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CR-V: AHEAD OF THE CLASS

Friday, September 22, 2017

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FROM start to finish, the 2018 Honda CR-V shows why it's the class leader. Re-imagined from the ground up, the CR-V boasts a myriad of new features and punches way above its class as a mid-sized SUV.

A Smart Key entry means the driver can gently tug at the door handle with the key still in pocket, and “Presto!” you're in. Grabbing the leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and its matching continuously variable transmission (CVT) shifter, the driver is snug and comfortably in his or her domain. The feeling is heightened with its 12-way power seat, adjustable for occupants of any size.

Hitting the glowing red push-start button brings the CR-V to life. Its soft-touch leather, piano black and matte wood-like trim is liberally sprinkled through the interior, giving the sense of refinement and class.

The proof, however, is in the pudding — its 1.5-litre turbo-charged engine.

Its new 190bhp four-cylinder engine is nearly inaudible at a throttle. But pressing the accelerator pedal, the vehicle transforms into one helluva beast as its all-wheel-drive system allows it to effortlessly gobble up the paved roadway — moving from 0-60 mph in a whopping 7.5 seconds. Exhilarating, whew!

Interestingly, with this added power compared to its predecessor, the new CR-V is more fuel efficient and is able to give its owner up to 33 miles per gallon.

In sport mode, the transmission gets more aggressive, keeping the engine in its peak torque of 179lb/ft torque, which allows it to tackle narrower, windier country roads... a must for those off-road adventurers. At the simple press of a button, the vehicle's new electronic tailgate, with programmable height opens, allowing ease of access to larger trunk space.

Part of the comfort of modern driving is device integration. And the 2018 CR-V continues to impress. USB ports are plentiful, with two front and rear, along with HDMI ports for video and 12-volt sockets for heavy-duty charging. A swipe of the seven-inch touchscreen and phones are connected via Bluetooth.

The infotainment system takes connectivity to the next level, allowing the vehicle to become a Wi-Fi hot spot. This makes it easy for multiple devices to be used in the vehicle.

The seven-inch screen is also home to a suite of driver aids, such as the reversing camera with its optional three views; alerts for the parking sensors; and Honda's Lane Assist Feature, which gives the driver a live feed of what's happening in the left lane.

The new CR-V is big on safety. It comes with an electronic handbrake on the centre console which is activated by the press of a button. It also comes with a Brake Hold Function, which automatically applies the brakes when the vehicle comes to a halt — a plus in stop-go traffic.

Also automatic are the powerful combination of LED headlights, with the matching fog lights, which are able to break through any wall of darkness.

Another key safety feature is the Driver Attention Monitor, which actively monitors the your driving behaviour and alerts the driver by nudging the steering wheel he or she appears to be falling asleep.

The new CR-V can be had at ATL Automotive, 47-49 Lower Hagley Park Road in Kingston; or Block C, Fairview Plaza in Montego Bay, St James.

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