Review: Is the 2024 Honda CR-V an All-Rounder Family SUV?

SUVs have undeniably evolved significantly in recent years and we have seen some good models for each segment. The demand for SUVs is also undeniably booming and everybody wants one, to the point that some car makers have stopped offering sedans, case in point – Honda Malaysia has dropped the legendary Accord from its line-up because buyers now prefer SUVs. 

This high demand has also resulted in some heated competition for sales and this has pushed manufacturers to outdo each other.  

The Proton X70 for instance shook up the market when it was introduced to the point that some of its competitors were deemed obsolete. It took some years for the competition to respond, but they responded with some formidable firepower. 

Take the new Honda CR-V for instance, it is such a radical change from the previous models that the competition has once again been left in awe. It may not have had the same impact on the market as the X70 did, but for buyers, there is almost no point in considering anything else if budget is no concern. 

To back track a little, the first-generation CR-V was introduced in 1995 and was an immediate success. The CR-V soon became a staple of the middle class and was the go-to machine for those who wanted something safe, convenient and had enough space for the family.

If you have been following these pages, you would know that we are fans of the CR-V. There is very little not to like about it and for everything that is flawed, the CR-V makes up for it in different ways. 

We have done multiple tests with the new CR-V in Thailand and Malaysia and have spoken about the visuals and performance. Now, we recently got to test its practicality as we got the chance to take one home for a couple of days to spend time with the family. 

This sixth-generation C-segment SUV measures 4,691mm long, 1,866mm wide, and 1,681mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2,700mm which makes it bigger than its predecessor. This translates into a more spacious cabin room which is good news for people of this writer’s width and height and for those who have bigger families.

Well, it’s not a seven-seater but we did try to squeeze as many people into it as possible and found that four regular-sized people can sit at the back comfortably which brings the total number of people in the SUV to six. If you have kids, the CR-V comes with rear ISOFIX child seat anchors which is a necessity. 

Now, if you have six people in the car for a road trip, you will have around six to eight luggage or bags. Does the CR-V have enough boot space for this? It has 589 litres of boot space which is more than enough to stuff the bags and as we tested just for the sake of it, a person of my size can fit in there too.

Besides that, the boot has a hands-free powered tailgate with a walk-away close function which is helpful when unloading the luggage. 

With it being this bulky, getting through tight and narrow roads is a bit of a challenge but not impossible. This variant has a multi-view 360-degree camera that assists you when it comes to these situations. 

So that’s size, but what about comfort during long drives? Let’s just say everyone, except the driver (obviously) was fast asleep comfortably. The road noise is not as quiet as the e:HEV RS variant that comes with wheel resonators but it is not at all annoying or that noticeable. We asked Honda Malaysia why the resonators were not fitted into the lower variants and Honda stated that the resonators were designed specifically for the hybrid variant for improved noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) performance. 

As always, Honda takes the small things into consideration and you see this in the CR-V which features body-stabilising seats for front passengers. This is very helpful to the driver when it comes to long drives as the seats are quite supportive, much better in fact than the previous model. 

Also included is the seat position memory function which this writer found very helpful because I did not have to keep adjusting the seats to my liking whenever someone else drove the car.

Anyhow, if your family is as fun as mine, they will be dancing and singing along to music that can be played via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on the nine-inch advanced display audio touchscreen head unit and sound is channelled through the respectable eight-speaker sound system. You don’t get Bose here as that is only available in the top of the line model.

The touchscreen infotainment system is rather easy to use compared to the other more technical and complicated ones out there. So don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy, it will only take you a few minutes to mess around and figure out the functions.

For the driver, the CR-V comes with a seven-inch TFT instrument display and it is customisable. There are multiple views that you can set it to, such as audio info, range and fuel, and AWD power distribution. You can also adjust a few settings through it such as the cruise control settings and other safety-related features.

Another nifty feature is the tyre pressure monitoring system which comes in handy when going for long drives. Of course, when one is travelling long distance, tiredness will naturally set in, and that’s why the CR-V comes equipped with a Driver Attention Monitor which tells you to pay attention to the road if you’re feeling tired. Speaking of feeling tired, we tried out the low-speed follow and adaptive cruise control when our legs felt tired and cramped up. It does the job and is as responsive as it is supposed to be, managing the braking and acceleration seamlessly.

In case of an emergency, the CR-V has autonomous emergency braking, vehicle stability assist and eight airbags which are for the front, side, side curtain and knee.

However, the CR-V does have some things we wish were better. For starters, there is no “teh-tarik” hook available so you will have to purchase one on your own and second is one this writer has always been annoyed with from the start, which is the Lane Watch system. 

As mentioned in an earlier review, when you turn on the left indicator, the LaneWatch system just overrides the entire infotainment system which means, you won’t be able to see your GPS screen until you turn off the indicator or switch back to navigation which means you will have to take your eyes off the road for a second. And this can be particularly annoying when you need to watch out for where to turn next. 

Blind Spot Monitoring system is a necessity these days, and Honda Malaysia should be addressing this.

The final flaw is the slow wireless charging pad that takes hours to charge the phone. Yes, there are USB ports and a 12V 180W Max outlet options but that would mean more cables and a messier look. 

To conclude, for RM181,900, we would say that yes, this is an all-rounder family SUV and if we were in the market for a reliable, comfortable SUV, this would be it. 


1.5 V AWD:

Engine: 1.5 litre DOHC VTEC Turbo engine

Power: 193PS @ 6000rpm

Torque: 243Nm from 1,700 to 5,000rpm

Gearbox: CVT

0-100km/h: 10.4 seconds

Top speed: 200km/h

Price: RM181,900

We like: Comfort, space and practicality.

We don’t like: LaneWatch, its slow wireless charging and no “teh-tarik” hook

Fuelled by cigarettes, coffee and 90's rock music

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