18 January 2010

The Honda CRV

You know when life, as we men know it, is coming rapidly to an end, when you want to watch a soap and your wife demands to see the latest Top Gear programme. Apparently J is not alone – loads, nay millions of women want to watch it. Rumour has it that it’s not the cars they’re interested in but mothering James May and cuddling up to the Hamster (Richard Hammond). Not a single woman seems to like Jeremy Clarkson but I’m not surprised at that.

Anyway, J switched it on last night and then disappeared into the kitchen to do a practical for her degree in Kitchen and Fridge Management and left me and the kids to watch all the new, unaffordable cars being presented, one of which was the ‘new’ Honda (Hybrid) CRV. It was stunning although the presenters gave it the thumbs-down as they seem to do with any electric car but it looked amazing and I’ve been ‘Googleing’ it without success since last night.

Now I’m a fan of the CRV having owned three of them, the first not long after they were initially released to the public (more about this shortly) and whilst I love the car to bits (not a single problem in 19 years of driving them) they’ve always been a bit ‘boxy’. The latest version (pictured) is much more modern looking and apparently is more economical, more comfortable etc etc etc but I’m waiting. The new unannounced Honda Hybrid CRV looked amazing so I’m keeping my cash until it comes out, hopefully in 2011.

Anyway, back to my first CRV. I wanted a 4x4 (can’t remember why) and as usual I researched the subject to death and after reading hundreds of reviews came to the conclusion that the CRV was for me because it was described as ‘the posers 4x4’. It also went from 0-60 mph in about 10 seconds and was reported as the nearest thing to a ‘normal’ car. I went to the local Honda garage and test drove one – bright orange! I was smitten but the sales guy was so condescending, I said we’d be back the following week. Instead I drove straight over to the other Honda dealership in town and I ordered one right there and then at a large discount. I ordered a bright blue metallic one.

A few weeks later I was informed my car was ready to be collected and I arrived in my bright blue weatherproof jacket which I’d bought to go with my car (sad I know). When I asked the guy where my car was he pointed to a gold one sitting outside on the pavement. I protested but he said I’d chosen ‘Gold’ as my second colour and that’s what they’d delivered!

When I arrived in France and wanted a new CRV, the same thing happened. I went the garage in Cannes but the sales guy was such an arse that J and I drove right over to Nice and ordered one on the spot from the only other Honda garage in the area. The sales guy couldn’t believe it and kept asking if we were sure. Eventually I cottoned on and managed to get a 10% discount and he got the order.

A year later we got another CRV (from Nice) and that’s the one we still have - 9 years old and still going beautifully despite being a trifle bashed.

I’ve been looking at a new CRV because sooner or later ours will need a bit of work doing to it but the price differences are staggering. Study this for the same model across Europe (all prices converted to £ sterling and applying stated discounts)……..

In the UK - £21,000, in France £24,000, in Holland £36,000 !!!

I think I’ll wait for the new hybrid version.

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