Honda CR-V review (2012 - 2018) - Practicality, comfort and boot space
Massive boot and intelligently designed interior are the CR-V's strongest suits: if only Honda offered a seven-seat option
The Honda CR-V is one of the most practical cars in the compact SUV class, with a versatile cabin and plenty of luggage capacity. Storage space inside the car is impressive and the interior is well designed to cater for the demands of family life. A large armrest cubbyhole and big glovebox feature to help maximise space, while there are also big door bins for stowing items like mobile phones.
The CR-V has quite large dimensions: it’s more than two metres wide with the door mirrors folded out and easily over 4.5 metres long. However, it’s 30mm lower than the third-generation car and 5mm shorter overall. From behind the wheel, it also feels compact and agile, and is easy to place on the road.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
There’s loads of space in the CR-V, with enough room on board to comfortably take five average-sized adults. Legroom in the back is particularly good, although there are still cars in the class that can offer more rear passenger space.
Headroom is excellent throughout, thanks to the CR-V measuring nearly 1.7 metres in height, and generally there’s a lot of elbow room to play with as well. The main issue with the Honda is that there’s no seven-seat option; unlike many of its class rivals, it’s only available as a five-seat car throughout the range, even though there is enough room to add a third row.
The CR-V offers a massive 589 litres of boot space with the rear seats in place. Once they’re folded down, luggage capacity grows to a cavernous 1,669 litres, if you load to the roof; it’s still a useful 1,146 litres when measured to the window line.
Honda’s Magic Seats help here – the rear seat bases fold upwards like cinema seats, and the seat backs drop down to create a flat load bay and masses of practicality. Handles in the boot allow you to complete this manoeuvre in one easy motion. The wide tailgate opens lower than on the previous generation, making loading larger items an easy process, too.
Be aware that the CR-V’s braked trailer towing weight changes according to the drivetrain and engine you specify. All the two-wheel drive models can manage 1,700kg, but this increases to 2,000kg when you go for the four-wheel-drive 158bhp i-DTEC – as long as it’s a manual version. Opt for an automatic i-DTEC and the towing limit drops to 1,500kg. The petrol CR-V, by the way, has a towing capacity of only 1,700kg in two or four-wheel-drive guise, and the automatic version is similarly limited to 1,500kg.
In this review
- 1Honda CR-V review (2012 - 2018)The Honda CR-V is less engaging to drive than the class leaders, but it’s practical, comfortable and reliable
- 2Engines, performance and driveStrong diesels and good refinement mark CR-V out, although nine-speed auto isn't so impressive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsDiesel CR-V models offer excellent economy and emissions figures, and are not expensive to insure. Residuals are also very healthy
- 4Interior, design and technologyRecent facelift has improved the CR-V's looks, but design inside and out is still safe rather than exciting
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingMassive boot and intelligently designed interior are the CR-V's strongest suits: if only Honda offered a seven-seat option
- 6Reliability and SafetyHonda's long-standing reputation for reliability filters into the CR-V range, while fixed-price servicing keeps maintenance costs down