Volkswagen Tiguan review

Volkswagen Tiguan review

We road test the latest version of VW’s biggest selling car – the Tiguan family crossover…

The Tiguan is a hugely important model for Volkswagen. Since the family crossover was first launched back in 2007, nearly eight million have been sold and it’s the German giant’s best-selling car globally.

However, there’s no time to rest on your laurels in the automotive world, so it’s welcome to the third-generation Tiguan.

Volkswagen Tiguan review

It’s got its work cut out too, because its many rivals in the mid-size family SUV sector include the Nissan Qashqai, Kia Sportage, Ford Kuga, MINI Countryman and Hyundai Tucson.

On the engine front, Volkswagen has covered most bases with a choice of petrol (TSI), diesel (TDI) and mild-hybrid petrol engines (eTSI) from launch.

Later in 2024 there will be two plug-in hybrid (eHybrid) models offering offer up to 62 miles of electric range thanks to a large 19.7kWh battery.

Volkswagen Tiguan review

All Tiguan models now feature automatic transmission, while 4Motion (four-wheel drive) is only available in the more powerful 2.0-litre petrol turbo (TSI) powered cars.

At 4539mm long, 1639mm tall (minus roof rails) and 1842mm wide, the new Tiguan is 30mm longer, 4mm taller and the same width as its popular predecessor.

Looks-wise, it’s fair to say that it’s more of an evolution of the outgoing model, rather than cutting-edge design.

Volkswagen Tiguan

Overall, the styling is smoother and more curvaceous (the drag coefficient has improved from 0.33 to 0.28) and its front end is not unlike its all-electric ID cousins.

At the back, there’s a full-width horizontal LED strip with classy ‘Tiguan’ lettering on the tailgate.

The biggest changes are inside, where the third-gen Tiguan has been treated to a new cabin sporting a cleaner look, improved technology, higher quality materials and more space than its predecessor.

Volkswagen Tiguan review

All versions come with a 10.3-inch driver’s digital instrument panel, plus a central 12.9-inch infotainment touchscreen. A huge 15.0-inch version is also available as part of an upgrade – as is a head-up display.

The touch sliders at the bottom of the infotainment screen work better than some of the original ID models and they are now illuminated so easier to use at night. Thankfully, there are physical buttons on the steering wheel, rather than touch-sensitive controls.

There’s plenty of space for all the family, with ample head and legroom for rear passengers, plus a large 648-litre boot.

Volkswagen Tiguan review

Overall, the cabin is comfortable and pleasant (if slightly business-like) place to be with good visibility and clear, intuitive instrumentation and solid build quality.

My test car was a 1.5-litre eTSI mild (48V) hybrid, pushing out 148bhp. As you’d expect, the driving position is suitably high, while the gear selector has been moved up to the right-hand side of the steering column, meaning the left stalk now controls the windscreen wipers and indicators.

Mercedes-Benz already does this, and once you get over the initial wiper/indicator activation mistakes, it kind of works, but my preference would always be for separate stalks. Additionally, there are gear-change paddles behind the steering wheel.

Volkswagen Tiguan

It’s also worth noting that Volkswagen has decided to fit a useful rotary controller down in the centre console which adjusts the radio volume and switches between drive modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport or Individual).

For the record, the Tiguan I drove is capable of 130mph with a respectable 0-62mph time of 9.1 seconds. CO2 emissions and economy are a claimed 141g/km and 45.6mpg respectively, with the latter seemingly very achievable even after a few hours of mixed driving.

On the road, the four-cylinder engine is smooth with plenty of mid-range pulling power. It will become more vocal under heavy acceleration, but for the most part it’s impressively refined.

Gareth Herincx driving the 2024 Volkswagen Tiguan

The slick seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox works well, though it occasionally holds onto gears for a fraction too long.

It would be an exaggeration to say that the Tiguan’s ride and handling are class-leading, but they are well up to the job. The suspension is at the firmer end of the scale, but not uncomfortably so. The steering is easy and light, and the car is generally composed with good body control in faster corners, combined with ample grip.

Choose Sport mode and the throttle and gearbox are a tad more responsive, but then performance and dynamism aren’t the main priorities for the family favourite that is the Tiguan.

Volkswagen Tiguan

At launch, the Volkswagen Tiguan range consists of five trim levels (Tiguan, Life, Match, Elegance and R-Line) with prices starting at £34,075.

