In-depth reviews

Honda CR-V review - Interior, design and technology

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

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. 

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.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.5 VTEC Turbo S 5dr 2WD
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £26,020

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 VTEC Turbo S 5dr 2WD
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £26,020

Fastest

  • Name
    1.5 VTEC Turbo S 5dr 2WD
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £26,020

Most Popular

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal
Vauxhall Crossland Griffin
Vauxhall Crossland

New Vauxhall Crossland Griffin arrives to boost SUV’s appeal

The new Vauxhall Crossland Griffin undercuts the SE on price, but adds more equipment
26 Jul 2021
New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021
New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900
Audi RS 3 Sportback - front
Audi RS3

New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900

Full exterior and interior reveal for Audi RS 3, with aggressive styling and racy cabin to match strong performance
19 Jul 2021