The first thing I did when the CR-V was delivered to wheels HQ two weeks ago was to breathe a sigh of relief; thankfully it wasn’t finished in a dreary white paint. The interesting shade of Sandstorm metallic sure has been attracting attention — not in the same eye-widening manner say a bright shade of red or wild orange would — but I noticed quite a few bystanders fixing their gaze on the Honda as it quietly rolled past.
The revised exterior, particularly the bold front end, has something to do with that too of course and I suppose I wasn’t exactly being stealthy what with the windows down and “Running Down A Dream” belting out of the eight speakers. RIP Tom Petty. Speaking of the audio (which supports Apple Car Play and Android Auto) the volume knob is on the bottom left corner of the 7.0in infotainment system — millimetres from the AC button. This can pose a bit of an issue if, like me, your hand-eye coordination isn’t the best but there’s help — which creates another minor annoyance. The touch-sensitive toggle switch on the multifunctional steering wheel works fine, allowing you to make big volume changes as quickly as a dial can, however it resides in a place you’d often rest your palms. As a result, you often end up making accidental volume adjustments whilst you’re singing along at full pitch with your favourite track only to then suddenly be left with no sound at all but that of your craggy voice. That’s a tad frustrating, not to mention embarrassing if you have company... Anyway, that’s my pedantic entry about the CR-V’s volume control over with — the good news is that there hasn’t been any other complaints during my second week with this fully loaded family hauler. If anything, I am really enjoying this all-new CR-V mostly for the pleasant ride that it affords.
The smooth 2.4-litre direct injected engine and CVT — with Honda G-Shift control logic which makes the transmission feel like a ‘normal’ automatic — is complemented by an agile yet refined chassis. The front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspension with specially tuned low-friction dampers don’t just promote quick turn-in but pretty flat cornering too — when you keep it well under 100kph. What’s more, with the dual-pinion variable ratio electric power steering contributing to the CR-V’s robust handling, you’ll grin when you throw this sensible vehicle around a little.