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Honda CR-V 2007 review

We'd arrived in splendid comfort, sitting on leather seats, sunroof open, six-stack CD quietly playing, and quickly unloaded, from the rear of the wagon, the picnic chairs and table.

But this stretch of beach has trapped a lot of cars in its time, with two-wheel-drive vehicles spinning their wheels down into the sand and becoming bogged. No problem, however, for this vehicle on this night. The Honda CRV made no fuss over this light beach sand. It would take us along a few dirt tracks, too. Yet it has all the comfort, practicality, comfort and style of a medium-sized family wagon used for normal bitumen cruising and every day running around.

No, Honda CRV is not a serious off-roader. Nor is it meant to be. It's designed as a regular family car. And, in the case of the Luxury version tested, a comfortable and well-equipped one that has all-wheel-drive for a softer off-road experience.

There is no low-range transmission but it does have fair ground clearance (185mm) and tyres that don't mind stones and dirt (Bridgestone Desert Dueler H/T), with a full-size spare wheel.

But the four-cylinder Honda CRV is up against a swag of all-wheel-drive wagons in the $30,000-$40,000 range. Forester, X-Trail, Outlander, RAV4, Escape, Tribute, Captiva, Compass, Tucson and Sportage contest this popular segment, showing that not everyone wants a tough-as-tanks 4WD. And Honda does it well, particularly in refinement and insulation of suspension and engine.

It runs a normal front-wheel-drive system. But when front wheels start to spin, an hydraulically-powered system enables a clutch to bring in the rear differential and send power to the rear wheels. Power is apportioned to the front and rear according to traction. It lacks a 4WD lock switch. It comes with six-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic, the latter meaning 2050rpm at 110km/h, and an official fuel consumption rating of 10 litres per 100km.

A four-cylinder, 2.4-litre engine has become the benchmark in this market segment. Honda's 2354cc, variable camshaft unit gives 125kW power at 5800rpm and 218Nm torque at 4200rpm. The CRV has vehicle stability program as standard, cruise control, airconditioning, 17-inch diameter wheels, CD player, and tilt and telescopic steering adjustment, all for $31,990. CRV Sport adds front and rear curtain airbags, dual-zone climate control, alloy wheels, power sunroof, fog lamps, six-stack CD and a double deck cargo shelf (top deck for 10kg) at $37,490.

The CRV Luxury, as tested, comes with leather trim, heated front seats, eight-way, electric driver's seat adjustment and reverse parking sensors at $39,990. Add $2000 for automatic transmission in each case.

The five-seater has reasonable leg room in the rear. The gear selector comes from the lower central dashboard. Automatics get a foot-operated park brake. Manuals have a hand brake.

Pricing Guides

$8,990
Based on 141 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$4,200
Highest Price
$12,999

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(4x4) 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $5,995 – 11,990 2007 Honda CR-V 2007 (4x4) Pricing and Specs
(4x4) Luxury 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $6,990 – 12,999 2007 Honda CR-V 2007 (4x4) Luxury Pricing and Specs
(4x4) Sport 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $5,832 – 12,390 2007 Honda CR-V 2007 (4x4) Sport Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$3,990

Lowest price, based on 146 car listings in the last 6 months

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