I’ll admit my Honda CRV may not attract too much attention when parked alongside some of the exotic motors that have appeared in this column but it suits me down to the ground.It manages to provide me with a comfortable means of transport to and from my many business meetings. I reckon I do in the region of 30,000 business miles a year and the Honda gives me a great platform for my family and my hobby. I have a retired thoroughbred who requires lots of attention and space in my car for horse-related tackle. I take him on cross-country rides and it is really handy to keep a lot of the equipment I need in the car. This is more than possible in the CRV which is said to have the biggest cabin of any compact 4×4. The boot expands to 950 litres when the rear seats are folded. I particularly like the 60/40 split-fold arrangement and the fact that both sections slide backwards and forwards, allowing a choice between more legroom and more luggage space. On the driving side, I’m a fan of the high seating position and good all-round visibility which helps me when parking. I think the dashboard handbrake is an American peculiarity and it’s a bit of a pain if you use it at junctions and live in a hilly place. Although it is a smooth and well finished vehicle, I’ll admit that it’s not an off-roader in the same way that the Land Rover Challenger is. On the other hand, I can’t see myself doing many motorway miles in a Challenger. My CRV is a good compromise between roadworthiness and off-road ability and has never yet got me bogged down in a field. You only get four-wheel drive when it’s needed, so for the rest of the time you’re driving a front-wheel drive car. In practice, the system cuts in more often than you’d expect, leaving the front wheels sometimes grappling for traction when pulling away from junctions. Apart from minor niggles, I can’t fault my Honda CRV. My partner particularly likes its three-year or 90,000 mile warranty and its healthy residuals. Apparently, you can expect to recoup close to two-thirds of the original list price after three years, which obviously reflects well on both the contract hire rate and cost-per-mile figures.
Sue Cox, business manager, Bananas Inc
As most readers know, Safe Home Income Plans was born out of the equity release industry’s darkest hour in the 1980s when many clients used funds released to invest in what was then a booming stock market. When the market started to nosedive negative equity resulted and the industry had a problem. But how could clients differentiate between safe and unsafe schemes?
FIRST AND LAST
Tony Jones, managing director, Pink Home Loans