Review: Honda CR-V (2018)
Excellent Hybrid model is the pick of the range. High quality and well finished interior. Usefully large boot. Very comfortable ride.
Infotainment system is frustrating and feels dated. List prices higher than previous CR-V. No seven-seat hybrid available.
Honda CR-V (2018): At A Glance
- New prices start from £26,515, brokers can source from £23,342
- Contract hire deals from £223.34 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 23–24
- On average it achieves 84% of the official MPG figure
The Honda CR-V has always been one of our favourite SUVs - and an easy car to recommend to people. While the 2018 model may not look massively different from before, there are actually some significant improvements that make this a big step up from its predecessor.
For starters, there's no diesel engine. Instead there's one petrol or a hybrid version. Honda is of course no stranger to hybrid power, but this is the first time it has featured in the CR-V. And the results are hugely impressive. So much so that the CR-V Hybrid is one of the best SUVs around, regardless of the engine type.
Honda has succeeded in making a practical and spacious SUV that has genuine performance but is also enjoyable to drive yet comfortable. And all that in a package that includes a hybrid system. Sounds too good to be true? Well it's not - the CR-V Hybrid is genuinely an excellent SUV.
The downside is the price. List prices for the Hybrid start at more than £30k - that's around £4000 more than the standard 1.5 VTEC petrol. There's also no seven-seat option with the Hybrid as there is with the petrol. But if you compare the Hybrid with the RAV4, it's very competitively priced.
If you can't stretch to the Hybrid, the 1.5 VTEC petrol is still a good choice with decent performance and the choice of manual or a CVT automatic gearbox. Claimed economy is reasonable in the 2WD but drops below 40mpg if you go for the 4WD.
Regardless of engine, the CR-V drives well with nicely weighted steering, little in the way of road noise and good stability in corners. Its forte is the ride quality which copes with rough and poor quality roads with ease. It makes for a very comfortable and relaxing car.
Honda hasn't just made the 2018 CR-V slightly better than before. The improvements throughout are all encompassing, so much so that this is now one of the best family SUVs money can buy.
What does a Honda CR-V (2018) cost?
Honda CR-V (2018): What's It Like Inside?
For all the qualities of the Honda CR-V interior, the elephant in the room (or should that be cabin) is the infotainment system. This was a weak point in the previous CR-V and, despite improvements over time, it's still annoying to use and dated in this generation.
It's very much at odds with the quality feel of the rest of the CR-V. Compare it to the system used by Volkswagen and it's clunky and unintuitive. It's not a deal breaker, but it does stick out a bit like a sore thumb. True, it does have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but overall we'd expect something much slicker in a car launched in 2018.
Fortunately, the rest of the CR-V more than makes up for this. The build quality really shines through and the cabin is logically laid out with all the important controls easy to find. We're not convinced by the wooden trim across the dash though...
Honda has dropped the manual handbrake for an electric parking brake, which means more room on the centre console. In fact, the whole interior is more spacious than before helped by a longer wheelbase.
It's practical too with lots of useful storage areas - the huge box under the central armrest is great - plus larger door pockets and deep cup holders. The boot is close to 500 litres on the Hybrid model, but bigger by 60 litres on the petrol. The rear seats cleverly fold flat too, with a one handed operation.
Rear passenger room is excellent with loads of legroom, even with the front seats pushed all the way back. Headroom is generous, so it's ideal if you have fast growing teenagers. There's the option of a seven-seater on the petrol models, the rearmost seats folding flat into the floor when not needed.
Those in the back can also take advantage of two high-capacity USB charging ports at the back of the centre console - handy if the kids run out of battery on their iPads.
One mention must go to the impressive seats which are comfortable but supportive, making the CR-V ideal for motorway journeys or long road trips.
Standard equipment from launch:
S models come with Honda SENSING - Honda’s safety features which includes collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control and traffic sign recognition.
SE adds parking sensors and a rearview camera
SR comes with smart entry and start, leather interior and active cornering lights, plus blind spot warning and cross traffic monitoring,
EX further includes a heated steering wheel, head up display, hands free access power tailgate, heated rear seats and panoramic glass sunroof, blind spot warning and cross traffic monitoring.
Child seats that fit a Honda CR-V (2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Honda CR-V (2018) like to drive?
Honda is no stranger to hybrid technology, most recently with the Insight and the Jazz, but the CR-V Hybrid is a very different car to anything Honda has produced before.
It combines a 145PS 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine with a 184PS electric motor that also provides 315Nm of torque. That's standard hybrid stuff at first sight but the big difference is the gearbox.
Rather than use a conventional CVT, the kind you'd find with most hybrids, the CR-V has a clever single fixed-gear system, resulting in a smoother transfer of torque.
The result is like driving an EV for a lot of the time. You simply out the car in Drive and it effortlessly pulls away. At a 40mph cruise, the CR-V Hybrid will typically run in EV mode for more than half of the time. Push that up to 62mph and the EV power is used for around a third of the time.
The good thing is, that from behind the wheel, you don't have to be concerned about any of this. All you need to know is that the CR-V is easy, effortless and relaxing to drive. It's nigh on impossible to tell when the petrol engine kicks in, so quiet is the whole set-up.
Often with hybrids fitted with CVTs, you'll get that constant engine drone when accelerating. But that's not the case with the CR-V. In 90 per cent of your driving, you probably won't even notice the engine is there.
Sure, plant your foot to the floor and you'll get that engine whine, but the CR-V has so much pulling power, you rarely need to do that. In fact, it's surprisingly fast and from 30mph or 40mph will accelerate quickly up to motorway speeds.
Alongside the standard and Eco settings, there's a Sport mode which genuinely makes a big difference to the performance of the CR-V, giving it much more response and a considerably quicker turn of pace. There are paddles on the steering wheel but rather than changing gear, these let you adjust the car's rate of deceleration and regenerative braking.
Hybrid aside, the 1.5-litre petrol can be paired with a six-speed manual or CVT automatic gearbox, as well as two- or four-wheel drive. It does the job, feeling eager enough around town, although diesel rivals will feel more up to the job of transporting the entire family or lugging a caravan.
In terms of official economy, you're looking at between 50mpg and 55mpg for the Hybrid model and around 40mpg to 45mpg for the petrol, depending on gearbox and whether you go for two or four-wheel drive.
The CR-V may be a big SUV but it manages to balance ride comfort and handling ability very well. Don't get us wrong, this isn't a car you want to be throwing into corners, but with its well weighted and responsive steering, good levels of grip and solid body control, it corners very reassuringly. This is blended with an excellent ride quality which is comfortable and forgiving.
|1.5 i-VTEC||43 mpg||9.8 s||151 g/km|
|1.5 i-VTEC 2WD||45 mpg||9.3 s||143 g/km|
|1.5 i-VTEC CVT||40 mpg||10.0 s||162 g/km|
|1.6 i-DTEC 2WD||64 mpg||11.2 s||115 g/km|
|2.0 Hybrid||-||9.2 s||126 g/km|
|2.0 Hybrid 2WD||-||8.8 s||120 g/km|
|2.0 i-DTEC 2WD||39 mpg||10.0 s||168 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Honda CR-V (2018)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
What have we been asked about the Honda CR-V (2018)?
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Which hybrid car is best in 2020?
What Cars Are Similar To The Honda CR-V (2018)?
Key attributes of the this model are: Petrol engine, Comfortable seats, Economical, Family friendly, Four-wheel drive, Generous head room, Large boot, Raised driving position, Room for a buggy, Well equipped, Crossover and SUV.
Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.
What do owners think?
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