Honda CR-V (2002–2006)
Familiar shape, even though the entire vehicle was brand new. Length: 14ft 11.5in (15ft with hard spare wheel cover); Width: 5ft 10in; Height: 1,710mm. British built in Swindon plant. Wheel and tyre sizes: 15-inch with 205/70 R15 tyres or 16-inch with 215/65 R16 tyres.
New 2.0 litre chain cam iVTEC engine tuned for torque rather than out and out power. The result is 148bhp at 6,500rpm and 192Nm (142lb ft) torque at 4,000rpm. But the variable valve timing means there is bags of torque at low revs too, making this superbly sweet engine very strong between 30mph to 80mph in third.
Honda's World Car flat-floor platform means that the CRV automatic has a proper walk-through cabin. With its meaty handbrake on the dash and 'four on the tree' gear lever there is nothing to stop you sliding across to get out of the nearside or paying a visit to the kids in the back seat. (Manual not so handy because gear lever sprouts from floor.)
Rear seats recline or slide backwards and forwards to give 527 to 628 litres of loadspace behind them, or fold up to free up 952 litres. All three back seats have proper three-point safety belts.
With its new ultra stiff body shell, Honda expected and got a four star result in the NCAP crash tests, together with the best rating of any SUV of three stars for pedestrian safety.
Honda's hydraulic Dual Pump four wheel drive system does the same job as before. In most conditions drive is to the front wheels only, but if the system detects any slippage at the front, it engages a clutch to the rear wheels. This works very well in wet grass, mud and snow, and also in the wet on mountain hairpins where the rear wheels clutch in and push the car around the corner without it scrabbling for grip. Expect about 28mpg average from the manual.
SE: £16,695 On The Road; SE automatic £17,595 OTR; SE Sport £17,995 OTR; SE Sport automatic £18,895 OTR.
Specifications: SE model: Air-conditioning; ABS with EBD; driver, passenger and side airbags; electric windows; electric heated door mirrors; rolling code immobiliser; remote keyless entry with deadlocks; height adjustable driver's seat; front armrests; 60:40 folding, sliding and reclining rear seats; five three-point seatbelts; centre rear armrest; centre rear head restraint; ISOFIX child seat mountings; folding table between front seats; picnic table; passenger seat undertray; load cover; outside temperature display; RDS stereo with CD player; soft spare wheel cover.
SE Sport model: Air-conditioning with climate control; electric sunroof; headlight washers; body colour door mirrors; alloy wheels; hard spare wheel cover. Optional extras: Metallic Paint: £275; Front grille: £340; Skid platre: £244; Fog lights: £344; Euro-wide satellite navigation: £1,200.
Excellent 2.2 litre Honda-built all-alloy chain-cam common rail Euro 4 diesel with 140PS and 250lb ft torque in 2005MY CRV from March 2005.
6-speed manual transmission gives 30mph/1,000rpm in 6th. Diesel does 0-60mph in 10,3 seconds, 114mph, 42.2mpg combined and 177g/km CO2. IG 12E. Price from £18,600 (SE) to £22,800 (Executive). Drive and handling much improved over 2002 CR-V.
Possible air bag inflator rupture. Passenger air bag may not deploy correctly. Fix: The inflator inside the passenger’s airbag module is to be replaced. Build dates: 17-11-2000 to 16-12-2014.