For neutrality, I will not disclose the franchised dealer with whom I took these two test drives. Suffice to say, they have done Honda UK proud with their immense professionalism. You know who you are - so thank you! But let’s get to the core. I’ve been a critic of the 5th Generation CR-V as its higher sticker price and evolutionary updates didn’t seem all that special to me, especially in the interior. The seating in both CVT/Manual transmissions was excellent but then, we know Honda have seat comfort down to an art, so this wasn’t ever in doubt. All the controls logically laid out, very familiar switchgear around the steering wheel, column and seat arrangement. The partial dig-dash is a nice touch, but it would have been nice to have seen a full digital display. The “stuck on” infotainment system remains a bug bear for me as its not flush with the rest of the dashboard and its compounded by the smaller screen within it for the satnav display – it’s not making the best use of the tablet-like display screen. However, it is what it is and it’s the car I’m more concerned with. Without question, the 190BHP CVT for me was far more alert and responsive than the lower powered manual. The manual seemed better off the lights when pulling away whereas the CVT has a tiny bit, but noticeable hesitation when moving off. On the motorway, the CVT is the class leader. Putting your foot down between 60-80mph and 70-90mph, the slick and silent gear movements make it far more comfortable than the manual and noise is greatly reduced. It also feels a lot more “planted” to the road – although this could be because of the heavier weight, but it’s clearly a big plus point in my eyes. At cruise, the CR-V feels effortless. CVT engine is a bit noisy at idle, but this might have been more down to the fact that the engine was stone cold and hadn’t been driven in over 24 hours. The manual transmission wasn’t as clattery or noisy. But once warmed up, it’s difficult to tell the noise level difference. Both cars were riding on the standard 19-inch wheels/tyres and they absorbed the God-awful British roads better than the 18 inchers I have on my CR-V. In fact. The suppleness was really good – it reminded me of how the Accord used to be. The head up driver display – this will split opinions. It looks nice, functional – but it does nothing different that the instruments in front of you – so what’s the point? I don’t know. Yes, it’s a nice toy to have, but do I need it? Not really. Plus, the thickness of the glass makes it more susceptible to glare from the sun and I found that a hindrance, not a help. The cabin seems more like the Civic from a “cocooned” perspective – the windshield has less slope to it and possible less surface area, making turning out from corners on a blind bend tricky – but the big windows on the side, like the current CR-V help make up for that. Being the 5-seater, the boot/trunk is far more useful. I saw the SR model with 7-seats and it is the stupidest thing I have seen. Had Honda lengthened the wheelbase, it would have made sense, but on first glance, I can’t see how even kids will be comfortable. Fuel economy I can’t speak to because I was only in the car for less than a day. A longer more meaningful test drive is planned so I can see what it’s like. But the engineering quality in the chassis is evident and the car handles really well. Obviously, the EX top spec pushes close to £37k or more depending on options, but having now driven both, I think I can finally get past the tablet on the dashboard. But I think I will wait it out for more stock to arrive to help depress pricing. I’m not prepared to pay what Honda are asking – it’s just far too much. To sum up – this is a really lovely car to drive in CVT guise. Will I change? Definitely. But in 2019.