Honda CR-V exceeds expectations with safety system advances
When the Honda CR-V came out at the start of 2012, the company might have been a bit unsure about putting the car through a Euro NCAP assessment. For manufacturers with models aimed squarely at families, the marketing department is usually keen to sponsor the car’s Euro NCAP crash tests. They want a five-star safety rating to be part of the message right from launch.
With a few changes to the NCAP tests introduced in January – mainly to the pedestrian and child protection tests – some carmakers have been uncertain about whether they would get five stars. If the safety guys aren’t 100% certain of getting five stars, why risk the money?
That seems to have been the case with the CR-V. After Honda decided not to sponsor the assessment, Euro NCAP bought the cars and funded the tests itself. And so it is only after several months that the car’s safety rating is finally available. In fact, Honda had nothing to worry about. The Honda CR-V has achieved a solid five-star rating.
If I had to speculate, it would be that Honda was unsure about how well the CR-V would score in the child protection part of the test. Looking at the Honda CR-V’s datasheet, it’s clear that some of the most popular child seats can be a bit fiddly to install on the rear seats – Euro NCAP found the Römer-Britax Duo Plus and BabySafe child seats didn’t just click straight into place, but they fit OK.
What’s most important is that the CR-V scored highly in all areas of the crash tests. And for buyers who’d like to have technologies on board to make long journeys less tiring and accidents more unlikely, there is an “Advanced Driver Assist System” options pack on the higher specification SR and EX models.
The package includes Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Mitigation Braking System. Lane Keeping Assist uses a camera behind the rear view mirror to watch the lane marking. Drift off course and you get a little warning and the steering wheel automatically nudges you away from the white line.
Adaptive Cruise Control uses a radar behind the front grille to monitor the road ahead. On motorways, you set the speed and the gap you’d like to maintain between you and the vehicle in front. The system slows you down if the traffic ahead brakes and then brings you back up to cruising speed.
Collision Mitigation Braking System, a form of autonomous emergency braking, uses the same radar as the cruise control, but as an emergency braking situation starts to develop it alerts you to the danger. First an alarm sounds and the message “BRAKE” flashes up on the display. If that has no effect, the system starts to brake lightly and pulls gently at the seatbelt. If the driver still doesn’t react and an accident becomes almost certain, the system performs an emergency stop and tightens the front seatbelts, just in case.
The Honda CR-V is a safe, roomy, practical crossover for families. And, with the latest technology available on the higher grade models, it makes some of the car’s more expensive, premium-brand competitors look a bit old fashioned. Not all offer such a robust safety package. Honda should have more faith in its safety people: they’ve done well on the CR-V.
- The Honda CR-V starts at £21,505
- If you have children, it’s worth taking your child safety seat to the dealership and checking how well it fits
- Advanced Driver Assist Systems are only available on the more expensive SR and EX Grade models. These at £30,915 for a petrol SR with the options fitted. Diesels with the technologies start at £33,005
- Also consider: Ford Kuga, Vauxhall-Opel Mokka