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STEADY, SAFE AND SOUND

Published: Tuesday, August 01, 2017    





By Sana Panjwani

Oasis Living recently got behind the wheel of Honda’s latest Touring CR-V, an unassumingly techedout competitor in the SUV market, packing more than a little punch

The original Honda CR-V – toting a boxy, soccer mom vibe – was regarded as a luxury vehicle in Japan solely based on the fact that its exterior width dimensions exceeded the proportion regulations set then by the local government.

Suffce to say, the Japanese brand has since adapted to the mainstream defnition of luxury, bringing the CR-V a long way from its rear-mounted spare tire and visible suspension bits underneath.

At frst glance however, the 2017 Honda CR-V Touring seems quite unassuming in comparison to the uber-luxe SUVs often seen being sped through the streets of the UAE. The eye though soon starts to pick up on new elements like the redesigned fascia packing an upgraded grille along with a sportier set of headlights, giving the car a crisper and sharper front-end than its predecessors.

SMOOTH CRUISING

Compared to other SUVs, the Honda CR-V might not inspire the same assurance in its capabilities at frst until you slide behind the wheel and start driving – at this point, the presence of a turbocharged engine becomes abundantly clear. The better ride compliance and more precise path control are also quickly noticed due to the 2017 model’s improved chassis and sharper steering, allowing the car to cover every corner with confidence.

Aside from sticking to the normal driving mode, drivers also have the option to pick between Sport and Econ mode making it the perfect choice for aspiring motor-heads with a green streak.

The vehicle's AWD feature, in combination with the aforementioned capabilities, also allows you to rush the car if need be, still connecting you with a direct line to the pavement. Overall, the car provides the driver with excellent control and boasts quick responses to sudden traffc, a handy feature when it comes to dealing with speedsters.

SAFE AND SOUND

In this day and age of technical innovation, the added features that a vehicle showcases are just as important as the engine under the hood.

Honda has pushed a little harder on this model with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system featuring just one knob to control the volume, with the majority of the controls placed on the steering wheel for easy access. The CR-V boasts a clean dashboard, presenting advanced driving technology which places the essential information – speed, fuel range, or torque – directly in line of sight.

“… THE REDESIGNED FASCIA PACKING AN UPGRADED GRILLE ALONG WITH A SPORTIER SET OF HEADLIGHTS GIVES THE CAR A CRISPER AND SHARPER FRONT-END THAN ITS PREDECESSORS”

It also comes equipped with a Driver Attention Monitor, an audible and visual alert that detects drowsy driving behaviour to help keep travellers safe. Another feature which works towards the same aim is Honda’s side-mirror camera which is fxed on its right side, capturing and running a live stream of the blind spot on the infotainment screen. This feature can be switched on either manually or automatically when indicating right.

The CR-V, without compromising on style, continues to offer comfort and safety as can be witnessed with its neat navigation system which, along with voicing audible commands, also displays turn-by-turn instruction on the dashboard to keep the driver from constantly having to flick their eyes to the infotainment screen for directions. Other highlights include rain-sensing wipers which adjust frequency to match the rainfall; a height-adjustable tailgate to accommodate drivers of all sizes; a multiangle rear-view camera featuring three settings (normal, top-down and wide); and auto-start, perfect in UAE's frequent warm weather as it can start the engine and AC from a distance, allowing you to enter a cool environment upon arrival.

The car also houses an Electronic Parking Brake which comes with a brake hold function giving your foot a much-needed break in stop-and-go traffc, a godsend on certain roads, especially during morning and evening rush hour.

All in all, the clean dash and roomy interiors are defnitely appealing to the eye, especially with Honda's step towards decluttering the console. The only drawback noticeable was the placement of the hazard button, placed at the top of the console, making it just a bit farther out of reach than comfortable. ‘IT’S BIGGER ON THE INSIDE’ Doctor Who references aside, the leather-trimmed interior of this compact crossover features a surprising amount of room starting with the gear handle’s unconventional positioning, allowing for the placement of an adjustable parcel shelf capable of accommodating items the size of an average handbag.

The side doors come with traditional bottom-door compartments which open all the way to the back, leaving more than enough space to easily stock various knick-knacks including a large bottle of water.

Thanks to a 1.6-inch wheelbase stretch, backseat passengers get another 2.1in of legroom. Likewise, the cargo area grows nearly 10 inches longer with the rear seats folded.

The new CR-V is rather quiet for its class, showing for excellent cabin isolation, and its unexpected roominess is enough to lure in people eyeing larger SUVs, undoubtedly leaving them with a car which will offer better mileage and easier garageability. The 2017 Honda CR-V then imbues the golden Honda standard, living up to the brand’s reputation of providing reliable, well-packaged, family-friendly, and affordable vehicles. Much depends on how you work it of course, as with any car, but this class has largely been described as vanilla, something that won’t ever go out of style.

ENGINE SIZE & HORSE POWER:

184hp 2.4l turbo four (base)

190hp 1.5l turbo four (option)

0 TO 100km/h in: 9.9s

CLOSEST RIVALS: Toyota RAV4, Nissan X-Trail, and Hyundai Tucson


DID YOU KNOW? The terms AWD and 4WD are often used interchangeably despite operating differently and being found on different vehicles.

• All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is a drivetrain that employs a front, rear and centre differential to provide power to all four wheels of a vehicle

• Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) is a drivetrain that employs two differentials and a transfer case to provide power to all four wheels of a vehicle
 
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