When you have a big, thirsty petrol SUV on your hands, there’s only one thing to do with it of course — take it on a 550-mile round trip from Portsmouth to Hull.
After taking delivery on RY19 XRP a couple of months ago, one of my initial concerns was its poor fuel economy. I wasn’t expecting anything sensational from it beforehand, but an average of 36mpg in the daily commute was proving somewhat disappointing.
Our office is based down on the south coast in Gosport — just a stone’s throw across the harbour from Portsmouth. I’m not a local here though, rather (as you can probably guess from reading the intro) hailing from the UK’s City of Culture, Hull (or, ‘Ull, to be proper).
With a mixture of workload, attempting a social life and generally being lazy, trips back up north come at something of a rarity, so when they do come around, I like to try and make the most of them. A week off was here, and happily timed well with the recent arrival of our Honda CR-V — so what better excuse could I have to pop up to the sunny North for a few days?
I suspected the car would be almost perfect for making the 270-mile trip from leaving the office one Friday evening to arriving at my parent’s front door approximately five hours later — save only for the questionable fuel consumption.
Kitted out with adaptive cruise control and lane assistance, it was quite easy to relax when taking on the M1 — which fortunately is pretty quiet at the times I usually travel to Hull. The CR-V also proves supremely comfortable over longer journeys thanks to high levels of refinement and suspension that sweeps up any imperfection in the road.
By the time I arrived home, I was even surprised to see fuel consumption had jumped up from a measly 36mpg to a very acceptable 41mpg. It’s not exactly saving the polar bears, but it did save me a few quid over what I’d budgeted for fuel.
With the Honda CR-V passing the first Hull test, the second would be even more crucial — what does dad think? “Yeah looks decent” he said, on arrival, and nothing more. Job done, then.
Next up involved using it as close to a family car as a very much childless 23-year-old can get — taking my mates to the pub. With five fully grown adults seated, comfort and spaciousness was said to be good by those in the back, while my front passenger was enjoying their first encounter with Android Auto, and more specifically, asking Google Assistant for answers to questions not repeatable in a family publication. Three key tasks down, three passed comfortably.
For its final test, RY19 XRP was in for perhaps its toughest test yet — taking my mum shopping. Now, I love her to bits, but my mum is pretty picky when it comes to cars: She doesn’t like them too big, nor too small; she appreciates practicality, but hates the idea of an estate car, and finally, she’s all for a nice car but nothing too plush. The perfect mid-range crossover buyer, really.
It might come to no surprise then that she was quite a fan of our CR-V. “Oooh very fancy” she said, in about as ‘Ull as a voice can get, as she glanced across from the passenger seat at all the buttons on the steering wheel.
She was glad to see it could play Spotify using Android Auto too, while also praising its ground clearance for ease of getting in and out. A trip to the supermarket and a certain mid-range clothing chain was the ‘next’ stop, which was done with ease thanks to the CR-V’s capacious boot and handy luggage divider. This once again earned high praise, while a McDonald’s stop proved the centre console cubby could store her Fillet O’ Fish (with added Big Mac sauce, I mean who does that?) with ease, which sealed the deal for her. She was happy to proclaim her adoration of the CR-V.
Save for a weather-spoiled attempt to take the dogs out in the car, my time up North with the Honda CR-V proved to be one that’s pleasant and, more importantly, practical. It’s looking likely to be the same again this Christmas, and I have no arguments with that plan. A job well done, in all.
Highlight of the month: Pleasing family and friends with RY19 XRP on a trip back to the Northern homeland