Verdict: Volkswagen has played it safe with the much-improved third-generation Tiguan, sticking with a winning formula of understated style, comfort and quality. The good news for families is that it now also boasts more space, it’s equipped with the latest technology and safety kit, and it’s more economical.

Volkswagen UK

Morocco road trip: Mazda CX-60 rises to the challenge

Mazda CX-60, Morocco

Gareth Herincx puts this big family SUV through a gruelling 800-mile test of some on the best driving roads in the world…

Not a lot of people know that at its shortest point, Morocco is just 8.9 miles off the coast of Spain. In fact, on a clear day you can see Spain from Tangier.

About 1.8 times bigger than the UK, it’s a land of dizzying diversity, complex layers of history, epic landscapes and ancient cities.

I was among a group of just eight journalists selected to take part in the ‘Mazda Epic Drive’ to Morocco. Past #EpicDrive destinations have included Iceland, Turkey, the Arctic Circle and Kazakhstan.

Souk, Marrakesh

Our journey began in Marrakesh, which is about three-and-a-half hours from London Heathrow. Also known as the ‘Red City’ (many of its buildings and ramparts use clay infused with a natural red ochre pigment), at its heart is the Jemaa el Fna, a huge open space playing host to food stalls abd entertainers.

Souks selling everything from leather goods to spices branch out from the square, mostly in a labyrinth of narrow alleyways.

Gareth Herincx driving a Mazda CX-60 in Marrakesh

Day one of our journey took us out of the city and up through the High Atlas Mountains, down to the Sahara plain, before turning north-west towards Ouarzazate and a remote ecolodge for the night.

The challenging nine-hour drive carved through the dramatic landscape on the R203, taking in the renowned Tizi n’Test – a high mountain pass about 2,100 metres above sea level.

Morocco after the earthquake

We passed ample evidence of the devastation caused by last year’s 6.8 magnitude earthquake which levelled whole villages throughout Morocco. Families still living in tents and other temporary accommodation, collapsed buildings, rockfalls and ruined roads littered with rubble punctuated our drive.

Not for the faint-hearted, the Tizi n’Test revealed just how capable the Mazda CX-60 is when the going gets tough. Praise indeed in a region where the Toyota Landcruiser seemed to be the go-to 4×4.

Mazda CX-60, Morocco

For miles the road surface was just loose rocks. In some places there was barely enough space for two vehicles to pass, with a sheer drop on one side.

Our CX-60 was shod with road tyres, yet still provided plenty of traction on the poor surfaces. Thankfully, it was also equipped with Mazda’s newly-developed i-ACTIV all-wheel drive system, which prioritises rear-wheel drive for handling and stability, yet can transfer up to 50% of its power to the front wheels when required in slippery conditions.

Gareth Herincx -Mazda CX-60 in Morocco

What’s more, it works in tandem with the CX-60’s Mi-DRIVE Intelligent Drive Select system which offers drive modes covering a wide range of driving scenarios.

In addition to the everyday Normal mode and the increased responsiveness of Sport, there are also Off-road and Towing options.

Gareth Herincx -Mazda CX-60 in Morocco

We stopped off for a coffee at the Restaurant La Belle Vue, which is located high up on a Tizi n’Test hairpin bend and boasts stunning mountain views.

The route then heads down towards the Sahara desert where the terrain gradually becomes more arid and vast plains open up before you. For much of this section of the trip, it was just miles and miles of straight road, sandwiched between nothing but sand and rocks.

Further along, we drove through towns and villages, and passed the occasional oasis, switching to the N10 (National route 10) just beyond Tajgalt and Tafingoult.

Morocco after the earthquake

We then turned off the N10 on to the P1743 before following the N12 near Tissint, headed towards Ouarzazate – also known as the ‘door of the desert’.

After a night in a Berber tent at the Ecolodge Ouednoujoum, which is hidden away in a remote canyon about 12 miles south of the city, we set off for another route highlight – the Dadès Gorge.

A series of separate gorges carved out by the passage of the Dades River, it’s reached via a road known locally as the Road of a Thousand Kasbahs. Along the way, we spotted camels, sheep, goats and a massive stork’s nest, high above us in a chimney.

Dades Gorge, Morocco

We stopped off at the Panorama Dades Hotel for a coffee and to take in its breathtaking views of the Dadès Valley.

