The Honda CR-V is not meant for heavy off-road use, but is a good family vehicle. There is more than 2,000L of space when the second row of seats is folded flat. Andrew Henderson / The National
The Honda CR-V is not meant for heavy off-road use, but is a good family vehicle. There is more than 2,000L of space when the second row of seats is folded flat. Andrew Henderson / The National

The beauty of the Honda CR-V is in the eye of the driver

Honda has a history of building some exciting cars; its Civics have been a favourite with the tuner crowd for decades, and its current Civic Type-R is one of the hottest hatches on the road. And who could forget the racy S2000 roadster or the NSX supercar?

The CR-V is not one of those exciting cars. Funny how an automaker can offer up such a wide variety of products in its showrooms. But the measure of a car is not necessarily how fast it goes, but how well it does the job it was built for. And in that, the CR-V may surprise a few people.

There certainly are more exciting-looking small SUVs on the road; the exterior shape is a little odd, especially from the front. Its long snout, with a sort of extended jawbone, and the sloping rear window are distinctive, but not in a very attractive way. I'd rather put my eyeballs on the muscular-looking Kia Sportage, or even the utilitarian and boxy Nissan X-Trail; let me put it this way: I wouldn't be buying a CR-V on looks alone.

But if you can get past the awkward design, you've got a pretty good little car on your hands.

There's only one engine offered; the little 2.4L four cylinder gets decent - though not exactly great - fuel economy with, again, decent performance. Other companies offer a V6 for more towing power, but if you're not planning on pulling a boat or driving up the Moreeb Dune, it should be enough. No, it's not exactly exciting to drive, but it doesn't have to be; it gets you, your family and your cargo there with no fuss. The 168hp doesn't seem like much these days, but I never really wanted for more power; it's spritely darting around in traffic and more than sufficient on the motorway.

Likewise with the transmission: five gears is on the low end of modern gearboxes, but it was surprisingly smooth and seemed to be in the right gear most times; it's when you want to thrash the car that its limitations appear, but, really, who's going to want to thrash a CR-V? The only major drawback with the transmission is the fact you can't shift gears yourself, part of the reason why this Honda isn't meant for heavy off-road use.

But if you're looking for performance, look a little further inside the Honda showroom at its Type-R; if you're looking for a small family hauler with good cargo room, the CR-V will deliver. It carries five adults (not even a pretense of a third row of seats, like other SUVs, which is a good thing - have you ever crammed yourself into one of those?), and with more than 2,000L of space with the second row seats folded flat, you'll probably not want for space. The full-size spare tyre is magically hidden under the flat cargo floor, and a removable cargo shelf handily splits the rear area behind the seats to double the capacity for carrying smaller stuff, such as grocery bags. Very thoughtful.

The rear passengers have plenty of leg and headroom, too, ensuring that the kids won't annoy you by kicking the back of your seat. Up front, the interior is uninspiring but efficiently packaged. There is no sat/nav option here, but everything is clear and well laid out. The fabric seats look and feel of higher quality and offer a high seating position. My only complaint is that it tends to get noisy inside the cabin at higher speeds. But it does have some of the highest scores in crash tests for its class, so you can rest easy that the brood will be safe.

The CR-V has good ground clearance and approach angles, but its all-wheel drive (as opposed to full-time four-wheel drive) means that this SUV is best left off the dunes. It'll do some camping and picknicking off the beaten path, but this is not a hardcore off-roader; better for the school run rather than the Desert Challenge, even though its firm ride might get you thinking otherwise.

It's hard to get excited about the CR-V. It does have its limitations, but there's no denying that it does the job it was intended for with aplomb. Overall it's a nice driver and its convenience, utility and safety will be what win over a buyer who can live with its quirky design.

The Specs

Price, base / as tested Dh99,999 / Dh109,999

Engine 2.4L four cylinder

Gearbox five-speed automatic

Power 168hp @ 5,800 rpm

Torque 220Nm @ 4,200 rpm

Fuel economy, combined 10.2L/100km


Who: France v Italy
When: Friday, 11pm (UAE)
TV: BeIN Sports


Director: Stephen Gaghan

Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Michael Sheen

One-and-a-half out of five stars

Usain Bolt's time for the 100m at major championships

2008 Beijing Olympics 9.69 seconds

2009 Berlin World Championships 9.58

2011 Daegu World Championships Disqualified

2012 London Olympics 9.63

2013 Moscow World Championships 9.77

2015 Beijing World Championships 9.79

2016 Rio Olympics 9.81

2017 London World Championships 9.95

Match info

Manchester United 4
(Pogba 5', 33', Rashford 45', Lukaku 72')

Bournemouth 1
(Ake 45+2')

Red card: Eric Bailly (Manchester United)


July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone


Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

Important questions to consider

1. Where on the plane does my pet travel?

There are different types of travel available for pets:

  • Manifest cargo
  • Excess luggage in the hold
  • Excess luggage in the cabin

Each option is safe. The feasibility of each option is based on the size and breed of your pet, the airline they are traveling on and country they are travelling to.


2. What is the difference between my pet traveling as manifest cargo or as excess luggage?

If traveling as manifest cargo, your pet is traveling in the front hold of the plane and can travel with or without you being on the same plane. The cost of your pets travel is based on volumetric weight, in other words, the size of their travel crate.

If traveling as excess luggage, your pet will be in the rear hold of the plane and must be traveling under the ticket of a human passenger. The cost of your pets travel is based on the actual (combined) weight of your pet in their crate.


3. What happens when my pet arrives in the country they are traveling to?

As soon as the flight arrives, your pet will be taken from the plane straight to the airport terminal.

If your pet is traveling as excess luggage, they will taken to the oversized luggage area in the arrival hall. Once you clear passport control, you will be able to collect them at the same time as your normal luggage. As you exit the airport via the ‘something to declare’ customs channel you will be asked to present your pets travel paperwork to the customs official and / or the vet on duty. 

If your pet is traveling as manifest cargo, they will be taken to the Animal Reception Centre. There, their documentation will be reviewed by the staff of the ARC to ensure all is in order. At the same time, relevant customs formalities will be completed by staff based at the arriving airport. 


4. How long does the travel paperwork and other travel preparations take?

This depends entirely on the location that your pet is traveling to. Your pet relocation compnay will provide you with an accurate timeline of how long the relevant preparations will take and at what point in the process the various steps must be taken.

In some cases they can get your pet ‘travel ready’ in a few days. In others it can be up to six months or more.


5. What vaccinations does my pet need to travel?

Regardless of where your pet is traveling, they will need certain vaccinations. The exact vaccinations they need are entirely dependent on the location they are traveling to. The one vaccination that is mandatory for every country your pet may travel to is a rabies vaccination.

Other vaccinations may also be necessary. These will be advised to you as relevant. In every situation, it is essential to keep your vaccinations current and to not miss a due date, even by one day. To do so could severely hinder your pets travel plans.

Source: Pawsome Pets UAE

Shipping and banking

The sixth sanctions package will also see European insurers banned from covering Russian shipping, more individuals added to the EU's sanctions list and Russia's Sberbank cut off from international payments system Swift.


Company name: Almouneer
Started: 2017
Founders: Dr Noha Khater and Rania Kadry
Based: Egypt
Number of staff: 120
Investment: Bootstrapped, with support from Insead and Egyptian government, seed round of
$3.6 million led by Global Ventures

Russia's Muslim Heartlands

Dominic Rubin, Oxford


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