David Motton

See other tow car reviews written by David Motton

The expert test team at Practical Caravan magazine review the Honda CR-V 2.2 iDTEC EX and discover that it is a refined, roomy and reliable tow car

Overview

The Honda CR-V is about as sensible as tow cars get. It may not surprise or excite you, but it does just about everything else you might ask of a five-seat SUV. That includes making a stable and reassuring tow car. And we are pleased to report that the new CR-V is far more refined than the outgoing model.

Towing

We had no nervous moments towing with this Honda CR-V 2.2 iDTEC EX, right up to the legal limit (and beyond at the test track). In our emergency lane-change manoeuvre test the Honda gripped well and pulled the caravan (a Swift Expression 514) straight again without fuss.

There is plenty of muscle for towing with this model, thanks to the 2.2-litre diesel engine's 258lb ft of torque. The Honda pulled the Swift from 30-60mph in a respectable 13.1 seconds. However, the likes of Hyundai and Kia offer more punch for a similar price.

Everyday driving

As a solo drive, this diesel CR-V is competent but not very involving. And while the latest car is more refined than the previous generation offering, there’s still some wheezing from the engine when it is worked hard.

Driver appeal isn’t top of this Honda’s agenda – it’s a bit too grown-up and mature for that. Practicality is more the CR-V’s forte.

Space

Inside this Honda, note that there is no seven-seat option, but the CR-V's cabin is well screwed together. Yes, some rivals offer seven-seat cabins for similar money, but if you don’t need the extra row of seats the Honda is just the job for the school run, family holidays or trips to the tip.

Those travelling in the back of this car have plenty of space to stretch out, and since there’s no transmission hump in the floor, three can get comfortable without kicking each others’ feet.

The Honda provides a class-leading 589 litres of boot space with the back seats upright. Levers in the boot or cords on the sides of the rear seats lower the seat backs in one smooth movement to provide 1648 litres.

Running costs

In terms of running costs, Honda quotes an official fuel economy figure of 48.7mpg, coupled with CO2 emissions of 154 g/km. And reliability should be a given. Honda finished on top in What Car?’s Reliability Survey every year from 2006 to 2012.

Technical specs

Kerbweight1828 kg
85% KW1554 kg
Towball limit100 kg
Maximum towing limit2000 kg
Power148.0 bhp
Torque258.0 lb ft
Official MPG48.7 mpg
CO2154 g/km

Verdict

Overall, we feel that the Honda CR-V 2.2 iDTEC EX is a practical, roomy SUV and a stable tow car.

Conclusion

Pros

  • It proved stable and strong when towing
  • Passengers have a good amount of room
  • Class leading boot space that is easy to access

Cons

  • The engine isn't too refined when worked hard
  • It seats five, not seven
Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent caravan reviews

The Practical Caravan Elddis Crusader Zephyr review – 1 - The exterior colour is called 'Champagne', but it is really a heathery brown, differentiating it from the blue of its Compass Camino 660 sister van (© Peter Baber/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Lunar Lexon 590 review – 1 - Flush-fitting windows, the sunroof, alloy wheels and the cantilever-action gas locker door all add a touch of class to the 590 (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Sprite Quattro DD review – 1 - This twin-axle from the 2017 range of Sprite caravans has an MTPLM of 1624kg (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Bailey Pursuit 560-5 review – 1 - The single front window may look budget-style to some, but we like the uncluttered view it provides from inside the van (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Compass Capiro 550 review – 1 - The new-for-2017 Compass Capiro 550 has a 1467kg MTPLM (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Sterling Eccles 510 review – 1 - Sharp graphics and a carbonfibre-effect gas-locker lid give the Sterling a unique personality that distances it from its Swift Challenger sibling (© Practical Caravan)