El­e­vat­ing the CR-V

Honda Malaysia talks about what went into the SUV de­sign.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Insight - By RIZAL JOHAN rizal@thes­tar.com.my

YOU may not re­alise it but Honda’s all-new CR-V has come full cir­cle ever since the name­plate was in­tro­duced back in 1995.

Sure, the new sports util­ity ve­hi­cle has a bolder look and is now avail­able with a 1.5-litre tur­bocharged en­gine with the safety bells and whis­tles known as Honda Sens­ing for the top specced vari­ant.

This safety pack­age in­cludes lane de­par­ture warn­ing, lane keep as­sist, road de­par­ture mit­i­ga­tion, for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing, col­li­sion mit­i­ga­tion brak­ing sys­tem and cruise con­trol.

The de­vel­op­ment team for the new CR-V how­ever, went back to the ba­sics of what made the ve­hi­cle so spe­cial in the first place.

Mem­bers of the me­dia were in­vited to a press con­fer­ence a day be­fore the launch of the CR-V. Among the panel were the CR-V project leader Daiga Ito and Honda Malaysia ex­ec­u­tive co-or­di­na­tor Shugo Watan­abe.

“The de­vel­op­ment team fo­cused on what makes the CR-V an SUV. For in­stance, the min­i­mum road clear­ance be­came lower and lower with ev­ery gen­er­a­tion af­ter the in­tro­duc­tion of the first gen­er­a­tion.

“The orig­i­nal CR-V started out as an SUV and then it be­came more of a cross­over and af­ter that, de­signed for ur­ban driv­ing ... that was the di­rec­tion af­ter the first gen­er­a­tion to the se­cond gen­er­a­tion and so on. With each gen­er­a­tion the clear­ance was low­ered.

“But this time (for the all-new CR-V), ... we raised the road clear­ance, gave it a high van­tage point, more roomi­ness and a big lug­gage space,” said Ito in ex­plain­ing the re­turn to the CR-V roots.

“The new CR-V re­minds every­one what it is like to drive an SUV (again),” said Watan­abe.

The clear­ance for the first gen­er­a­tion CR-V was 205mm while the lat­est it­er­a­tion is 208mm for the 4WD vari­ant (the 2WD vari­ants have a 198mm clear­ance).

The new CR-V has in­creased its wheel­base to 2,660mm, which is 40mm more than the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion.

Honda sought to op­ti­mise the roomi­ness of the rear pas­sen­ger row even more.

“To max­imise roomi­ness, we im­proved the tan­dem dis­tance be­tween front and se­cond-row seats.

“By do­ing so, se­cond-row pas­sen­gers can place their feet un­der­neath the front seats while still feel­ing com­fort­able,” said Ito.

“The first-row seats were re­designed, es­pe­cially the shoul­ders of the seats, to give rear pas­sen­gers a bet­ter view of the front,” he said, adding that the changes did not com­pro­mise driver space and com­fort.

Ito (cen­tre) with Watan­abe (left) and Honda Malaysia group vice-pres­i­dent Akkbar Da­nial dur­ing a tech­ni­cal brief­ing on the new CR-V.

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