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There’s nothing quite like the glorious, naïve, rosy eyed, uncertain pleasure of getting a new car. A veritable rush of glee washes over you, filling your senses with an unquestioning feeling of outstanding well-being … the gleam, the sheen, the wonder machine … the robust, unflinching THUNK as well engineered door slams firmly shut with a reassuring feel of quality.
It doesn’t last all that long, of course, so enjoy it while it lasts for pretty soon the novelty is over and it’s just a heap of metal, but for a while it least there’s nothing like it, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Mrs D, of course, was stood there grinning her manic, empty headed grin from ear to ear, unbelieving the luck that has befallen her … dave27 has put his hand in his voluminous pocket and pulled out eighteen grand and said “There you go, have a nice day.”
Her Ford Ka had been good in its day and had always served us well, but the day was now over and it was past its best, the victim of mindless violence from those God-awful dave27-ettes with their soft drinks (so sticky), sweets (even stickier) and endless rowing, and it was time for the big pay out.
She’d been looking round for a new car for ages (she never really thinks about a second hander, ever) and prerequisites were four doors, power steering and a decent trade in deal on her car. Autocar said three grand was about all you could expect and, of course, you knew that was all she would be prepared to settle for.
Privately, she hoped for a four by four jeepster type, but didn’t really dare to expect. However, in the end all her dreams came true (and no I don’t mean the day she married me, although that was her really lucky day) and she got a wonderful deal from our local Honda dealer, Riding & Co, who did everything right.
They gave us an excellent price on a brand new Honda CRV (£18,280, but she only told me much later that she forked out another three hundred quid on all the goodies inside), a great trade in price (all of the three grand she expected) and then just let us get on with it and applied no pressure whatsoever (thanks be to you, but you got your commission anyway – cheers to Richard Edge, the salesman you really want to deal with). Now that’s a formula that works with Mrs D every time, and after she’d done all her soul searching the die was cast and a decision was taken – the Family 27 was getting a new car…
The beast in question was Honda’s brand new CRV, a real snip at a very reasonable £18,280 (say it fast, it hurts less…) and anyway the Japanese giants make such a convincing argument: “At Honda, ‘What if…?’ isn’t just a question – it’s our belief, inspiring and motivating everything we do. It’s a challenge to the status quo, a refusal to be content with the ordinary, the predictable and the merely OK. Some might think there’s no room for dreams in our high-tech, hard-nosed world. We believe there is. In fact, dreams are positively encouraged around here, because sometimes, what starts out as ‘just another idea’ turns out to be something extraordinary. We’ve been building engines for over 50 years, but seeing where a dream can take us is still an adventure. Are you ready to come with us?” Yeah, yeah, yeah…
The model we settled for was the very, very nifty 2.0 I-VTEC SE Sport in metallic black (whoops, I meant nighthawk black pearl, of course, how could I possibly forget?), the coolest looking thing you will have seen in a very long time.
This car drives like an absolute dream, quite the smoothest, jerk free beast that I’ve driven in an age, even standing up to the stall-prone juddering driving of Mrs D (probably the worst driver in the world…), and that’s probably the most distinctive thing about it, its drive. It is smooth and yet powerful, gliding up to 60 mph with a gratifying sureness, and surprisingly quiet.
You get all the other normal goodies associated with the very high quality spec as well … CD/radio, electric sunroof and mirrors, electric windows all round, air conditioning and climate control, additional dead lock … the lot.
You get an integrated swing up glass hatch in the middle of your back door, which has to be separately unlocked, but is very convenient and a lovely touch when you got a load of heavy shopping. There’s a 60/40 split rear seat arrangement and the seats fold right down if you want – they also recline into a sleepy time position for your little darling dear hearts, although the chances of the dave27-ettes dropping of is pretty slim, still they opined “Cool, wicked!” which apparently means they were quite chuffed, just as they were with the drinks holders (why do such flimsy little gadgets have such a profound impact on the easily impressed - “OOOOOH, a blue car,” quoth Homer).
Away from all the consumer goodies there’s also a lot of scientific know how gone into safety and driving and apparently “if the CRV senses a loss of traction from the front wheels, it automatically engages four-wheel drive.” Cool, wicked!
The high seating position gives you great all round visibility in this car, although the very high head rests in the back make looking out the back window a bit of a chore, especially when the dave27-ettes have got a real strop on. That’s a rare complaint, however, in what is a pretty impressive motoring package, just hope Mrs D appreciates it…
(Actually, it’s obvious she does, what with her promising me all sorts of sexual favours for my kindness in laying out all that dosh. She was overjoyed with our new purchase and when the salesman was talking her through all the details of the controls and how to get the best out of it, you should have seen her with her wall to wall grin, she was chuffed to buggery and so pleased that it was simply impossible for her to actually take in any of his wise words. I actually thought her head was going to fall off, she was smiling so widely, the poor duck…)
All in all, this is quite the best car we’ve ever bought, and we’re very impressed with it. I’m not a great lover of the 4*4 type of car myself, being a committed saloon fancier (come back Audi, all is forgiven), but of its type the CRV is a wonderful example. We checked out a few models while Mrs D was looking for a car, and the Honda simply had more to offer on every single front, with the best value for money available. She checked out What Car to be sure (which she always does, being so careful with MY money, what a living doll!) and was suitably impressed. They gave it a great write up and said it had won an award as best in class (but then they all seem to do that, don’t they?) However, in this case the hype seemed to be merited for once at least.
We even got a three-year warranty and three years’ cover at the AA from those lovely Japanese people. My last experience with Jap cars wasn’t quite as promising, and I had some major disappointments with the Toyota Carina I used to have (but that’s another story). However, the Honda experience has won back all the brownie points that were lost, with knobs on.