It was a case of Deja-vu.

Subtle styling changes, especially those at the front, give the Honda CR-V a more
aggressive look. But inside it all looks so familiar – same layout, same instruments and
same infotainment screen.

Prices for CR-V start at $35,300 for the 2.0-litre Vi. The rest of the range gets a more
powerful 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine, starting at $38,300 for the VTi or $40,300 for the VTi-
7 with seven seats.

Then there’s the VTi-X at $41,200, followed by the subject of our test, the seven-seat VTi-
L7 – for $48,700. But then you have to factor in all-wheel drive, with two all-wheel drive
models: VTi-L at $45,500 or the VT-LX at $53,200.

The biggest changes are at the front of the car with its blacked-out grille and broader,
more aggressive styling. The rear lights look the same but the rear bumper and apron
have been redesigned, with oval tailpipes this time, and there’s a new wheel design that
looks suspiciously like the previous one.

All models get LED lights front and back, LED fog lights, as well as LED daytime running
lights, with ambient lighting inside.

Inside it all looks pretty much the same, apart from wireless charge pad.

Standard kit in the VTi L7 includes leather trim, dual zone climate control with rear air
vents (including vents for the third row).

The front seats are also heated and the driver’s seat has eight-way power adjustment with
two seat memories.

Other features include smart keyless entry with push button start, automatic walk-away
door locking; hands-free power tailgate; electric parking brake; 10 cup or bottle holders;
auto lights and wipers; front and rear parking sensors; active cornering lights; auto
headlights with high beam support and a panoramic sunroof.

The 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine produces 140 kW of power at 5600
rpm and 240 Nm of torque from 2000 to 5000 rpm.

It’s paired with a CVT-style continuously variable transmission with paddle shifters, and
drive to the front wheels.

Infotainment consists of a 7.0-inch touchscreen, eight-speaker audio, active noise control,
built-in satnav, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, AM/FM radio, with Apple CarPlay
and Android Auto connectivity and a wireless phone charger.

There’s also one 12-volt outlet in the centre console and four USB ports. Oddly, although
the VTi L7 gets built-in satnav, DAB digital radio is absent for some reason.

Safety is rated at five stars and extends to six airbags (including full length curtains), driver
attention monitor, LaneWatch passenger side camera, plus a multi-angle reversing camera
with guidelines and three modes: normal, wide, top-down.

Child restraint anchorages consist of three top tethers, two boot floor tethers and two
IsoFix points.

The Honda sensing safety system comprises Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed
Follow; Forward Collision Warning; Collision Mitigation Braking System; Lane Departure
Warning; Road Departure Mitigation System and Lane Keeping Assist System.

The cabin is roomy, comfortable and quiet, and the engine doesn’t make its presence
known unless you really get up it.

One of the big drawcards of the CR-V and Hondas in general is the well sorted
ergonomics of the cabin, with its large, easy to read and operate controls. The central
touchscreen, although it looks huge, is mainly framework, disguising a now smallish 7.0-
inch display.

The turbo-petrol engine provides plenty of punch and a wide spread of torque, delivered
from a low 2000 revs makes it an easy car to drive. car. But as we discovered previously,
to harness the full potential of the engine, a firm right foot is required.

Ride quality is middle of the road and perhaps a little too soft, with too much body roll for
our liking. But in reality, who is going to start chucking it around.

Steering is light and the brakes overly sensitive.

In a seven-seater, you’ll like the “conversation” mirror too, which enables the driver to see
those in the back. Though it’s potentially dangerous if the driver takes their attention off the
road to look in the mirror.

In a vehicle that is a little over 4.6 metres in length, the two third-row seats are suitable for
small children only.

Trailer Stability Assist is standard and the Honda CR-V can tow a 1500kg braked trailer.

Rated at 7.3L/100km, the CVT really does what it is supposed to do, finding the optimal
point between power and economy. We in fact got the claimed 7.3 L/100km from the 57-
litre tank after 665km of mixed driving, broken by a bout of Covid19.

Sure, CR-V hasn’t changed much, but there’s no point in making change just for the sake
of change. As the old saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The CR-V ticks a lot of boxes and does what it does very well, with little fuss, and that’s
really all you want from a car. Apart from some minor cosmetic changes, the main
difference is in the addition of the Honda Sensing safety system which also brings
adaptive cruise control.

Honda CR-V is covered by a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty and 5-year roadside
assistance, with service due every 10,000km or 12 months.

Looks: 7.5/10
Performance: 7.5/10
Safety: 8/10
Thirst: 8/10
Practicality: 8/10
Comfort: 7.5/10
Tech: 7.5/10
Value: 8/10
Overall: 7.8/10


CR-V 2.0 Vi 2WD: $35,300
CR-V 1.5 VTi 2WD: $38,300
CR-V 1.5 VTi 7 2WD: $40,300
CR-V 1.5 VTi X 2WD: $41,200
CR-V 1.5 VTi L7 2WD: $48,700
CR-V 1.5 VTi L AWD: $45,500
CR-V 1.5 VTi LX AWD: $53,200

Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your
local Honda dealer for drive-away prices.

Honda CR-V VTi L7 seven-seat 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol five-door wagon

Capacity: 1.498 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 140 kW @ 5600 rpm
Maximum Torque: 240 Nm @ 2000-5000 rpm
Fuel Type: Standard unleaded petrol
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.3 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 166 g/km

Continuously variable transmission, front wheel-drive

Length: 4635 mm
Wheelbase: 2660 mm
Width: 1855 mm
Height: 1679 mm
Turning Circle: 11.0 metres
Kerb Mass: 1642 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 57 litres

Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Solid disc

Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Chris Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.
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