Bold aesthetics underscore new Honda CR-V’s advanced design
First CR-V to offer high-power, high-efficiency turbo engine technology
Premium interior focuses on comfort, style, space and versatility
Cutting-edge technology applied across infotainment and safety systems. With cumulative global sales of 9,0-million units in more than 150 countries, the fourth-generation Honda CR-V is the world’s best-selling SUV (JATO CY2013-2016).
Making its South African debut this month, the all-new, fifth-generation CR-V is set to extend that success even further. This latest version is the most advanced, most spacious and most sophisticated iteration of the popular compact SUV to date.
From a local perspective, it builds on a successful track record stretching back over more than 20 years, when the CR-V pioneered the compact SUV sector in South Africa.
Completely redesigned and re-engineered from the ground up, the new Honda CR-V features a striking exterior design, and a more spacious, quieter cabin with extended rear legroom and an expanded cargo compartment. As has become the Honda norm, the latest CR-V’s pricing adopts an all-inclusive strategy, ensuring strong value, too.
The cabin execution is even smarter than before, with enhanced ergonomics and materials, while ease of entry and exit is best in class. The CR-V’s two-mode floor allows the interior to be configured in a variety of different ways to reflect individual requirements. In addition, the infotainment systems have been upgraded with extended functionality.
The drivetrain offering includes the option of a high-efficiency turbocharged engine for the first time on CR-V. The four-cylinder, forced-induction engine delivers exceptional power and torque output across a broad rev range, benefiting performance and tractability, while also achieving impressive economy figures.
The new CR-V is based on a completely new platform architecture, allowing the newcomer to achieve significant gains in overall ride quality and refinement, as well as crisper steering response, enhanced ride comfort, and more composed handling. The result is a vehicle that’s more polished, and more engaging to drive.
The new Honda CR-V is a real head-turner that is both strikingly different while remaining unmistakably Honda. The styling cues mirror the more extrovert approach of the latest Civic, but also create a distinctive, SUV-specific appearance that expresses the newcomer’s bolder aesthetics.
Central to the bold front-end appearance are the curved, slimline headlights which frame the broad-barred grille, and feature integrated daytime running lights. The bonnet’s pronounced contours meet the base of the slim A-pillar for a neatly integrated appearance that emphasises the Honda’s streamlined look.
Below the main grille, dual air intakes with a dark meshed finish split the colour-coded bumper, while the top model gains both LED headlights and front LED fog lamps. A metallic scuff plate underlines the new CR-V’s SUV identity.
Viewed in profile, the CR-V’s aerodynamic shape is even more apparent, thanks to the smooth roofline with its smoothly integrated roof rails, the subtly curved waistline, the narrow side glass aperture and the raked rear screen.
The rear appearance is equally arresting, thanks to the inverted LED taillight clusters, linked by a chromed garnish strip, and positioned high up on a tail gate that extends all the way down to bumper level. The rear scuff plate is home to a pair of prominent exhaust tailpipes on 1.5T models, adding a sporty touch.
Contrasting protective cladding applied to the lower sections of the new CR-V’s body panels, together with pronounced wheel arch extensions, introduce an element of ruggedness, while new-design alloy wheels add further visual class.
The new Honda CR-V boasts a cabin that is significantly more spacious, thanks to a significant increase in wheelbase, as well as wider front and rear tracks. The result is a meaningful increase in total interior volume.
Rear passenger legroom has been boosted by a full 9 cm, and there is more shoulder room both front and rear. The 60/40 split rear bench seat can be folded flat to expand cargo capacity, creating a completely flat loading floor in the process.
The interior execution is also even more sophisticated than previously, thanks to the use of upgraded materials and finishes. Soft-touch surfaces, matt alloy accents and finely crafted stitching add to the upmarket ambience.
Ergonomically, one of the key interior highlights is the introduction of a full-colour TFT driver information interface, which replaces the previous model’s conventional analogue dials. Located in a dedicated binnacle directly ahead of the driver, the display is dominated by a graph-type rev counter, accompanied by a digital speedometer.
Depending on model, a centrally located 5-inch or 7-inch display provides user-friendly access to the new CR-V’s infotainment system. The centre stack also houses the controls for the dual-zone climate control system, and extends to the selector lever for the Constantly Variable Transmission (CVT), which is standard across the range.
The overall dashboard design is clean and uncluttered, adding to the impression of elegance that permeates the entire cabin. The centre console includes a lidded binnacle that also acts as a centre armrest, while dual cupholders are provided in an open storage box in front of the armrest.
The front bucket seats are contoured for comfort and support, and all models except the entry-level Comfort version feature electric seat adjustment and even seat heating as standard.
Rear accommodation is generous, with best-in-class rear legroom. The rear bench seat has a fold-down armrest and is split 60:40. Folding down the rear seat backrest creates a large, flat-floored cargo space.
With the seats in place the CR-V offers 522 litres of luggage space, extendable to 1 084 litres with the seatbacks folded down.
PLATFORM AND SUSPENSION
The fifth-generation Honda CR-V employs an all-new platform offering significant gains in torsional rigidity. This in turn benefits handling and refinement.
