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?

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cover Story -

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.

VALUE

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.

TECH­NOL­OGY

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.

DE­SIGN

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.

SAFETY

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.

DRIV­ING

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

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