• New range builds on outstanding reputation of predecessor
• Sportier, more fluid styling reflects enhanced vehicle dynamics
• Improved equipment levels
• New sophisticated and premium interior treatment
• Brand new 2.0 i-VTEC petrol engine
• New manual and automatic transmissions
• Enhanced Real Time 4WD delivers SUV practicality
• More dynamic, car-like handling thanks to lower centre of gravity, revised suspension geometry, bigger wheels, wider track
Honda’s all-new, third generation CR-V delivers a driving experience as good as a D-sector sedan, improved equipment levels and Honda’s latest advanced safety technology, yet remains as practical as ever.
Its immensely popular predecessors, set new standards in the SUV sector and became a benchmark vehicle for its impressive road manners and versatility. With the market becoming increasingly crowded, Honda has raised the bar further, and the latest CR-V has even better handling and ride comfort, more car-like styling, greater comfort and a more luxurious interior, reflecting the growing demand for quality and premium products in the compact SUV market. In short, the new range injects a dynamic sense of style and refinement, successfully bridging the gap between sport and utility.
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 has also thoughtfully provided five ISOFIX fittings on the rear seats. That means either two child seats can be installed, one on each outer seat, or one on the central seat. Also, since the rear seats slide, a parent can reach over and tend to a young child sitting in the rear by sliding the seat fully forward.
In another neat touch, Honda has provided a ‘conversation’ mirror on the RVSi model which allows easy communication with rear seat passengers without twisting round, but equally enables a parent to keep a watchful eye on an infant in the back. It’s accessed simply by opening up the sunglasses holder to the half way point.
The previous CR-V set new standards for vehicle safety and the new model builds on that reputation with the latest Honda safety technology. In common with other recent models, it features Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure technology for excellent crash safety characteristics. A polygonal frontal frame structure reduces the potential for vehicle to vehicle misalignment and upper and lower energy absorbing pathways optimise energy distribution.
Visibility at night is important to the driver’s safety on the road. RVSi models are fitted with High Intensity Discharge (HID) xenon headlamps, giving a superior lighting pattern that is both longer and wider than that of traditional bulbs.
The sportier styling is characterised by a ‘cab-forward’ look and a coupe-like tapering side window profile, reflecting the enhanced vehicle dynamics. The frontal styling is also much bolder with a prominent bonnet and a distinctive double grille flanked by projector-style headlamps as the focal point. Muscular lower proportions, the wide track and standard 17 inch wheels emphasise the
CR-V’s SUV credentials. At the rear, the vertically opening tailgate’s rounded glass and a sculptured lower panel add further distinction. The spare wheel is located beneath the load compartment floor.
The decision to opt for a vertically opening tailgate was based on customer feedback which indicated a preference for the easier access provided by such a design where vehicles are tightly parked.
Clever hinge construction and geometry, together with lightweight components ensure that little effort is required either to bring the tailgate down to the (high) point where it closes of its own accord, or to lift it to the (low) opening point.
The relocated spare wheel means that the new CR-V is around 105 mm shorter (4530 mm) than the previous model. At 1820 mm it is also 35 mm wider, while height is down by 30 mm (1810 mm including roof antenna). The wheelbase is reduced from 2630 to 2620 mm, and front and rear tracks at 1565 mm are 25 and 5 mm wider, respectively.
The load space is effectively ‘extended’ rearwards to take up the space vacated by the former tailgate-mounted spare wheel and luggage space is now larger at 556 litres (VDA) with the rear seats in place, rising to 955 litres (VDA) with the seats folded (up to the windowline).
The new cabin blends excellent ergonomics and clever storage integration with sophisticated, modern and efficient architecture. The new, premium design features metallic trim elements applied to fascia and doors that contrast with soft textured black trim. Front seats are larger and more comfortable and the steering column is adjustable for reach as well as rake. Relocation of both manual and automatic gear levers to the base of the centre stack brings them closer to the steering wheel and creates more floor space. They are complemented by a unique, stubby handbrake located on the leading edge of the centre console. Its compact design features a button release to one side, with a clever wire linkage requiring only limited space for its operation.
The instrument cluster comprises a rev counter on the left and a speedometer on the right with white LED illumination and blue backlighting for added stylishness. Located between the two are the water temperature and fuel gauges with digital segments that are progressively illuminated. Above these appear a door closure icon and outside temperature, and finally a range of items selectable by the information switch located on the steering wheel – instantaneous fuel consumption, average consumption, vehicle range, average speed, elapsed time, odometer, or trip A/B. The automatic transmission display (where fitted) is contained within the rev counter.
The interior offers a spacious, airy environment with the same ‘command view’ as the previous CR-V, with good visibility for all occupants. Also, larger door openings, a rear door that now opens to 80 degrees and lower sills make climbing in and out even easier.
