After last monthís adventure, our CR-V might have gone back to shorter trips, but its interior was still showing all the hallmarks of being ëwell-usedí. A thorough clean was needed to get the cabin back to being tidy again, with every wrapper, map printout and receipt swept into a bin bag, while the outside was treated to the most generous jet wash on the menu. Having run the CR-V through winter, itís a shame it spent most of its time covered in grime, because itís incredible how the Passion Red Pearl paintwork transforms when the car is clean.
After quite a bit of experimentation over the past few months, Iíve now completely stopped using the Hondaís ëEcoí button. Sorry polar bears! Keeping it on is an appealing prospect, with an inviting big green button on the dashboard activating two LED strips in the gauge cluster, which turn green when you ease off the accelerator. Itís a nice feeling seeing them light up, but after more than 10,000-miles behind the wheel, Iíd be even cheerier if the figure on the trip computer was closer to the 55.4mpg that is the claimed combined figure, even if my mainly urban driving is probably to blame.
So, why have I turned it off? Well, weighing over 1,600kg and fitted with a diminutive 1.6-litre engine, the Honda can bog down briefly if the engine falls off the boil. This is almost never an issue out of town where the speeds are higher, but tends to become apparent when faced with give-and-take situations like stop and start traffic, roundabouts and changing traffic lights. Itís not that the engine lacks power, with a healthy 158bhp and 258lb ft
of torque, but study the specification sheet and I suspect the fact that the maximum torque doesnít arrive until 2,000rpm could be the issue. With the Eco mode turned on, the throttle is less sensitive and the lack of initial grunt is exacerbated. So by turning it off, there are less instances of frantically reaching for a lower gear. In my case, having the power available, but being careful with my right foot not only made the driving experience more pleasant, it actually seemed to improve economy, so Antarctic animals can relax after all.
Other observations this month are focused around the CR-Vís enormous boot. First the positives: (did I mention itís huge?) the plastic boot liner our CR-V came supplied with is worth its weight in gold, especially in winter. In fact, it leads me to question why a manufacturer would ever fit carpet in a boot in the first place? After carrying muddy boots or sports gear, simply taking the liner out and wiping it down with a sponge is so much easier than hoovering it out. The negatives? I almost canít bring myself to write about it, because in the scheme of things itís not exactly a ëbig dealí, but the powered tailgate is rather slow to open. Iíve found myself using the fob from a good 20 metres away to start the process, but I fear this looks a bit like Iím showing off. One friend commented, ìwouldnít it be better if it just opened normally.î Quite!
Date arrived 25th August 2016
Fuel economy 55.4mpg (combined) 42.3mpg (on test)
The plastic boot liner is fantastic, protecting the carpet from muddy boots.
It might be a ‘first world problem’ but the powered tailgate is rather slow to open.