Light duty 4WD’s are popular, especially with urban-bound folk looking to enjoy a range of outdoor activities.
And Honda’s compact CRV wagon has proven a hit in this segment, thanks to its blend of reliable and civilised family transport with practicality and just enough all-road ability to escape the urban wilderness.
December 2001 introduced a new model CRV featuring a raft of improvements and a larger 2.4-litre engine for enhanced performance compared to its predecessor.
It was a two-model line-up - the base version just known as CRV, plus the better-equipped CRV Sport. Base model features included air conditioning, dual front airbags, CD, and a picnic table that doubles as boot floor. ABS brakes didn’t feature until early 2003, except on Sport. A range-topping Luxury model swelled the ranks from early 2007.
Early cars offer a five-speed manual or four-speed auto, progressively superseding to five-speed autos and six-speed manuals in later versions.
Successive model updates have added to the standard convenience and safety items and brought evolutionary improvements. So hop into the latest and best equipped your budget allows.
CRV is easy to drive with smooth compliant ride, sufficiently competent handling and steering, and a four-star ANCAP crash rating aiding its family transport credentials. Easy access, a generally well thought out interior and good occupant and cargo space for its body size, offer practical appeal.
Drive is to the front wheels until slip is detected, when Honda’s ‘Real Time’ four-wheel-drive system automatically feeds drive to the rear also. The system can struggle to cope with deep soft sand though. CRV offers greater all-road ability than a family sedan, but a rugged all-terrain off-roader it isn’t.
CRV is well built and has a good reliability record. Check for under-vehicle damage resulting from over adventurous off-road excursions and for proper service history. Listen for scraping noises at low speeds from the rear differential - changing the unit’s oil will often cure this. Check for general wear and tear.
Under the pump
CRV uses between 9.0 litres and 12.5 litres of fuel every 100km, depending on model and driving conditions.
What will it cost?
For an indication of what you would pay for this vehicle please go to RACQ's online car price guide or contact our Motoring Advice Service on 07 3666 9148 or 1800 623 456 outside the Brisbane area.