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Honda CR-V AWD VTi-L review

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    Feels more complete, a real step up in terms of comfort from the 2WD model that we drove. Photo Gallery

Chris Riley road tests and reviews the Honda CR-V AWD VTi-L and answers the big questions.

We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering -- would you buy one?

What is it?

Honda's top of the line CR-V with all the trimmings. That means a leather, navigation and a more powerful 2.4-litre engine not to mention all-wheel drive.

How much?

CR-V prices start at $27,490. This one will set you back $42,290 plus on-road costs.

What are competitors?

Plenty of them. RAV, CX-5, Captiva, X-Trail, Forester, Outlander, Sportage, Grand Vitara  the list goes on and on. This is one of the most competitive (and confusing) sections of the market.

What's under the bonnet?

2.4-litre four cylinder petrol engine. Produces 140kW of power and 222Nm of torque, compared to the 2.0-litre model's 114kW/190Nm. It's hooked up to a five-speed auto with paddle shifts in this model.

How does it go?

Still lacks punch but a lot better than the 2.0. The trade off for the extra oomph is fuel economy which rises from 7.5 litres to 8.7 litres/100km. If you're looking for a little extra zing in a hurry then use the paddle shifts.

Is it economical?

We were getting 9.2 litres/100km in mixed driving. Not bad but not that good either. The 2.0-litre returned 7.7 (these are real world figures).

Is it green?

Gets 3.5 out of 5 stars from the Govt's Green Vehicle Guide, with CO2 emissions of 201g/km.

Is it safe?

Gets a full five stars for safety with a full complement of safety equipment. This includes six airbags, whiplash mitigation system and a reversing camera.

Is it comfortable?

Can't complain here. Feels more complete, a real step up in terms of comfort from the 2WD model that we drove. Quiet inside too, depending on the road surface. Power adjustment and heating for the front seats.

What's it like to drive?

Good vision. Smooth, more refined and composed. Leather seats feel more comfortable too, even though we're not big fans of leather. Like the dash layout, with its big easy to use controls. Toggling the audio on and off is annoying. Satnav system small and the graphics can be difficult to read (no speed camera warnings either).

Is it value for money?

Hmmm. Plenty of luggage space, but it's out-pointed in other departments. Engine is old tech, only gets a five-speed auto and the audio system is nothing special.

Would we buy one?

No reason we wouldn't. On the other hand some of its competitors mount a more convincing argument, including a diesel alternative.

Honda CR-V AWD VTi-L

Price: from $42,290
Warranty: 3 years/100,000km
Safety rating: five star ANCAP
Engine: 2.4-litre 4-cyl, 140kW/222Nm
Transmission: 5-speed auto, AWD
Body: 4.5m (L); 1.8m (w); 1.7m (h)
Weight: 1580kg
Thirst: 8.7L/100km, 201g/km CO2

RIVALS

Subaru Forest XT
Price: from $43,490
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl, 170kW/350Nm
Transmission: CVT, AWD
Thirst: 8.1L/100km 178g/km CO2

 

 

Subaru Forester - see other Subaru Forester verdicts

 

 

Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring
Price: from $43,280
Engine: 2.0-litre, 4-cyl 113kW/198Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto, AWD
Thirst: 6.9L/100km 160g/km CO2

 

 

Mazda CX-5 - see other Mazda CX-5 verdicts

 

 

Toyota RAV4
Price: from $46,490
Engines: 2.5-litre 4-cyl 132kW/233Nm
Transmission: CVT, AWD
Thirst: 8.6L/100km 200g/km CO2

 

 

Toyota RAV4 - see other Toyota RAV4 verdicts

 

 

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