Then it was on the Dadès Gorge itself – an amazing road culminating in the famous switchbacks, best viewed from the café-restaurant Timzzillite Chez Mohamed.

Dades Gorge, Morocco

We’d also recommended stopping off at a rock formation known as Monkey Fingers, found along the road at Tamlalt. As the name suggests, the rocks look like the digits of a monkey’s hand.

We then headed back to Ouarzazate, which has become the centre of Morocco’s film industry. Taking the N9 back to Marrakesh you pass the studios where movies including Gladiator , Prince of Persia and The Mummy, plus scenes from Game of Thrones, were filmed.

Camel, Morocco

The N9 is the main highway crossing the High Atlas between the two cities, topping out about halfway at the 2,260-metre Tizi n Tichka pass.

Another rollercoaster of a road, it gave the CX-60 a chance to stretch its legs. Fitted with Mazda’s smooth new e-SKYACTIV D diesel engine, it offers lower emissions, improved fuel efficiency and high levels of torque.

Mazda CX-60, Morocco

Its big 3.3-litre straight-six is paired with a 48V mild-hybrid system, which allows the engine to switch off and coast to improve efficiency. Pushing out a decent 251bhp, it’s potent and refined for the most part. For the record, it’s capable of 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds, fuel economy as high as 54.3mpg, while CO2 emissions are a decent 137g/km.

Again, the CX-60 was well up to the job. Coming up behind slow trucks is not an uncommon experience, so swift overtaking manoeuvres are a necessity. Once you get used to the initial hesitancy from the eight-speed automatically gearbox, there’s an impressive kickdown, while smoother sections of the N9 were a refined cruise.

Marrakesh

The road gets busier the closer you get to Marrakesh, becoming nothing short of chaotic in the city centre.

After a second nine-hour day of shared driving, there’s no doubt that our Morocco Epic Drive was an unforgettable experience.

Now, I’d like to do it all again, but spread out over a week so there’s more time to stop off, see the sights and immerse myself in this multi-faceted gateway to Africa.

Mazda CX-60, Morocco

Mazda UK

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

We take the latest version of Alfa Romeo’s hot saloon for a spin – on track, and on the road…

How time flies. I first got behind the wheel of the Alfa Romeo Giulia way back in 2017.

It was clear then that it was a serious rival to those all-conquering executive expresses from the likes of BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.

Perfectly proportioned, sleek and lightweight, it was the first rear-wheel drive sports saloon in the Alfa Romeo range since 1992, when the Alfa 75 took a bow.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

Aggressive head on, more athletic and feline from the side, and blessed with a pert rear, it boasted impressive driving dynamics.

Originally offered with a selection of diesel and petrol engines, there’s now just a 2.0-litre petrol turbo on offer, along with a potent 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 in the range-topping Quadrifoglio.

Things have moved on in other ways. The range was priced from £29,550 at launch. Now it starts at £40,000.

The big news for 2024 is that Alfa Romeo has updated the flagship Quadrifoglio, addressing some of the car’s few issues.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

For instance, there’s now a mechanical limited-slip differential, while the suspension at both ends has been tweaked.

There’s also active aerodynamics with a carbon fibre front splitter. When activated, it controls the quality of air flow under the vehicle, to increase stability and performance.

An awesome Akrapovič exhaust system is also available as an optional extra, if the basic system isn’t quite loud enough for you.

Styling tweaks include new adaptive triple-element LED matrix headlamps that adjust the light beam to suit different driving conditions and avoid dazzling oncoming drivers, while dark five-hole 19-inch alloy wheels are standard.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

Inside, the car’s previous analogue dials have been replaced by a slick new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. There’s also more carbon fibre and Alcantara.

At the heart of Quadrifoglio (Italian for four-leaf clover) is the same V6 with power upped to 512bhp at 6500rpm. Enough to fire it to 62mph in just 3.9 seconds (stunning for a rear-wheel drive saloon) and on to a top speed of 191mph.

As before, it’s paired with a punchy eight-speed automatic transmission, while torque is the same (600Nm or 443lb ft). However, the price tag has soared. It now costs £78,315 (up from £59,000 in 2017).

These changes for the Quadrifoglio are a last hurrah for this elegant sports saloon. Without even a hint of hybrid assistance, its days are sadly numbered.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

Alfa Romeo UK recently gave us an opportunity to drive the new Quadrifoglio on track – and on the road.

