Armed with the option of a diesel powertrain and seven-row seating, will Honda’s fifth generation CR-V regain the lost glory of the second generation vehicle that was launched in India way back in 2003?
I’LL SKIP THE NOSTALGIA THAT often surrounds any talk of the Honda CR-V and get straight to the point. The fifth generation of the Honda CR-V, which will be the fourth generation to be launched in India since we never got the first generation vehicle, is all set for launch next month. Just in time for the festive season. It’s a tried and tested strategy and has never really failed a manufacturer. Yet.
From Sirish’s drive in the Philippines just last month we already know that the new CR-V gets a made-in-India 1.6-litre four-pot turbo-diesel engine that puts out 118bhp and 300Nm of peak torque. Like the 1.5-litre i-DTEC, which in fact is the same engine but with a shorter stroke, that powers the Amaze and the City, the 1.6 features the same aluminium construction and Honda claims it is the lightest in its class. Transmission is via a 9-speed auto, which, interestingly, is operated via a button. In addition to the diesel there is a 152bhp 2-litre petrol engine as well with 189Nm of torque, mated to a CVT. There’s no manual transmission to be had, as of yet.
We also know that for the first time, the CR-V will get a third row of seating. This Honda then is geared not only to take on the Tucson, Compass and Tiguan but also the Fortuner, Kodiaq, Hexa and Endeavour.
What have we learnt since then?
While Sirish drove the Honda CR-V and came back not just with a good perspective on what it’ll be like to drive but also a host of information about the vehicle, here’s what he could not tell you. The Honda CR-V will be launched in India in both five as well as seven seater configurations. However, if you want the third row of seating then you’ll have to opt for the diesel variant even if you’re a petrolhead since Honda will not be offering this coveted-in-India (we don’t really know why) seven-seater config only in the diesel variant. As before, the petrol variant will remain a five-seater SUV.
Also, the new Honda CR-V will not come with the option of a manual transmission at all. You’ll have to make do with a CVT if you’re buying the petrol or the 9-speed auto if you’re going for the diesel. Honda says that from a demand perspective, a manual transmission in the CR-V segment simply isn’t warranted. Although we would have liked things to be otherwise, we are forced to agree.
Spacious, funky and loaded
The CR-V has grown in size and is now longer and wider than before. Both the wheelbase and the track have also increased. As a result, there’s acres of room in the well-finished cabin.