MO­TOR­ING

The CR-V Tour­ing wasn’t bro­ken, but Honda fixed it any­way. wheels’ Sony Thomas drives the lat­est it­er­a­tion of one of the world’s most suc­cess­ful crossovers to see if the changes have made it even bet­ter

Friday - - Contents -

Honda’s CR-V was al­ways pretty and prac­ti­cal, so how is the new avatar bet­ter?

When you’ve sold over 8.7 mil­lion units of a model glob­ally, it’s only nat­u­ral that you’d want to keep changes barely in­cre­men­tal.

Since its launch in 1995, Honda has been very cau­tious with the up­dates it in­tro­duced to the CR-V, one of the most pop­u­lar crossover ve­hi­cles in the world. In the US mar­ket alone, Honda has shifted over 4 mil­lion of these, and two decades since its in­tro­duc­tion there, it still con­tin­ues to be the coun­try’s best­selling util­ity ve­hi­cle. So, un­der­stand­ably, the all-new CR-V keeps all the win­ning traits that made it a global suc­cess story in­tact. How­ever, there are sig­nif­i­cantly more changes, cos­metic and me­chan­i­cal, than the 2012 model.

So while be­ing prac­ti­cal and ver­sa­tile like its pre­de­ces­sors, the 2017 CR-V also man­ages to be bet­ter­look­ing and more com­fort­able and re­fined. The de­sign fol­lows Honda’s new styling lan­guage in­tro­duced in the new Civic, and is char­ac­terised by an abun­dance of edges and creases, which is a ma­jor de­par­ture from the curvy, rounded lines of the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions. In fact, the new grille and the LED head­lights suit the CR-V bet­ter than it does the Civic. At the back, the tail­lights have been given a once-over with new boomerangish clus­ters re­plac­ing the ver­ti­cal lamps from be­fore. Although the CR-V has grown sig­nif­i­cantly in ev­ery di­men­sion – it’s 15mm longer and 15mm taller than be­fore and 35mm wider, with a 40mm longer wheel­base – the de­sign­ers have man­aged to hide the ex­tra bulk pretty well.

The cabin also has been thor­oughly re­vamped, with ev­ery­thing from de­sign and lay­out to the ma­te­ri­als used and the work­man­ship rep­re­sent­ing a huge leap over the ear­lier it­er­a­tions. In fact, it’s one of the best-built in­te­ri­ors in this price seg­ment.

The seats in our Tour­ing trim tester are well-con­toured and sup­port­ive, help­ing in keep­ing fa­tigue min­i­mal, even on long drives. It’s not just at­trac­tive but util­i­tar­ian as well, with a num­ber of stor­age com­part­ments in the cen­tre con­sole and doors.

Un­like the Ac­cord, which has two screens on the dash­board, the CR-V has just one tablet-like screen placed cen­trally serv­ing as an in­ter­face for the

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