New Honda CR-V – South African debut at Auto Africa 2006
Combining SUV practicality but with more car-like driving dynamics and sportier styling, Honda’s all-new, third generation CR-V is a direct response to the growing demand for quality and premium products in the SUV market. Along with class-leading fuel consumption, the latest CR-V delivers greater comfort and a more luxurious interior.
Honda’s drive for expansion in the segment as a viable alternative to traditional premium brands follows on from similar, successful initiatives with the current Accord and more recently with the Civic.
The new CR-V’s more emotional styling is a subtle blend of rugged SUV elements and more organic car-like characteristics. The distinct ‘cab-forward’ look, projector style headlamps and a tapering side window profile reminiscent of a coupe reflect the enhanced dynamic capabilities of the new CR-V, and contrast with the muscular lower proportions which emphasise the CR-V’s SUV credentials.
The bold nose with its prominent bonnet, distinctive double grille and large bumper has real presence. The equally distinctive rear end features rounded tailgate glass and a heavily sculptured, vertically opening tailgate. This new look is accentuated with standard 17 inch alloy wheels giving the CR-V a firmly planted stance.
A centre of gravity lowered by 35 mm, a 30 mm wider track and larger wheels, in combination with a number of chassis improvements and greater body rigidity, create a package that brings greater agility and more car-like handling characteristics.
The new CR-V continues to use compact toe control link MacPherson struts at the front and the reactive link double wishbones at the rear. However, substantial geometry revisions, particularly to the steering, deliver crisper responses to driver input and greater directional stability. Measures such as improved compliance bushes and increased suspension travel bring greater comfort.
The new CR-V, like its predecessor, is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine. However, the new CR-V’s 2.0 SOHC i-VTEC engine is an all-new unit mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox or a new 5-speed automatic.
The new 2.0-litre unit offers improved performance and economy and uses the finest of Honda’s VTEC and control systems expertise together with comprehensive friction reduction technology and introduces an extra element to the mix: delayed intake valve closure combined with a wide open throttle valve during low-load driving conditions to reduce pumping losses and boost fuel economy.
With a maximum power and torque figure of 110 kW at 6,200 rpm, and 190 Nm at 4,200 rpm, the engine’s greater efficiency, the new gearboxes and a 12 per cent reduction in the drag coefficient mean fuel economy is boosted from 9.0 and 9.3 l/100 km/h to an outstanding 8.1 and 8.2 l/100 km/h for the manual and automatic models, respectively, compared to the existing model. Performance also gets a boost and the 0 to 100 km/h time drops from 10.8 to 10.2 seconds (manual) and from 13.1 to 12.2 seconds (automatic).
Honda CR-V Uprated 4WD Package
The CR-V continues to offer a sophisticated four-wheel drive system which provides added on-road security and good ‘grass and gravel’ terrain capability. The Real Time 4WD system automatically engages four-wheel drive only when required, thus delivering all of the safety and flexibility advantages of an all-wheel drive system, while maximising fuel economy.
The Real Time 4WD system combines a quiet, fuel-efficient, dual-pump system with a one-way cam unit to significantly enhance sensing of front-wheel slippage – all in a lightweight, compact design. The system transfers power - 20% more torque compared to existing unit - to the rear wheels promptly, and significantly improves stability during startup and cornering on wet roads and other slippery road surfaces.
Honda CR-V Interior
Dimensionally, the interior offers the same spacious, airy environment with the same ‘command view’ as the previous CR-V, with good visibility for all occupants. Larger door openings and lower sills make climbing in and out even easier. Rear seats slide to maximise either passenger or load space.
The premium interior features metallic trim elements applied to fascia and doors contrasting with soft textured black and ivory trim. Front seats are larger and more comfortable and the steering column is adjustable for reach as well as rake. The gear lever has also been repositioned to the base of the centre stack which frees up floor space and means it more readily falls to hand.
The rear seat backs are split 40:20:40 for further flexibility which means the centre section can be folded down to provide a ‘boot through’ facility for long items while still accommodating two rear seat passengers. Each seat back can also be reclined for added comfort. The base is split 60:40 and each section slides through 150 mm allowing either leg room or luggage space to be maximised. With the seats fully tumbled forward and stored upright, the capacious luggage space is sufficient to accommodate two mountain bikes without the need to remove their front wheels.
The availability on the RVSi model of a driver’s 8-way adjustable power seat, leather upholstery and electrically operated glass sunroof, amongst others, are an indication of the new CR-V’s more upmarket specification.
Honda CR-V Safety
An advanced crash performance structure uses Honda’s recently introduced Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure technology. This incorporates a polygonal frontal structure to reduce the potential for vehicle to vehicle misalignment and upper and lower energy absorbing pathways to optimise energy distribution. High tensile steel makes up 58 per cent of the monocoque body.
In addition to the usual active safety systems such as ABS with EBD, a full complement of passive safety measures includes dual stage SRS front airbags on all models, with the RVSi model benefiting from side airbags for front seat passengers, full length curtain airbags and active front headrests.
Honda anticipates a Euro NCAP 5-star rating for occupant protection, 4-stars for child protection and a 3-star pedestrian rating.
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