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Honda CR-V DTi-L Limited Edition Review

The oddly named ‘Earth Dreams’ technology means you get 118kW from 1.6 litres against the old 2.2-litre’s 110kW, and the same 350Nm in the torque department. Impressively, the new smaller diesel engine has an ADR claim that drops from 6.9 litres per 100km to 5.9L/100km.

This medium SUV segment is the crossover point where a turbo-diesel engine – especially if you cover a lot of kilometres annually – makes real sense. It’s not just about real world fuel economy either. An SUV of this size with a diesel engine is usually more enjoyable to drive, especially at lower speeds around town, where the CR-V will see much of its work as the family taxi.

The aforementioned Earth Dreams engine is impressively quiet and refined right from start up. You’d hardly pick it as a diesel from the minute you press the start button, and even less so once it settles into a smooth idle. It’s responsive, with the torque coming into play just off idle.

The other big news here is the new nine-speed automatic gearbox, which is a revelation. It’s crisp under any load and the shifts are as imperceptible as you can get regardless of road speed.

When the engine does rev out to redline, it does so smoothly, and roll-on acceleration on the freeway is another strong point. While the torque kicks in nice and low in the rev range, it continues to surge through the mid point of that rev range, meaning you’re never left wanting when you need to dart from 60 or 80km/h up to 100 or 110km/h.

‘Eco’ mode was a strange one. It turned the gauge cluster green and softened up the throttle. Behave yourself and the gauges stay green, be a little naughty with the throttle and the green disappears. I suppose if you’re someone who chases the lowest fuel usage number you can possibly get it might be fun, but for us it wasn’t.

On the subject of fuel usage, the official ADR quote is 5.9L/100km. When we collected the CR-V we headed out into some lovely Sydney traffic – so heavy that we covered approximately 13km in well over an hour. At that point, the average fuel figure was sitting on 10.5L/100km, but keep in mind we were sitting idling in traffic for long periods.

Published: Monday, October 12, 2015

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