having to makes compromises on economy.
On the move, one of the most impressive things about all diesel CR-V models is the refinement you get, with great care having been taken to achieve a significant reduction in the engine and road noise entering the cabin.
The changes to this improved Mk4 model could best be described as a facelift, although Honda has gone further than the usual grille, bumpers and lights. Having said that, this enhanced CR-V does have a revised front grille, smarter bumpers and sleeker lights, the latter featuring LED daytime running lamps. At the rear, the LED combination lamps have been restyled. There are revised 17 and 18in alloy wheels designs on offer as well.
The cabin has been tweaked courtesy of a reshaped chrome-effect inlay running the width of the dashboard, and through the use of higher quality materials on key surfaces. The dashboard has been redesigned to allow better visibility and access to the seven-inch touchscreen displaying the Honda Connect system. This CR-V also features a one action fold down rear seat system, with the rear seats featuring a 60/40 split function. With the seats in place you get an excellent 589-litres of luggage space which transforms to 1,648-litres with the seats folded. The load length is up to 1,570 mm, allowing the CR-V to easily swallow two adult mountain bikes (without having to remove the front wheels) or four sets of golf clubs.
Honda needed this CR-V’s 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine to pull its weight more widely across the range – and in this revised fourth generation model range, it now does. The pokier 157bhp version we feature here means that this car is now worth another look if you were put off by the inferior efficiency figures of the 2.2-litre diesel Honda originally fitted into this Mk4 design.
Honda’s CR-V comes very well equipped with even the 118bhp 2WD model in base ‘S’ trim featuring an Intelligent ‘i-MID’ Multi Info Display, power lumbar support for the driver’s seat, Dual Zone Climate Control, cruise control, 17in alloy wheels, steering wheel stereo controls, power windows and heated power mirrors, plus daytime running lights, an alarm and immobiliser, USB and iPod auxiliary inputs and one touch folding rear seats. You also get a CD tuner and four-speaker stereo, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), an anti-lock braking system, Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Assist, Trailer Stability Assist and Hill Start assist to stop you from drifting backwards on uphill junctions.
You probably don’t actually really need a self-shifter and all-wheel drive in this sector of the market. Plus Honda is banking on the fact that you don’t need seven seats either. What you do need is something really well built and desirable but which won’t cost the earth. That’s exactly the formula the CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC 157bhp sticks to.
Facts & figures
Model: Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC
Price: £27,570 OTR (manual six-speed)
Engine: 1.6 i-DTEC diesel
Performance: Top speed 125mph, 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds
Economy: 60.1mpg combined (manual six-speed)
CO2 rating: 129-134g/km