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The Mercury Cars Guide : September 25th 2010
8--- Classifieds 62 300 400 • carsguide.com.au Saturday, September 25, 2010 HONDA CR-V Keith Didham TORQUE Honda listens to CR-V owners MAKEOVER: The sleek and impressive 2010 Honda CR-V, fine-tuned on the advice of drivers. IF there was an award for the most improved player in the softroader wagon market, then Honda's CR-V would surely be a hot contender. Over the years Honda has fine- tuned the all-wheel drive, ironing out most --- but not all --- of its vices to the point it has become a very likeable urban wagon. Honda has honed the CR-V to be more car-like than bush basher, so it is at its best in the city or rural roads while it has sufficient traction to tackle the occasional jaunt along rough forestry trails. The CR-V benefited from a timely makeover earlier this year, keeping the wagon fresh in what has become one of the hotly contested market segments. Sales of all-wheel drive wagons continues to boom unabated --- something that hasn't escaped the attention of the big and even not so big brands who are all chasing your money. A few years ago, the wagon market was essentially a four-way race between the CR-V, Subaru Forester, Nissan's Xtrail and the Toyota RAV. Today Holden, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Mazda, Suzuki, Peugeot and Renault have joined the party. To its credit, Honda has listened to CR-V owners and fix the wrongs of the previous version. This latest one is substantially quieter, it rides better and there's been an improvement in steering feel --- all items that needed prompt attention. The net result is a very appealing wagon for family duties. It offers all the advantages of on-demand all- wheel drive surefootedness, a high seating position and car-like handling. And it comes well equipped on safeties with curtain airbags now standard on all models, lifting the number of airbags to six across the range. The tinkering included adding more sound insulation around the engine bay, the suspension set-up has dialled out most but not all of the jittery ride and there's more feedback through the steering wheel. The transmission remains a five- speed auto (a six-speed manual is avilable) and there was no change to the 2.4-litre petrol four-cylinder engine. Pity, that. The motor develops 125kW at 5800rpm and 218Nm of torque at 4200rm, which on paper looks reasonable and is typical output for these all-wheel drive wagons. The problem with the CR-V is that it is no lightweight, tipping the scales at about 1600kg and that takes the edge of both performance and fuel consumption. Faced with the odd steep hill, the CR-V feels downright sluggish and while Honda quotes a combined fuel consumption of 10l/100km for both manual and automatic the best we could do was a thirsty 14.3l/100km. To be fair, about 80 per cent of testing was done in the city so consumption was expected to be slightly heavier than the combined mix figure which takes in both city and highway running. Another CarsGuide tester achieved 10.8l/100km while on holiday in Tassie recently in the same wagon but most of that was country running. If you are looking at the CR-V as a tow vehicle you may be disappointed. The maximum rating is a modest 1500kg braked (the Xtrail is 2000kg), 600kg unbraked (auto) and a towball load of 150kg which rules out all but camper trailers or tin dinghies. Prices for the three-model range start at $30,990 for the Standard and stretch to $42,790 to the Luxury but most sales in this country are for the mid-spec Sport at $38,790 plus in- road costs. While the exterior styling will probably polarise potential buyers, there's still much to like about the CR-V, especially the build quality, level of safety equipment and the clever interior design, highlighted by plenty of storage. The cabin is neat, refined, modern and usable. Its also comfortable, although the rear seats could do with more length and the front pews are a bit shapeless, but no complaints about leg or head room. We loved a full-sized window- height shelf in the boot which can easily be removed and stored on the floor. It adds versatility to the cargo area, although it is limited to 10kg load capacity. The wagon also comes with a full- sized spare. Honda also took a clever approach to increasing usable cabin space. The stubby automatic shifter is mounted on the dashboard and the use of a foot-operated parking brake frees up space. It provides a flat floor up front and room for decent-sized storage boxes. There a couple of bugbears: the low position of the grab handle on the tailgate means you end up with grubby hands when opening it. The auto is only a five-speeder when the industry standard is six and while improvements to the ride are welcome (there's none of the floaty feeling anymore), there's still some body roll which is expected on such a high-riding vehicle. • Remote central locking • dual airbags • air conditioning • CD player • power steering • 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty • excellent fuel efficiency (only 6.7 litres per 100km or 41mpg!#) Metallic/Mica paint as shown $400 extra† $8* OR per day no deposit Kia Rio S 5-DOOR MANUAL HATCH $13 ,490ø DRIVE AWAY *To approved purchasers only. Net amount financed $14,256. Repayments $8 per day or $238.95 per month for 84 months.Total repayment $20,071.80. Interest rate 9.50% p.a. Includes fees and charges (full details available at dealership). Comparison rate 12.11% on consumer car loan, secured over seven years. øPrice includes statutory charges. Excludes fleet and government sales. # Fuel consumption guide in accordance with ADR 81/01. 275 MAIN ROAD GLENORCHY PH: 6213 3315 AFTER HOURS: Brian Anning 0418 531 853, Allan Gebel 0428 729 659, Chris Wakefield 0400 635 446 firstname.lastname@example.org Easy finance available with DJ Financial Services OPEN FROM 9AM-2PM TODAY
September 18th 2010
October 2nd 2010