This latest CR-V also incorporates Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, which ensures the highest available level of collision safety by efficiently dissipating impact energy and retaining the integrity of the passenger safety cell.
Like the previous model, the new CR-V combines a MacPherson strut-based front suspension with a multilink rear configuration. However, the entire suspension has been revised to optimise its application here.
This includes the use of liquid-filled bushings and special, low-friction dampers, while new, tubular stabiliser bars in front and solid stabiliser bars at the rear ensure improved turn-in response and more composed cornering.
The dual-pinion, variable-ratio electric power steering has also been recalibrated to enhance steering precision and feedback.
MODEL LINE-UP AND FEATURES
The new Honda CR-V range consists of four models, comprising a choice of two engines and four specification levels. All four models feature Honda’s latest-generation Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). There is also a choice of front-wheel drive and intelligent all-wheel drive.
Honda CR-V 2.0 Comfort FWD
It may represent the entry point to the new Honda CR-V range, but the 2.0 Comfort is anything but entry level, offering an extensive offering of standard comfort, convenience and safety features.
Combining the proven 2,0-litre petrol engine with a CVT gearbox and front-wheel drive, the 2.0 Comfort offers swift performance and high levels of efficiency. Top speed is 192 km/h, while the combined-cycle fuel consumption figure is 7,3 litres/100 km (in line with the 93/116/EC standard).
Distinguishing exterior features include aluminium-look front and rear scuff plates, and brushed aluminium roof rails, while the vehicle runs on new 17-inch alloy wheels, shod with 235/65 R17 tyres.
The 2.0 Comfort is equipped with halogen main headlights and striking, inverted LED daytime running lights, while low-mounted fog lights are also standard. The rear taillights incorporate bright LED technology.
Inside, the spacious cabin features an upmarket execution with smart cloth upholstery and metallic accents, a soft-touch instrument panel featuring an innovative digital driver information interface instead of conventional instrumentation, and an extensive list of comfort, safety and convenience features.
The dashboard is also home to a 5-inch full-colour display that acts as an intuitive interface for the CR-V’s infotainment system. It allows set-up and control of the four-speaker audio system, as well as use of Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony and music streaming.
A USB port and AUX input are provided for external sources, and there are two 12V accessory power sockets: one in the instrument panel and the other in the centre console box.
The CR-V 2.0 Comfort’s list of convenience features includes dual-zone climate control with rear-mounted air vents, rear park distance sensors, and electrically operated front and rear windows. The exterior mirrors are also electrically adjustable, and an electric parking brake is standard.
A multi-function steering wheel ensures safe access to and control of the audio system, cruise control and hands-free telephony. The headlights are automatically activated in poor ambient light, while the hazard lights will automatically start flashing under heavy braking.
Talking of safety, the CR-V 2.0 Comfort offers a raft of active and passive safety features. Passive systems include dual front and side SRS airbags, while curtain airbags are standard, too.
Three-point inertia reel seatbelts are fitted front and rear, with a pre-tensioning feature for the front belts, along with ISOFix child seat anchors at the rear. Automatic brake hold, a feature usually associated with premium-segment models, is standard.
Active safety systems include ABS anti-lock control, augmented by electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) for the all-disc braking system, as well as Honda’s proprietary Agile Handling Assist (AHA), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and Hill Start Assist (HAS) systems.
Also included is a Driver Attention Monitor that measures driver attention and delivers audible and tactile alerts. The system continuously monitors and assesses driver behaviour behind the wheel.
It uses data from the electric power steering to measure the frequency and severity of the driver’s steering inputs, and then determines awareness in four steps. A bar graph and coffee cup icon are used to display the determined level of awareness.
When driver awareness drops, the system prompts the driver to take a break via a message on the Multi-Information Display. If the driver persists in driving, and the awareness level drops further, the system sounds a beeper and vibrates the steering wheel as audible and tactile prompt to take a break, or to pay closer attention.
The system is standard across the entire Honda CR-V range.
Remote central locking with speed-sensitive auto door locking and selective unlocking, and immobiliser with integrated alarm, are among the CR-V 2.0 Comfort’s security features.
This model also offers ample storage options, including a glove compartment, a centre console box, seat back pockets for both front seats, and an overhead storage case for sunglasses. The front and rear door panels also incorporate storage binnacles with integrated bottle holders.
The new Honda CR-V range is available in a choice of six colours: White Orchid Pearlescent, Passion Red Pearlescent, Lunar Silver Metallic, Brilliant Sporty Blue Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, and Dark Olive Metallic.
PRICING, WARRANTY AND SERVICE PLAN
The new Honda CR-V goes on sale through Honda’s national dealer network at the end of August 2017. Recommended retail pricing at launch is as follows:
CR-V 2.0 Comfort R422 900
CR-V 2.0 Elegance R477 900
CR-V 1.5T Executive R584 900
CR-V 1.5T Exclusive R626 900
The range is backed by a comprehensive five-year/200 000 km warranty, as well as a five-year/90 000 km service plan.
Also included is a three-year AA Road Assist package. Scheduled services are at 15 000 km intervals for the 2.0-litre models, and 10 000 km for the 1,5-litre turbo variants.