Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Half car, half fancy veldskoen

On test... Honda CR-V

I bet you have a favourite shoe. Your go-to shoe. It’s not a flashy shoe, but no doubt it’s well-crafted, comfortable, and reflects modern footwear design. Crucially too, it can be worn with a number of different outfits. It’s that versatile shoe you reach for when there’s no time for carefully considered fashion co-ordination, when you need to fly under the shoe radar, free of the judgment an attention-grabbing pair of shoes can garner.

My go-to shoes are tan suede lace-ups – a bit like vellies that have had something of a designer make-over. Low-cut and slightly slimmer, they are altogether more svelte than their bushveld cousins, and can as easily compliment black jeans and a jacket as they can hipsterized chinos and a plaid shirt.

Which about sums up the Honda CR-V. It’s like a pair of fancy vellies. And fancy vellies, in my experience, are the perfect shoes. Ergo what you are looking at here may well be the perfect car. 

Let me illustrate this with some handy bullet points:

·  It has everything. In just the right amounts. There’s plenty of space, but despite its SUV proportions, the CR-V doesn’t drive like one. It has the ability to happily accept mountain bikes and families, yet maintains impeccably re-assuring manners in the road-handling department. In the trouser department, the 2.4-litre, 4-cyclinder petrol engine won’t smoke any tyres with its 140kW, but channeled through the efficient 5-speed auto ‘box, it’s more than adequate to waft you along at stress-free speeds.

·  It is an actual no brainer. Yes, experts and scientists have determined that a Honda CR-V will only occupy 0.5% of your brain. As a CR-V owner, you will never have to think or worry about your car. Obviously being a Honda, it comes with superior levels of reliability and build quality, but more than that, the CR-V offers a special kind of peace-of-mind. Sitting in this car, thoughts like “Am I looking cool enough?”, “Is this automobile an accurate representation of my social aspiration?” will never worry you. It’s the kind of car that quietly and effectively removes your from the car-as-status-symbol treadmill.

·  It’s like a flotation tank, but with wheels. The pressures and anxieties of modern day life are not allowed inside the CR-V. Along with its asphalt hugging all-wheel drive system and plethora of airbags, the CR-V boasts every electronic, ant-locking, stability-assisting acronym know to mankind. Basically, all you have to do is keep it pointing in the right direction and obey the rules of the road.

At R445 000, the CR-V does represents a sizey pile of money, however up against its rivals – and in terms of quality we’re talking about the Germans here – the CR-V offers value for money. It undercuts them by R10k-R50k and, crucially, comes highly spec’d. (And we wall know how many Euros the Germans can charge for the extras)

The Honda CR-V range starts at R299 900 and goes up to R499 900 

(review as appeared in the March 2013 issue if the Kulula in-flight mag)