I spend a lot of time in the car from ferrying my two girls to various activities, popping down to the supermarket to driving to work. On our way to and from our closest main road there are six speed bumps and an awkward intersection to negotiate, so I was looking forward to driving the new Honda CR-V which is positioned in the market as having more power, more space, more luxury and more tech.
"What better introduction to the Honda CR-V features than a supermarket carpark?! I was a little worried that adapting to the Honda’s size (higher and wider than our car), but the parking sensors and reversing camera made manoeuvring into a parking spot easy. Also, the Honda CR-V has a Forward Collision Warning System which uses a small camera mounted at the top of the windshield. This warns you if you you’re going to hit something and will automatically brake before you need to call the insurance company!
Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference to your experience. For me it was the electric tailgate: the boot opens, closes and locks smoothly at the press of a button. You can also programme it to open to the height you want. There’s a tree on our front lawn with very low branches, so I programmed the boot to open to a height that avoided hitting them.
We wanted to test the Honda on the open road, so my husband and I piled the girls, their auntie, and our beach bags into the car and headed out to one of Auckland’s wild western beaches. We programmed Piha into the built in Garmin Navigation App, and enjoyed following our progress on the map. The double panoramic sunroof was a huge hit; it made the car feel bigger and when the window was open, it felt like a more comfortable version of a convertible. The CRV also comes in a 7-seater for people who need more room.
On the second day we headed south to visit Grandma. This is where the Honda’s Lane Watch Camera proved handy: no more blindspots! When you indicate left, or at the push of a button, a camera mounted under the passenger wing mirror shows a sweeping 80˚ view, making lane changes safer than ever. Another useful feature is the Honda’s Lane Keep Assist System which keeps you in your lane. If the car begins to leave the centre of a detected lane without signalling, the steering automatically adjusts to keep you centred. Part of the southern motorway traffic was stop-start because of roadworks, so I switched to Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow. This is where the CR-V’s onboard radar and camera sensors let you maintain a set following interval by automatically adjusting your cruise control speed up or down when traffic is detected, right down to a stop, making it great in bumper to bumper traffic.
We cranked up the music and the air-conditioning and arrived at Grandma’s in great spirits. Grandma’s driveway is long and narrow, and the Honda’s amazing Multi-Angle Reversing Camera helped enormously in what is often a slightly tense 10 seconds. Once you shift into reverse, the multi angle camera automatically displays one of three rear views and combines information received from the parking sensors and steering.
Both girls fell asleep on the way home, and the Honda is so smooth, even those speed bumps didn’t wake them.
All up we thought it looked great, was roomy enough for five people and some luggage, and was lovely to drive around town or on longer journeys. An excellent family car, and definitely more power, more space, more luxury and more tech.
MAIN IMAGE/Christine Stride
Content image 1/honda.co.nz
Content image 2/Christine Stride