2020 Honda CR-V VTi-L Review | Asian Car Guide
September 21, 2020

2020 Honda CR-V VTi-L Review

2020 honda cr-v suv

Countless “soft-roaders” have emerged since the Honda CR-V’s creation, and now we cannot shake a tree without at least one of them falling out of it.

The letters (CRV), it is worth noting, stand for “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle”, and the car is true to that. Even my
passengers agree.

So this Honda has evolved noticeably in an attempt to stay a step ahead. For one thing, this new generation model has an extremely wide brief: it is slightly posh inside, wants to be better than a BMW X1 to drive, and has something of a trump card in the form of two fold-up chairs in the boot.

Our test car, the latest Honda CR-V VT-L, is the grade below the top of the range VTi-LX in the CR-V range, and is priced from $38,990 plus on-road cost.

With a third row, for a total of seven seats, this grade is unique in the line-up where all other trim levels have only five seats, but that is not the only way it is seeking to broaden its appeal.

On the inside, the dashboard materials feel decently upmarket. Whatever your hand touches tends to feel built to last, in that Honda sort of way.

Instruments have gone digital and are bright and clear, and the dash itself is nicely uncluttered by buttons, thanks to the touchscreen infotainment and navigation system.

There are numerous concessions to practicality; Honda says the cup holders are placed so you never have to look at them to find them, for instance, and between the front seats there is a fairly enormous storage space.

There are USB ports galore (including two for rear passengers), and large spaces for drink bottles. Everything an on-the-move family needs, of course, including those fold-up seats.

The rear air-con system is pretty much the best, with a powerful blower and four vents flooding the cabin. The cabin gets cold very quickly.

Moving the middle seats out of the way is a seemingly clumsy two-step process (drop the middle seat back, then tip the whole thing up), but there is a reason for it: it helps create a flat loading floor, which, for instance, ought to make heaving that mountain bike into the boot easier.

When the third row is down, boot space has 472 litres and if you put all the seats down the space will expand to 867 litres.

All Honda CR-Vs have the same engine: – a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol four-cylinder with a CVT auto. Outputs are 140kW of power and 240Nm of torque.

Our test car, VTi-L comes only as a front-wheel drive with Honda claiming combined cycle fuel economy of 7.3L/100km.

While the engine does come across as rather noisy, Honda got the transmission behaviour correct, opting to keep it as natural as possible, in-turn rewarding with a smooth drive.

Century sprint timing is a respectable 9.4 seconds, with maximum twist of 240Nm delivered at 2,000rpm.

Ride quality is decently good, although the passengers and I agree the car jolts a little over irregular and bumpy areas. Steering response is excellent, and the CR-V is comfortable whilst going up and down twisty roads.

Driver goodies also include the Honda Lane-Watch System, which displays the left side of the car on the infotainment screen, whenever you pop the left-turn signal on.

Helping to keep drivers alert, the Driver Attention Monitor adds another dimension to keeping all in the car safe, by monitoring the driver’s attention at the wheel, and prompting the driver if sensing that is necessary.

This seven-seater CRV makes plenty of sense in a time when a buyer is spoilt for choice.

While it does cost more, the added ability to seat two more makes this an attractive car, where there are very few SUVs which can match this.

The CR-V comes with Honda’s five-year warranty and capped price servicing at $295 per visit; 12 month/10,000km interval with additional costs for items like pollen filters, air filters, and brake and transmission fluid.

You can expect to pay around $1,817 over a 5 years warranty period.

Over-all the Honda CR-V scored the maximum five-star ANCAP rating.

How much does the Honda VTi-L cost? – $38,990 (plus on-road costs)

  • Engine: 1.5-litre petrol turbocharged 4 cylinders Front wheel Drive
  • Power: 140kW at 5,600rpm
  • Torque: 240Nm at 2,000rpm
  • Transmission: CVT automatic
  • Fuel: 7.3L/100km
  • Fuel tank: 57 litres
  • Warranty: 5 years/100,000kms