Unless you need the flexibility of seven seats, the Honda CR-V is just about the most practical mid-sized 4×4 we can think of. The boot is huge, offering 589 litres with the rear seats upright. That’s enough to cope with every item from our test load of holiday luggage. It’s a shame that the towing electrics are a little fiddly to access, but otherwise our practicality judges were impressed.
There’s plenty of room inside for people as well as luggage, making the CR-V a fine family 4×4.
It stacks up well as a tow car, too. It wasn’t unshaken by crosswinds like the Land Rover Freelander, but at legal speeds the CR-V proved stable enough.
Acceleration is dogged rather than quick, as the 18.7 second 30-60mph time shows. It’s a shame the engine sounded strained when worked hard.
So long as the handbrake was pulled on firmly it held car and caravan still on the 1-in-6 test hill. In first gear or reverse, careful balancing of clutch and throttle was needed to reach the top of the slope.
Official figures promise 48.7mpg on the combined cycle so running costs should be reasonable, and Honda has a deserved reputation for reliability. However, the price of this top-spec CR-V is steep.