The Quadrifoglio is old-school, in a refreshing way. It’s simple to carry out everyday tasks, such as selecting drive modes on the ‘DNA’ dial down in the centre console.

As ever, Normal is fine for everyday driving, AE is best left for motorway runs, Dynamic is fine for blasts on twisty roads, while Race is best left for track driving.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

You sit low in the cabin, the Sparco sports seats hug your body, the starter button is positioned on the steering wheel and there are two big aluminium paddles.

I started off in Dynamic mode for a few soft laps of a short circuit at Bicester Heritage in Oxfordshire. This mode firms up the dampers, but the car still feels compliant.

Thanks to the new mechanical limited-slip differential, changes to the suspension, plus its already superb weight distribution, the Quadrifoglio is now far more predictable than the original, especially at the rear, giving you confidence to push on.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

There’s also impressive traction in the dry, but it clearly needs to be treated with caution – as with any powerful rear-wheel drive saloon – on slippery surfaces.

It’s always a treat to have the freedom to find the limit of a hot car, and I found the Quadrifoglio is surprisingly forgiving on track, such is its poise, agility and balance.

Switch to Race mode and things get more brutish. The combination of all that power, a raucous V6 soundtrack, angry dials, zero ESP and traction control, plus the suspension in the firmest setting, result in serious thrills.

Apart from a rearward twitch once or twice when planting my right foot too early out of corners, it’s blisteringly fast and entertaining.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

After a couple of cooling-off laps, it was time to take to the roads. And the Quadrifoglio is a joy to drive relatively sedately too, though the firm and noisy Dynamic mode can be a little tiresome on poorer surfaces.

Push it on more challenging roads and there’s little body roll, while the fast steering rack works wonders.

So, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is now more rewarding than ever, but it’s still not perfect. It’s snug in the back for taller passengers, thanks to those sports seats, while the small, dim infotainment screen is still a disappointment.

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio review

However, the Quadrifoglio is one of those cars that can be forgiven for its shortcomings because it’s so special overall.

If ever a car had ‘future classic’ written all over it, this is it. And even though it’s expensive, it’s competitively priced compared to its German rivals, which include the BMW M3, Mercedes-AMG C 63 or Audi RS 4.

Verdict: The updated Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio is, quite simply, one of the world’s best sports saloons. With its blend of performance, driving dynamics, elegance and comfort, it’s better than ever.

Alfa Romeo UK

MINI Countryman review

MINI Countryman review

We get to grips with the next-gen MINI Countryman in entry-level and performance guises…

I’ve always found it tricky trying to categorise the MINI Countryman. It looks like it’s a cross between an estate and a crossover, yet it’s actually about the same size as a family-sized Nissan Qashqai SUV.

One thing is for sure, the third generation Countryman is the biggest MINI ever. MAXI even.

Fans will be pleased to know that it’s still recognisable as a Countryman with its boxy styling, though this time round it’s 130mm longer than the outgoing model and 60mm taller.

The even better news is that means there’s more space for occupants and their luggage, and it’s had a significant tech upgrade.

MINI Countryman review

First a quick recap. The MINI Countryman first appeared in 2010, with the second generation following in 2017. Significantly the Mk 2 was also available as a plug-in hybrid.

The all-new Countryman goes one better. There’s now a 100% electric option with a range of up to 287 miles.

The EV wasn’t available at the launch event, so we sampled two of the turbo petrol versions – the entry-level Countryman C, which has a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and is likely to be the most popular model – and the high-performance Countryman JCW (John Cooper Works) ALL4 range-topper, complete with 2.0-litre four-cylinder.

The 2024 MINI Countryman follows the clean, minimalist look already seen in the new MINI Cooper Electric.

MINI Countryman review

There’s now an octagonal grille, smoother lines and simplified LED lighting front and back, while its rugged, upright proportions give it more of an SUV style.

Starting at £29,290 the MINI Countryman is offered with three trim levels – Classic, Exclusive or Sport. The JCW tips the scales at a hefty £40,425.

Arguably, the wow factor comes when you step inside the cabin. It’s paired back, like the exterior, and now the centrepiece is the world’s first circular OLED display.

Serving as an instrument cluster and onboard infotainment hub, the stunning touchscreen is 9.4 inches in diameter. The upper half displays vehicle-related information such as speed and battery status, with the lower area is used for navigation, media, phone and climate.

