This is the 1.6-litre two-wheel drive version of the Honda CR-V, which promises better economy than the more powerful 2.2-litre 4×4. According to official figures, this CR-V returns 60.1mpg on the combined cycle.
For a 1.6-litre, the Honda’s diesel engine’s 221lb ft of torque is impressive. However, it has its work cut out pulling a mid-sized caravan, towing from 30-60mph in a rather steady 20.8 seconds.
In the lane-change test the back of the CR-V was pushed around by the van on faster runs, although the car always pulled straight again taking the caravan with it.
In a straight line the Honda was reasonably stable at 60mph, needing only occasional steering inputs. At higher speeds movements from the van became more noticeable.
Understandably, the two-wheel-drive car found the hill start test rather tougher than the 4×4 we tested last year. The handbrake needed a very determined pull before it would hold the outfit still, and plenty of revs were needed to persuade car and caravan to the top of the 1-in-6 slope.
Practicality is the Honda’s strong point, with lots of space for passengers and their luggage. The reversing camera, 100kg noseweight limit and the fitment of a Trailer Stability Programme are further plus points.