THE 2020 Honda CR-V VTi-L7 is a spacious, powerful and luxurious mid-sized SUV that offers enough room for family fun and adventure. It’s front-wheel drive, and as you can guess from its name, it’s also a 7-seater.
Gaze upon its front and you’ll see the enduring Honda front-end, wrapped in a stylish bumper and grille, and looking as tough and durable as ever. Big, wide headlights provide reassurance that you’ll have excellent vision when driving at night.
Continue to stare and you can admire the curves and attention to detail of the exterior design. It’s a good looking car. Pop the boot and the electric tailgate will rise, and it’s even adjustable. It’s a nice touch in the mid-sized SUV.
The 2020 Honda CR-V measures almost 1.7-metres high, 1.85-metres wide and 4.6-metres long. Thank goodness it has an engine more than capable of hauling the proverbial rear with ease. Well, providing you choose the right model.
The VTi-L7 is powered by a DOHC V-TEC in-line 4-cylinder petrol engine that generates 140kW of power and 240Nm of torque. Put your foot down, and it digs in and launches. It’s punchy, that’s for sure. Claimed fuel economy is 7.3-litres/100km.
The driving experience is lovely, enhanced by quite impressive handling. It is designed for families too though, and so has an incredibly quiet exhaust, and a range of technology and safety features to keep you and your loved ones safe.
Honda’s safety tech is a bit all over the shop though, as it’s different depending on the model you buy. For example, in the VTi-L7 edition, you get the lane watch assist, but not lane departure warning or even forward collision warning.
The rest of the Honda Sensing safety package isn’t included either, and you’ll need to buy the VTi-S or VTi-LX AWD variants to access the suite. That’s not to say the CR-V VTi-L offering is limited tech-wise, it just misses out on the high end inclusions.
You do get a very nice 7-inch LCD touchscreen infotainment system though, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, and an 8-speaker sound package. There’s four USB ports and even a HDMI port.
The centre console feels a bit command centre-ish, with two USB ports strategically hidden up front and a nice tray for your device, while the second two are in the back for rear seat passengers.
The whole interior looks good,with soft leather seats and plenty of space for family and friends. Frankly, it’s one of the nicest set of seats (both front and rear) that we’ve put our butts into.
Up front, the driver gets 8-way power adjustment, and seat position memory, so it never forgets your favourite sweet spot. There’s 4-way power seating for the front passenger, and tethering for three child seats in the second row.
The additional third row seats are folded in 5-seat mode, but they don’t sit flush with the floor, and nor do they have any additional shielding or covering. Smaller items could slide into the cavities and be lost forever in the vortex that hides below all car seats.
Be careful when opening the boot too, because chances are some of your loose cargo has made its way towards the rear door and is stuck there, only to roll out when the electric door begins to swing open. Now imagine your $80 bottle of booze hitting the ground.
One of the highlights of the 2020 Honda CR-V VTi-L7 though is a glorious panoramic sunroof that just opens up the feeling of space and luxury even further. It makes it well lit and ambient within the cabin and it’s offers great skyward viewing if you’re the passenger.
In terms of cabin quirks, the side view mirrors do not have an automatic fold option. You have to push the switch every single time (with the ignition on) to manually fold the mirrors. In city parking situations, this will have to become muscle memory.
We also found the steering wheel buttons a little dated and plastic. They don’t quite flow on from the luxury of the rest of the interior. Overall though, the Honda offers the right balance of size, luxury, technology and power, but maybe not price.
It has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating and retails for $42,969 drive away, with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty. The CR-V continues to compete famously with mid-SUV market and the latest addition does not disappoint.
Our 2020 Honda CR-V VTi-L7 was was provide by Honda Australia. To find out more about it, contact your local Honda dealer.