Honda 2019 CRV VTi S: Driven, rated, and given the once over

MOTORING WITH ALAN
Screen Shot 2019-05-30 at 10.59.22 PM

 

Safety:
Honda’s advanced safety suite, Honda Sensing, will be standard on both CR-V all-wheel drive grades in 2019. The VTi-S AWD will join the range-topping VTi-LX as the two vehicles in the six-grade CR-V lineup to have the full Honda Sensing package.

“This is another step closer to our commitment of having Honda Sensing across our range in 2022,” said Mr. Stephen Collins, Honda Australia Director. “Honda Sensing will be introduced at each full-model change and wherever possible we’ll add to individual models in our line-up, such as this CR-V.”

Honda Sensing is currently on selected Accord, Civic and Odyssey models across the Honda Australia lineup. The advanced safety suite consists of six technologies: Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-speed Follow, Lane Keep Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation, Forward Collision Warning and Collision Mitigation Braking System.

The car in detail:

CR-V VTi-S costs $36,490, a $1,000 price increase on the previous year model. Main features:
• 1.5-litre turbo engine
• 18-inch alloy wheels
• 7-inch advanced display audio
• Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
• electric tailgate
• LaneWatch
• built-in satellite navigation
• dual zone climate control
• smart keyless entry with push start
• full size spare wheel.

Grade Seats Drivetrain MLP Vi 5 2WD $28,290
VTi 5 2WD $30,690 VTi-S
5 2WD $33,290
AWD $35,490
VTi-L 7 2WD $38,990
VTi-LX 5 AWD $44,290

On the road:
The mid-size CR-V rides like a limousine. It glides along cocooning the occupants in a cabin so quiet, you could hear a pin drop.  That’s all thanks to active noise cancelling. This system measures sound inside the cabin and plays the opposite wave through the speakers. The result is an effect just like an expensive pair of headphones. Front seats are a nice place to be, but rear seat passengers aren’t forgotten. They sit higher in the cabin placed to have a stadium-like view through the windscreen. As if that wasn’t enough, 4 tall occupants can all sit in complete comfort. Legroom can only be described as capacious. Steering is light and should appeal to drivers who want to leave the hard work up to the clever mechanicals under the bonnet. Brakes are progressive without that annoying grab that can plant your face on the windscreen. Parking is easy too.

There is no automated parking, but an 11m turning circles is aided by cameras and sensors allowing anyone with average ability to park with pin-sharp precision. Handling is average for a high-riding car. Centre of gravity is higher than a sedan and you can feel the body shifting as you corner. It is all very predictable. Should the car think things are getting untidy, there are electronic nannies to give it a clip around the earhole. The end result is, every driver looks good.

The engines:
Like most Japanese cars, Honda puts as much technology in a cabin as they can possibly shoehorn in. For a decade, the brand languished behind the pack with AEB, Active Lane Control, CarPlay and blind spot monitor being just wishful thinking. Diesels and turbo petrol engines were a long time coming too.  It wasn’t for lack of trying but rather a lack of money. Following the disastrous GFC, Honda’s manufacturing plant in Japan was hit by a tsunami, and the Thai plant by floods.

That could have been a knock-out blow. Instead, Honda bided its time, rising like a phoenix from the ashes. It quietly developed new engines and driving technology. As new models are rolled out, delicious turbo petrol engines appear as they have the CR-V. The base model’s 2.0L unit puts out a decent 113kw, but the 1.5L engine in our VTi-S is a meatier 140kw/240Nm model. Its frisky yet frugal habits pair well with a roomy cabin.

The longer the trip, the more comfortable it becomes
With Alan from Gay Car Boys

 

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