Known F for its re­fine­ment, the Honda CR-V range has just been im­proved even fur­ther!

Nam Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

First launched in 1995, the Honda CR-V cap­tured the global mar­ket as a trend­set­ter in the com­pact SUV seg­ment. Glob­ally, it has since been sold 9 mil­lion times in 150 coun­tries, so this lat­est model has a lot to live up to.

As for size, the new CR-V is slightly wider and fea­tures an ad­di­tional 65mm of rear leg room with 1,830cm of cargo space.

Al­though it might be wider, the car’s over­all length is 10mm shorter. The strik­ing ex­te­rior shows beau­ti­ful curves, while the front end def­i­nitely re­minds me of the Civic and HR-V.

All mod­els are fit­ted with LED day­time run­ning lights while the top-spec mod­els have ‘oc­to­pus’-like 18-inch wheels for more ag­gres­sive ap­peal.

A key fo­cus was to keep the CR-V rel­a­tively com­pact, yet make it more spa­cious. This was cer­tainly achieved as cabin space is more than enough for four adults with week­end camp­ing gear, or fold down the rear seats and two bi­cy­cles eas­ily fit in­side.

The CR-V also boasts new qual­ity ma­te­ri­als as it feels much more lux­u­ri­ous. All de­riv­a­tives in the range are fit­ted with leather seats and leather-clad dash­boards.

The Ex­ec­u­tive mod­els have a wood-like trim while both front seats can be ad­justed elec­tri­cally.

New with this gen­er­a­tion is a fresh Honda in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem. The top spec cars carry a TFT dig­i­tal screen for the speedome­ter, fuel con­sump­tion and engine tem­per­a­ture lev­els. The new eight-inch cen­tral in­fo­tain­ment screen has a neat de­sign and brings back the vol­ume knob to the de­light of many cus­tomers. It also fea­tures nav­i­ga­tion and Ap­ple Carplay/an­droid Auto.

The shift lever is placed close to the in­fo­tain­ment screen, mak­ing it easy to reach. The mid­dle stor­age com­part­ment and the cup hold­ers are also po­si­tioned higher and closer to the driver for eas­ier ac­cess.

Also new to the lat­est CR-V is a multi- an­gled re­verse cam­era and an all-new side cam­era, which im­me­di­ately ac­ti­vates when the driver switches on the in­di­ca­tors. This comes in handy when turn­ing into sharp bends.

All new Honda CR-V’S are fit­ted with ei­ther a 1.5-litre Turbo (140kw, 240Nm) or a two-litre I-VTEC (113kw, 189Nm) engine. Ob­vi­ously the turbo engine has more out­put at lower revs while the I-VTEC mo­tor re­tains the Honda trade­mark of power at higher rev ranges. The 1.5 de­riv­a­tives should be more fuel ef­fi­cient with a claimed 7.1L/100km.

In terms of safety, the new SUV is fit­ted with a col­li­sion mit­i­ga­tion brak­ing sys­tem, road de­par­ture mit­i­ga­tion, adap­tive cruise con­trol and low-speed fol­low as well as lane keep­ing as­sist.

What do we think? Firstly, there is no deny­ing that Honda is still one of the most in­no­va­tive com­pa­nies in terms of prac­ti­cal­ity, space, lux­u­ri­ous de­signs and ride com­fort.

Al­though be­ing slightly wider and hav­ing larger wheels, the ve­hi­cle seemed re­silient to out­side road noise, cre­at­ing a calm­ing at­mos­phere on the in­side. It def­i­nitely stands up to its name as be­ing the most quiet SUV world­wide.

Driv­ing on the twisty roads of the West­ern Cape (South Africa) dur­ing the ve­hi­cle’s launch, the all-wheel-drive CR-V adapted well to the road, cre­at­ing con­fi­dence for the driver. This is a very re­lax­ing ve­hi­cle to drive.

Al­though Honda has made sig­nif­i­cant progress with the Cvt-au­to­matic gear­box, it can strug­gle to ad­dress the im­me­di­ate needs of the driver. Es­pe­cially in sleepy Eco mode, its re­sponse is slug­gish when more speed is needed.

The sport func­tion brings high revving sounds yet it strug­gles to de­liver power. That said, the CR-V wasn't man­u­fac­tured to be the dark horse at your weekly drag night, its forte lies in leisure ac­tiv­i­ties.

The 1.5 turbo-petrol mo­tor def­i­nitely delivers a nice punch suf­fi­cient for the odd truck- pass­ing ma­noeu­vre, even at a pis­ton-pump­ing 6,000rpm.

We re­ally do like the car. It might not be the most rapid SUV, but makes up for this ten­fold with its amaz­ing prac­ti­cal­ity, ease of driv­ing, leisure ca­pa­bil­i­ties and the spa­cious de­sign.

All mod­els have a five-year 200,000km war­ranty and five-year 90,000km ser­vice plan.

The new CR-V is priced as fol­lows:

N$427,000 (2.0 Com­fort) N$478,000 (2.0 Ele­gance) N$598,301 (1.5T Ex­ec­u­tive) N$641,250 (1.5T Exclusive)

“This is a very easy ve­hi­cle to drive...”

Text Franco Theron Im­ages Honda Au­to­mo­tive S.A.

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