Convenient storage areas are easily accessible throughout the interior and include an illuminated 6.9 litre glove box and above it a useful lidded passenger tray with a capacity of 3.1 litres. The driver’s seat has a seatback pocket. Capacious door bins front and rear are able to hold a 500 ml bottle.
The 6.5 litre storage box at the rear of the centre console has sufficient capacity to hold up to 24 CD cases, and features a sliding cover for quick and easy access. Ahead of the storage box on the right are two cupholders, and to the left a storage tray. Twin cup holders are also contained within the rear seat centre armrest, revealed when it is folded down.
More upmarket specifications available
The availability on the RVSi of a driver’s 8-way adjustable power seat, leather upholstery and glass sunroof, are an indication of the CR-V’s more upmarket specification.
The rear seats – the base is split 60:40, the seat back 40:20:40 – are able to slide through 150 mm to maximise leg room or luggage space, and can also be reclined for added comfort.
The centre section folds flat to enable longer items to be carried while still accommodating two rear seat passengers. Tumbling the seats forward and then storing them upright creates a huge load area, sufficient to accommodate two mountain bikes with their front wheels still in place.
Brand new, fuel efficient 2.0-litre petrol engine
Power comes from a new 2.0-litre petrol engine. The 2.0-litre petrol engine is an all-new unit in the same family as the 1.8-litre SOHC i-VTEC of the Civic range. Like that engine it 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 closure of the intake valves combined with a wide open throttle valve during low-load driving conditions to reduce pumping losses and boost fuel economy.
Power and torque figures are broadly similar to the previous petrol engine – 110 kW at a slightly lower 6,200 rpm, and 192 Nm at 4,200 rpm.
Greater engine efficiency, new gearboxes and the improved vehicle aerodynamics mean fuel economy is boosted to 8.1 and 8.2 l/100 km for manual and automatic models, respectively, compared with 9.0 and 9.3 l/100 km for the previous model. Manual and automatic CO² emissions fall to 192 and 195 g/km.
Performance is also improved and the 0 to 100 km/h sprint drops from 10.8 to 10.2 seconds for the manual model and from 13.1 to 12.1 seconds for the automatic.
The petrol engine models are equipped with brand new transmissions: either a 6-speed manual or an optional 5-speed automatic
Efficient Real Time 4WD upgraded
The CR-V, thanks to the Real Time 4WD system which automatically engages only when required, continues to offer excellent on-road security in slippery conditions and good ‘grass and gravel’ terrain capability, thus maximising fuel economy.
It 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 new system promptly transfers torque – 20 per cent more compared to the existing unit – to the rear wheels, and significantly improves stability during start up and cornering on slippery surfaces. It also helps reduce engine and road noise for an extremely quiet cabin.
More car-like handling
The new CR-V’s handling characteristics are now more car-like in their character. It continues to use MacPherson struts at the front and reactive link double wishbones at the rear, but there have been key changes including a centre of gravity lowered by 35 mm, a wider track, and larger 17 inch wheels, together with a number of changes to the steering and suspension geometry. Steering response is faster and feels more direct and more directional stability, reduced body roll and greater all-round agility are the result. Measures such as improved compliance bushes and increased suspension travel bring greater comfort.
All CR-Vs are equipped with 4-channel ABS and, for optimum performance, Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) which adjusts front-to-rear brake effort to achieve maximum braking performance and stability. All models feature brake discs all round, 293 mm ventilated at the front and 302 mm solid at the rear.
Further action is provided by the Brake Assist system which automatically increases braking output when emergency conditions are detected from the manner of the driver’s input to the pedal.
The brake pedal action is now slightly shorter and lighter, for better control without being over-sensitive.
The variable, speed-sensitive steering system (2.0 i-VTEC models only) features quick gear ratios for an agile response to driver inputs, providing greater assistance at low speeds for easier manoeuvring, and less at higher speeds for a more direct feel and stability.
The CR-V is also are equipped with electric power steering (EPS).
High tensile steel now makes up 56 per cent of the monocoque body, up from 33.5 per cent. Around 9 per cent of that is super high grade steel, used in floor members and roof rails. The result is a 28.7 kg weight saving, but most importantly these tough, light materials contribute to an immensely efficient safety cell. Honda anticipates top ratings in Euro NCAP testing.
Static bending stiffness is also up by 32 per cent and better balance between front and rear lateral stiffness delivers greater handling stability and response to driver inputs.
Improved NVH was also targeted and the new model features extensive use of the latest noise absorption materials.
Wheels and tyres
Both RVi and RVSi models are now equipped with alloy wheels, now 17 inch, shod with
225/65 R17 tyres. Low rolling resistance tyres contribute to the overall excellent fuel economy.