Honda CR-V review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The Honda CR-V is a big car and should offer all the space you’d need; odd that e:PHEV has largest boot
Those in the front of the Honda CR-V will have plenty of space to stretch out, plus it’s taller most of its rivals (except for the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sorento), so you get the elevated driving position expected of an SUV. It contributes to the CR-V’s excellent visibility, bolstered further by standard front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera. Step up to Advance, and you get a 360-degree camera system, while Advance Tech has side parking sensors to help cover all angles and sides.
All versions of CR-V have electric front seats, so it’ll be easy to find a good driving position. Leg- and shoulder room are plentiful, and we didn’t find head room to be limited to any significant degree by the standard panoramic glass roof.
You get a large central armrest with a sizable storage space underneath. A pair of cup holders is ahead of that, and ahead of the gear selector is the wireless phone charging pad. The door bins and glove box aren’t the largest around. Still, at least the latter isn’t as disappointingly small as what you’ll find in a Peugeot 5008.
The latest generation is also the biggest CR-V ever. An extra 106mm in total length frees up 38mm in wheelbase length, meaning there’s an extra 15mm of rear legroom compared with the previous version.
Car group tests
- New Honda CR-V Hybrid 2023 review
- New Honda CR-V 2023 review
- New Honda CR-V Hybrid 2019 review
- New Honda CR-V 2018 review
Used car tests
At 4,706mm in length, the CR-V is longer than a 5008, and a little shorter than a Santa Fe and Sorento. The CR-V is wider than both, so it seems a shame that Honda didn’t manage to give this SUV three individual rear seats like the 5008 despite the extra space.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
Further back, Honda has boosted the practicality. Rear knee room is impressive, being easily on a par with rivals like the Toyota RAV4. The rear seatbacks can recline through eight positions to increase passenger comfort on longer trips, while the flat floor and wide centre seat make it a comfortable place for three.
Unlike pretty much every other car that comes as a plug-in hybrid, the CR-V PHEV has the biggest boot in the CR-V range. It’s a healthy 617 litres (635 litres including the storage space below the floor) compared to the hybrid’s 596 litres, and it usefully still has space for the charging cables.
This is because the e:PHEV’s battery is located under the rear seats, and and there’s a bit more space to work with because the e:PHEV has a smaller petrol tank. The e:HEV hybrid puts its battery under the boot floor and has a lot of gubbins around it to help with the necessary cooling.
The rear seats fold in a 60/40 split, which is average for the class, whereas rivals like the Q5 or BMW X3 have a far more versatile 40/20/40 layout. Also, there’s a step in the boot floor with the seats down in the e:PHEV version, making it more awkward to slide longer items of flat-pack furniture into the boot.
Anyone interested in towing must fork out for the priciest Advance Tech PHEV model because that can pull a 1,500kg braked trailer or caravan. The regular e:HEV hybrid can only manage a disappointing 750kg, less than the Hyundai Santa Fe or Toyota RAV4, which can tow up to 1650kg.
As we mentioned earlier, the PHEV model is only front-wheel drive, and this could make it difficult for anyone trying to tow anything across slippery terrain, such as a field with grass after it has been rained on.
In this review
- 1Honda CR-V reviewRoomy, well-equipped and stuffed with safety technology, the Honda CR-V is a fine choice for families, albeit a pricey one
- 2Engines, performance and driveSmooth, but not particularly swift. The Honda CR-V could also do with some refinement improvements
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costsReasonable residuals, but insurance is likely to be pricey, and there are more efficient hybrids out there
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Honda CR-V interior is logically laid out and easy to use, but infotainment looks dated and could be swifter
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe Honda CR-V is a big car and should offer all the space you’d need; odd that e:PHEV has largest boot
- 6Reliability and safetyNo reliability or crash test data yet for the Honda CR-V, but it’s unlikely to throw up any surprises in either area