Honda hero’s hard road
A new take on one of the original soft-roaders has arrived — but does the CR-V still cut the mustard?
and VTi Navigation. The allwheel-drive model line-up comes with an upgraded version of the enduring 2.4-litre fourcylinder petrol engine. The first diesel CR-V comes next year.
The new CR-V starts at the sharp end of the pricing scale. The front-drive VTi with sixspeed manual and 2.0-litre engine is from $27,490, the five-speed auto from $29,790.
Standard fare across the range includes alloy wheels, full-size spare, insulated glass, keyless entry, Bluetooth phone link and audio streaming for the four-speaker system.
The VTi with navigation is an auto-only proposition and slips over the hump to $31,790. With all four wheels driven, the VTi auto starts from $32,790. Trainspotters can pick it by the silver roof rails, with the features list claiming variable intermittent wipers, paddleshifters, mirror-tilt in reverse gear and alarm.
The VTi-S auto starts at $36,290. The extra money adds automatic headlights, rainsensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, fog lights, autodimming centre mirror, rear parking sensors, satnav and six speakers.
If you must have the flagship, the VTi -L is from $42,290. You get leather trim, auto-levelling HID headlights, active cornering lights, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior mirror covers, poweradjustable and heated front seats, front sensors, sunroof, keyless entry and ignition.
Small but clever engines have been a Honda hallmark. In the CR-V, the smaller engine produces 114kW/190Nm and the 2.4 delivers 140kW/222Nm.
Fuel consumption has dropped from 10.0L/100km for the auto to 8.7L. Both engines run on 91RON and both benefit from the long-serving VTEC valve system, which adjusts the lift and opening time of the valves, as well as the presence of a variable timing control system to control the inlet cam.
The new Econ’’ lowers fuel use by altering the throttle mapping and putting the cruise and climate control systems on lean settings. So-called MotionAdaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) teams with the stability control system to assist the driver’s steering input.
The overall look is more aggressive, with more curves in the bodywork and a decent stance on the road.
The engineers have endowed it with a flat underbody and finessed the wheel arches to help reduce drag. The wheelbase is unchanged but overall the CR-V is 20mm shorter and the roof 30mm lower— Honda says there has been no change to passenger space. Load space is up, however. With rear seats up, it has grown the equivalent of a suitcase to 556 litres, or 1648L with the rear seats folded.
Sound-deadening material is on the floor plan below the passenger compartment, as well as in the rear doors, rear wheel arches, door frames, front bulkhead and bonnet, while the doors also now have a double seal.
Already with five stars from ANCAP, the new CR-V has stability and traction control, dual front, front-side and fulllength curtain airbags and anti- lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution.
A reversing camera is standard across the range. Rear parking sensors are optional on the VTi but standard on the top twoAWDmodels (as is an auto-dimming centre rear vision mirror), with the flagship VTi-L getting front parking sensors as well.
The first model driven was the flagship Luxury auto with the updated 2.4-litre engine, a willing powerplant that needs revs on board, something the driver can dictate using paddleshifters.
Claimed fuel consumption has dropped into the 8.0L/100km category but the launch drive returned 10.0L-12.0L. Press-ahead driving is not this car’s forte but up to a point it is comfortable in corners, without excessive body roll. Dynamically, Mazda’s C remains unassailed as th segment leader for on-ro dynamics.
The electric power ste feels over-assisted and d give much feedback to th driver about what’s goin under the nose, which is an issue in a SUV than in sports car. Driving the ne V back-to-back with its predecessor highlighted differences in steering bu showed the former’s imp ride quality and insulatio
Missing? Some of the safety features that are in car in other global marke There’s also no stop-star saver here, sacrificed for value-for-money equatio Honda, which contradict fuel-saving green’’ cred mentioned in the same presentation.
Other disappointing discoveries were the roof mounted child seat anch