MINI Countryman review

Frankly, it was a little overwhelming at first because there’s an awful lot going on there, but I reckon it would all start to make sense after a week or so of ownership. Thankfully, MINI has kept a few signature toggle switches below the display.

The display’s party trick is a range of different ‘Experience’ modes, which change the look of the infotainment system and the car’s driving characteristics.

The default ‘Experience’ mode is referred to as Core, with others including Go Kart, Green, Vivid, Timeless, Personal, Balance, and Trail. Whenever you change the mode there’s a corresponding animation and jingle that plays. You’ll either find these quirky or irritating.

Elsewhere, the cabin definitely feels roomier and lighter than before (there’s an optional panoramic glass roof).

MINI Countryman review

A sliding rear seat bench with adjustable backrests adds to the car’s flexibility, while up to 460 litres of boot space is offered with the seats up, expanding to 1,450 litres when they’re folded. Plus, there’s an additional under-floor compartment for stowing charging cables, for instance. In short, it’s a genuine family-sized car.

One of the outgoing Countryman’s strengths was the premium quality of the cabin. Except for the soft synthetic leather seats, I’d say the new model isn’t quite as classy, with its blend of rough-textured ‘knitted’ fabric made from recycled materials wrapped round the dashboard and door cards, and scratchy plastic surfaces.

Another example is the small perspex head-up display. Better than nothing, but nowhere near as classy as a HUD that projects directly onto the windscreen.

On the road, the third-gen Countryman has retained the fun-loving character you’d associate with the MINI family.

The front-wheel drive Countryman C’s punchy engine produces 167bhp and 280Nm of torque, and it can dash from 0–62mph in 8.3 seconds.

So, it’s swift, but it’s also no hot hatch – you’ll need to choose the S or JCW versions for more performance.

MINI Countryman

That said, it’s willing, and if you like a three-pot thrum and economy is important to you (it averages up to 46.3mpg, while CO2 emissions start at 138g/km), then this model ticks all the right boxes.

The C gets a standard passive suspension setup, which is on the firm side. It’s only really noticeable over the worst lumps and bumps, though it can feel a little jittery on poorer surfaces too.

For the most part it’s a perfectly pleasant ride with tidy handling and plenty of grip. The steering is direct and responsive, while the seven-speed automatic gearbox is slick with well-judged rations.

There’s decent body control in more challenging corners, but it would be an exaggeration to say that the Countryman C is agile with go-kart handling.

If you want more performance and sporty handling, then try the distinctive John Cooper Works Countryman. Its 2.0-litre produces 296bhp and 400Nm of torque, drive is via all four wheels and it can sprint from 0–62mph in just 5.1 seconds.

On the downside, fuel economy drops to an official 36.2mpg and CO2 emissions rise to an old-school 177-188g/km.

MINI Countryman JCW

The JCW gets an adaptive suspension setup, so it constantly alters its behaviour according to road conditions and driving style in order to maximise the balance between ride and handling.

In reality, it feels more planted on the road, and if anything, it’s just a bit too powerful at times.

The steering is sharp and, for the most part, the ride is better, but it’s still firm and will still crash over the worst UK roads can offer.

The engine is more refined, though some won’t like the fact that it is artificially enhanced.

Stick the JCW into ‘Go-Kart’ mode and it sharpens up, delivering more driving engagement than its conventional SUV rivals.

Verdict: The new MINI Countryman is a real step-up from its predecessor, especially when it comes to practicality and technology. Fun to drive, well equipped and nicely finished, there’s arguably more of a cooler vibe than premium feel this time round.

MINI UK

Honda CR-V e:PHEV review

Honda CR-V e:PHEV review

We road test the first plug-in hybrid from Honda – the all-new CR-V e:PHEV…

 The Honda CR-V started off life as a pioneering family-friendly SUV way back in 1995. The Comfortable Runabout Vehicle’ is now in its sixth generation, and as a sign of the times, it’s now only available as a full hybrid (badged e:HEV) or plug-in hybrid (e:PHEV).

Such is the popularity of crossovers, the list of rivals for the CR-V is enormous these days, and includes the Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage, Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashqai and Hyundai Tucson.

Honda CR-V e:PHEV review

Wider, longer and taller than the previous generation car, we reckon the latest Honda CR-V is the best proportioned model yet with its chiselled lines and sporty stance.

It feels roomy and light as soon as you step into the cabin, while the driving position provides a commanding view of the road.

