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Honda CR-V (2017-2023) review - Interior, design and technology

Impressive interior quality, but the exterior design is uninteresting and unlikely to catch the eye

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Interior, design and technology Rating

3.5 out of 5

Price
£45,835 to £54,330
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Honda clearly felt that the previous generation CR-V had the right kind of exterior style because the new generation model is very similar in appearance. There are flashes of chrome around the nose and large alloy wheels as standard on higher specification models, but ultimately this is a safe and sensible design. It’s unlikely to win the hearts of buyers, but at the same time it won’t put many off, either. 

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Inside there are more significant changes, and the CR-V benefits from a push upmarket with improvements to the materials used and the layout of the controls. Choose a top-specification EX model and the cabin is finished in high-quality leather and wood, and although some of the lower sections still use less appealing plastics the overall effect is pleasing to look at and to touch.

The layout of the CR-V’s dashboard is sensible and convenient, with a high-set central spar putting the major controls close to the wheel, including the manual or automatic gearlever where fitted. It also leaves plenty of space beneath the centre console and gives the driver the sense of being in command of the car. A digital instrument display is fitted as standard and gives the driver plenty of options to display the required information, while a head-up display system is also available as an option.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment 

Another useful improvement on the new generation CR-V is an updated infotainment screen, which is seven inches in size and is better integrated into the dashboard than in the previous model. The system itself, however, remains occasionally frustrating, as simple tasks can sometimes prove difficult to complete.

Mitigating this is the fact that the system now has a rotary controller to change the volume and separate controls for the climate control system, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come as standard on SE models and above. The CR-V’s in-built Garmin navigation system is also quite dated, with very simple graphics and sometimes sluggish responses. It’s not really in keeping with the quality of the car elsewhere.

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News reporter

As our news reporter, Ellis is responsible for covering everything new and exciting in the motoring world, from quirky quadricycles to luxury MPVs. He was previously the content editor for DrivingElectric and won the Newspress Automotive Journalist Rising Star award in 2022.

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