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THE CURRENT HONDA CR-V is a very good car indeed, but the fourth-generation model I’ve been driving in Germany improves on it in just about every way.


It’s more practical than before, thanks to a 589-litre boot which dwarfs the luggage space in some estate cars. Levers at the side of the boot fold down the 60/40 split rear bench. The clever spring-loaded mechanism moves the seat base and tucks away the head restraints for you, leaving a huge 1669 litres to fill.


There’s lots of space for people as well as luggage, whether you’re travelling in the front or the rear. Despite being a 4×4, there’s no transmission tunnel so there’s plenty of space for everyone’s feet, even when three passengers are travelling in the back.


The new CR-V is better to drive as well as impressively roomy. A firm but composed ride bodes well for stability when towing, and the cabin is noticeably quieter than the current car’s at speed.


Buyers can choose between a 153bhp 2.0-litre petrol and 148bhp 2.0-litre diesel. You won’t be surprised to learn that the diesel is better suited to towing. Kerbweights for the 2.0 i-DTEC 4×4 start from 1728kg (including 75kg for the driver which isn’t in Honda’s published weights). That gives an 85% match figure of 1469kg. The legal towing limit is 2000kg for the diesel manual, but drops to 1500kg for the diesel.


Prices haven’t yet been confirmed, but we’d estimate a cost of £25,300 for the cheapest CR-V diesel.


There’s more on the new CR-V in the November issue. Honda has promised us a right-hand-drive car with a towball this autumn, so we’ll run a full towing test on one soon.