It’s comfortable too, with standard eight-way electrically adjustable leather seats, plus a useful memory function.

Honda CR-V e:PHEV review

The rear seats slide and recline, and offer excellent legroom, though taller adults may struggle for headroom, and there is no seven-seat option.

There is also a generous boot capacity of 617 litres, expanding to 1,710 litres with the 60/40 rear seats folded down.

The CR-V gets the same clear and responsive 9.0-inch central infotainment touchscreen as the latest Civic, which sits alongside a 10.2-inch digital driver’s display on the dashboard. Physical buttons and dials for items such as climate control are welcome too, and there’s also a head-up display for essential driving information.

Honda CR-V e:PHEV review

Other goodies include a multi-view camera system, Honda Parking Pilot, heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, front cooling seats, premium Bose sound system and My Honda app connectivity.

The CR-V is also the first European model to get Honda’s latest safety and driver assist system which removes blind spots around the vehicle.

Overall, the cabin is well put together and it’s a step-up in terms of quality, but there are still a few too many plastics and hard surfaces.

Honda CR-V e:PHEV review

The Honda CR-V e:PHEV pairs a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with a 17.7kWh battery and single electric motor, producing 181bhp.

It can travel in pure electric mode for up to 50 miles on a single charge, plus there’s a tow drive mode, which means it’s capable of pulling a decent 1.5 tonnes.

The 0-62mph sprint in the CR-V e:PHEV takes 9.4 seconds, while top speed is 121mph. In theory, it’s capable of 353mpg. The reality is that fuel economy will dip to a claimed 45.6mpg when the battery charge has been used up and it’s functioning more as a full hybrid.

Honda CR-V e:PHEV review

CO2 emissions are as low as 18g/km, which means lower VED, plus a tax benefit for company car drivers.

As with any plug-in hybrid, it’s most efficient when the battery is kept charged up. On shorter trips, impressive fuel economy is possible because the petrol engine is getting electric assistance from the battery, or its running in pure EV mode. However, on longer motorway journeys we found that it can dip below 40mpg.

That said, the 50-mile EV range is longer than most rivals, and driven sensibly diesel-equivalent economy overall is quite possible.

Honda CR-V e:PHEV review

There’s a choice of five drive modes: Sport, Normal, Econ, Snow and Tow.

Frankly, it’s just fine in Normal mode, but worth flicking into Econ when cruising or on motorways. We didn’t get the opportunity to try it in snow or tow mode, not did we take it off-road.

However, unlike the full hybrid CRV the e:PHEV is only available with front-wheel drive, so it will always have its limitations.

Honda CR-V e:PHEV review

There’s no shortage of power from the hybrid system and it’s smooth for the most part, with the petrol engine only becoming vocal when it kicks in under heavier acceleration.

The switch from electric to engine power (and vice versa) is seamless, and it’s particularly satisfying to see the EV light illuminate on the dashboard so often – sometimes when just cruising along.

With a maximum charging rate of 6.8kW, plugging the CR-V into a 7kW home charger will get you from 0-100% in around 2.5 hours.

The biggest different between this and the outgoing model is the new two-stage automatic gearbox, so no more high revs on acceleration like the old CVT transmission. It’s still not perfect, but a huge improvement.

On the road, the two-tonne CR-V feels substantial, so while it’s quick off the line, composed and refined, it’s not particularly nimble.

Honda CR-V e:PHEV review

Hustle it on more challenging roads and there’s a little body lean, but it’s manageable. Sport mode delivers a little extra performance and a firmer suspension for improved handling, but we’re not great fans of the accompanying fake exhaust note pumped through the cabin.

Oh, and if you’re heavy with your right foot it’s all too easy to spin the front wheels in wet or slippery conditions.

Ultimately, the CR-V Is easy to drive and more about comfort than driving dynamics.

It’s also a doddle to manoeuvre around town too, thanks to the numerous cameras and sensors.

Starting at £53,995, the plug-in hybrid CR-V is more expensive than the full hybrid (from £45,895), and whereas the latter is available in Elegance, Advance and Advance Tech trims, you can currently only order the e:PHEV in the top grade.

Verdict: The Honda CR-V e:PHEV is an impressive plug-in hybrid and a real step-up from the previous generation model. Spacious, safe, comfortable, practical and with a good EV range and hybrid economy, it ticks plenty of SUV boxes for families and business drivers.

Honda UK