Honda’s Compact Recreational Vehicle (the CRV) is currently in its fifth generation, and increasing in popularity on the South African roads. Checking in with the team at Imperial Honda as my first task back-on-the-job for 2018, I was given the opportunity to test drive this unbelievably unique and desirable vehicle by the incredibly efficient Imperial Honda team. Being an exemplary group of men and women in the industry which I so admire, there is always a contagious sense of positivity and enthusiasm about the industry which really gave me a great sense of excitement for the year ahead.

Handing me over to the New Car Sales team, I am shown to the undeniably stunning CR-V, with it’s almost-aggressive look in the front, strong and assertive styling that culminates in a perfectly modern, distinctive rear. With really sexy 18-inch alloys as standard, the CR-V has won me over in the looks department already, and the well-versed Sales team – with their characteristic warmth and humour – warns me that there is more to the CR-V than just it’s sporty good looks.

The cabin is beautiful to say the least. The variant I am driving has standard cloth-upholstery and yet still gives off a sense of extreme luxury and polished class. The dashboard is sleek and contemporary without being over-burdened by technology. I love that it is uncluttered and user-friendly, with everything in the right place and within reach. The cabin itself is really spacious, with ample head room and an adjustable steering wheel that makes my driving position comfortable. The back seats are also able to recline and are more than roomy enough for a bulky rear-facing car seat too. A nice little touch I liked is the padded arm rest in the front, which just adds to the sense of comfort.

I was really impressed by the cavernous boot space (which in the top-of-the-range variants opens and closes at the touch of a button) which has a really nice smooth lip-edge that makes loading easy. The rear seats also flip down for more space with an easy pull on the lever, lying quite flat and creating a huge amount of space. The CR-V seems enormous, despite being in the Compact SUV range. Despite it’s intimidating size, the CR-V is a fantastic, light and breezy drive.

Accelerating the vehicle is smooth and unhindered, with a sense of predictable power fed to the vehicle. I love that it does exactly what I expect it to do in terms of acceleration, steering and responding to my finer touches. Driving the CR-V feels uncomplicated and natural, making the entire experience stress-free and pleasant. Additionally, the rear camera helps with easy parking, and with Active Cornering Lights, the driver has improved vision around corners at night – one could almost say, everything about the CR-V was designed to make driving an effortless exercise.

Depending on the variant, the CR-V comes with a host of add-ons which include heated seats, extra USB ports and panoramic sunroof (a touch I always love). The non-negotiable features I always check for, are indeed standard, however (such as the six airbags and other impressive safety features). The 1.5 litre Turbo-petrol variant is superbly powered at 150 kW and 240 Nm torque, whilst maintaining a 7 litre/100-kilometre fuel consumption ratio.

Back at Imperial Honda, I have a chance to chat to more members of the dynamic team of people who ensure that Imperial Honda functions at it’s best; I am reminded of the incredible attitude I always find at Imperial Honda, which is so refreshing. A sense of pride and encouragement is tangible here, and the team as a whole are incredibly enthusiastic about the impending launch of the Honda Jazz Sport in the next few weeks, a launch which I am looking forward to writing about.

The client-centred approach of Imperial Honda is underscored in the simple little acts of service I experience. Having had my first test-drive of the year, I am graciously delivered me to my next site personally, which instilled in me the wonderful sense of enthusiasm and excitement about life in general: I am convinced that all Imperial Honda’s clients would experience the same approachable and at-home feeling I have whenever I visit this team.

For more information, click the link to visit the Imperial Honda homepage:


By Desh Bechan