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By Jonathan Crouch
Added 20th March, 2015
, updated 23rd March, 2018
Honda's improved third generation Jazz supermini gets a smarter look and a pokier 1.5-litre petrol engine option. And it still offers the same practical virtues. Can it deliver? Jonathan Crouch decides
The fifth generation Honda's CR-V makes plenty of sense in Hybrid form, thinks Jonathan Crouch
It's easy to imagine yourself as target market for a car like this CR-V. You've a couple of kids, an active lifestyle, a need to haul things around and an aversion to rather dull large estate cars. This fifth generation model is likely to be an extremely easy thing to live with, the kind of car you'll own, then wonder how you managed without. That may not be a recipe for media headlines but it's an approach that other brands could certainly learn from, explaining why so many CR-Vs are bought by folk who previously owned one.
These are people who'll heartily approve of the changes that Honda has made to this MK5 model - the smarter looks, the improved engine efficiency, the classier feel and the seven-seat option for those needing it. All of these things ought to allow the CR-V to reach out beyond its traditional customer base. And probably will.
'Kaizen', the Japanese approach to 'continuous improvement', characterises every aspect of this tenth generation Civic. The sharpened handling is welcome and the extra space useful. More important though, is the news that Honda has finally got its house in order when it comes to petrol power, the 1.0 and 1.5-lite VTEC TURBO units looking good enough to go up against the class best.
A lot of boxes have been ticked then, yet it's clear that Honda has also worked hard to maintain this car's more characterful approach in this segment. Add in British build quality, a great driving position and strong standards of safety and media connectivity and you've got a potentially very appealing package. Dynamic functionality was Honda's goal in creating this car. They may well have achieved it.
In 2015, Honda's fourth generation CR-V evolved into something cleverer, classier and much more efficient. Targeting family Crossover models as well as small lifestyle-orientated SUVs, it's a strong package if you're looking at petrol power or an entry-level 2WD diesel. What changed with the post-2015-era facelift though was that buyers got the option of hi-tech automatic transmission and the more sophisticated pairing of high performance diesel power and 4WD. In other words, in this guise, the CR-V sharpened-up its act. As a result, it's a hard car not to like as a used buy.
In fifth generation form, Honda's CR-V is a quality family-sized SUV that really benefits from a quarter of a century of continuous improvement. Jonathan Crouch reports
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