Drive through any weather

This time last year who could have known what the great British weather was going to throw our way.

It proved to be one of the coldest winters on record with some significant levels of snowfall which simply refused to disappear for a good number of weeks.

The arrival of the snow and ice brought high levels of anxiety for some drivers and left many stranded or facing very difficult journeys.

With winter fast approaching people are, not surprisingly, starting to anticipate what may happen this year.

It’s fair to say that many people are not prepared to drive a rugged off road vehicle all year round, just in case our winter brings a cold snap with ice and snowfall. However an increasing number are opting to drive a vehicle which offers a good degree of security and peace of mind if the weather does take a turn for the worse.

Honda’s CR-V is one such vehicle. The best selling British built CR-V offers car like road holding and refinement levels, and indeed runs in two wheel drive configuration for the majority of the time, which results in good levels of fuel economy.

However when it detects conditions deteriorating it automatically switches to four wheel drive to enable its driver to get out of any tricky situation.

As ever, two engine options are available. The petrol powerplant is a 2.0-litre unit. It’ll get to 60mph in a respectable 10.2 seconds. The 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel is good for 150bhp and has 350Nm of torque.

The diesel returns a combined fuel economy figure of 43.5mpg but don’t overlook the 2.0-litre petrol which is good for 34.4mpg.

The CR-V handles superbly. Unlike many 4x4s in this sector of the market, the CR-V doesn’t feel the least bit top heavy. The CR-V is different thanks to a taut suspension backed up by Honda’s revolutionary Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system.

This electronic stability control package is one of the most advanced around, offering another dimension to the more rudimentary stability control systems that nip at a brake to keep the car on the road when things get skiddy. VSA applies brake pressure to the wheel that slips and redirects driving force to the wheel with better traction. Using no fewer than seven sensors, VSA brakes the outside front and rear wheels during a tail slide and applies braking force to the inside front and rear wheels if the nose runs wide.

As you would expect with Honda, standard equipment levels are high, with the aforementioned safety features standard across the range together with Trailer Stability Assist (an anti snaking system) for anyone that tow’s a caravan or trailer. All models come with climate control, dual zone in many models, together with Alcantara trim in the SE and various leather grades in all other models. Full colour screen satellite navigation, together with rear camera and panoramic glass roof can be found on the top of the range EX, which also comes with heated leather seats for those cold mornings.

Since its launch in 2000 the CR-V has been at the top of the sales chart and it’s easy to see why.

Legendary Honda build quality and reliability together with a practical yet stylish design has made it many friends. Running costs are extremely competitive due to the good levels of fuel economy and corresponding levels of road tax, which are some of the lowest in sector for this type of vehicle.

It’s very hard to find significant cause for complaint with the Honda CR-V. It remains a 4x4 that drives extremely well, has two brilliant power plants, neat but unfussy interior styling and a reliability record that’s second to none. Small wonder that the CR-V excels in customer satisfaction surveys. If you are looking for that extra peace of mind during the winter period, but don’t want to sacrifice comfort then you could do far worse than to consider Honda’s 4x4 offering.

Prices range from £21,875 to £31,030 and the CR-V is currently available with four years complimentary servicing and roadside assistance and 0% finance.

All models can be driven at Mansfield Honda, Southwell Road West, Mansfield.