The Honda CR-V is a segment stalwart and one of the earliest entrants into the SUV segment. The Honda CR-V is a huge source of business for the Japanese brand, and accounted for nearly a quarter of new cars leaving Honda showrooms across Europe in 2017. Honda created a strong foothold in India since 1998 with it’s City twins. Since then, there’s no looking back for Honda. The company upped the ante and entered the SUV segment in India with its 2nd Generation CR-V way back in 2003 and cumulatively sold over 17000 units of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation of CR-V’s across India till date. Come 2018, the company is all set to keep the ball rolling with the all-new 5th generation Honda CR-V. Arguably, the biggest talking point with this all-new 2018 Honda CR-V is the diesel engine option. Read on further to know more about the all-new 2018 Honda CR-V.
Design & Interiors
This all-new 5th generation car broadly picks up where the old 4th generation CR-V left off from a design point of view, with an evolutionary look and little change to the overall shape. Honda has managed to make the car more muscular, edgy & sharp compared to the previous generation CR-V, which was slightly rounded and curvy. The exterior concept is modern, functional and dynamic. The all-new CR-V heads in a fresh new direction with an aggressive attitude, all thanks to the crisper and sharper front-end design elements, aggressive stylized all-LED headlights, surrounded by a wing-shaped LED DRL and wide muscular fenders. The tail lights, turn signal indicators are all full LEDs too and remind a lot of the Volvo XC series of SUVs.
The car itself is the same length, but the wheelbase has been extended by 30mm to free up additional legroom in the back seats. As such, the new car feels very spacious, building on one of the outgoing model’s strong points. Both five and seven-seat configurations will appear here, but the car with the third row of seats and the overhead rear aircon will only come as standard fitment on the diesel variant. The extra seats are only really large enough for small children. As a five-seat proposition on the petrol variant, the CR-V offers very generous room for legs and heads front and rear, plus a usable middle seat, thanks to little intrusion from the transmission tunnel. You’ll certainly have little trouble transporting five adults. The interior takes a step up from a design and quality standpoint, too.
The large and clear digital instrument panel from the internationally sold Civic appears, while the plastics used on the redesigned dashboard and at arm’s height are fairly soft to the touch, with harder stuff relegated to the bottom halves of the dash and doors. The seven-inch infotainment display now supports Android Auto & Apple CarPlay and is neatly integrated with a new touch-sensitive sidebar and a glossy black housing. It’s still Honda’s slightly fiddly user interface with dated graphics however, and there are much slicker and sharper looking systems in similarly spec’d rivals. There are 2 USB connectors for the front passenger supporting 1A & 1.5A power output and 2 USB connectors with 2.5A power output for the rear passengers. The boot space on offer is generous, but it comes with a caveat.
The 522-litre space with all seats in place means the CR-V is right at the top of the class. The big ‘but’ here is that the new CR-V’s boot is actually smaller than the vast 589 litres offered in the old car. A cavernous 1084 litres is what you’ll get if you fold the 2nd-row seats down though, and it’s still possible to make the load bay completely flat with an adjustable boot floor. Throw-in plenty of cubby spaces around the cabin, plus simple one-action straps and levers to fold everything flat, and this feels like a car people will get on very well with.
Engine, Transmission & Drive
The all-new Honda CR-V comes with two engine options, a 1997cc 4-cylinder SOHC i-VTEC petrol engine which pushes out 152 horses at 6500 RPM and churns out 189NM of torque at 4300 RPM and the all-new 1597cc 4-cylinder DOHC i-DTEC diesel engine which punches out 119 bhp at 4000 RPM and churns out a healthy 300NM of torque at 2000RPM. The petrol motor is mated to a CVT (continuously variable transmission) gearbox, whereas the diesel powertrain comes mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission.
There won’t be any variant with an manual transmission and rightly so as automatic is the need of the hour.The diesel motor is made in India and would be exported to other countries as well. The new CR-V is better to drive than before feels a lot more mature and extremely sporty especially the diesel version.
A new steering system means that the car no longer feels as vague, and delivers sharper, more linear and predictable responses. This CR-V has been on sale internationally for around a year now, and in that time Honda made the decision to equip the car with a tweaked suspension system featuring new dampers. With two engines available from launch, all early customers will take on the car equipped with a turbocharged 1.6-litre 4-cylinder diesel engine as it is decently powerful and very frugal at the same time.
The petrol powered CR-V is nice to cruise in, power is good enough though the CVT transmission robs a bit of it while shifts. All things said and done, the all-new diesel engine remains the highlight and our pick of the 5th generation Honda CR-V and also as per a research done by Honda 95% of the SUVs sold in the segment are diesel ones.
Honda has left no stone unturned when it comes to safety. The all-new 2018 Honda CR-V comes equipped with a host of premium active, passive and driver assistive safety features. The main highlight is the Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE). The vehicle structure uses the engine compartment to efficiently absorb and disperse collision energy during a head-on collision with another vehicle, which reduces the chance of deformation of the passenger compartment and results in enhanced occupant protection.
ABS (anti-lock braking system) with EBD (electronic brake distribution) is standard across all variants along with brake assist feature which recognizes emergency braking situations and almost instantly applies added braking force using VSA (vehicle stability assist) modulator pump. VSA is a system designed to prevent sideways skidding when cornering, thus complementing ABS and TCS (traction control system).
Coming to the electric power steering (EPS), it is now Motion-adaptive EPS. This system incorporates driving stability technology that initiates steering inputs that prompt the driver to steer in the correct direction during cornering and in slippery road conditions. The Honda CR-V also comes equipped with hill start assist (HSA) function which helps prevent the vehicle from rolling backward when the driver switches from brake pedal to accelerator pedal while the vehicle is stopped on an incline. The all-new Honda CR-V comes loaded with 6-airbags on the 5-seater petrol variant and 8-airbags on the 7-seater diesel variant. The CR-V also gets a multi-angle rear-view camera, viewable on the infotainment system when activated. The camera can show a top view, normal view or wide rear view when the gearbox is slotted in reverse. ISOFIX is the international standards organization method to fit child seats into cars easily as well as safely, which also comes as a standard fitment in the all-new CR-V. The walk away door lock feature automatically locks when the driver leaves the vehicle or when the key holder’s distance from the vehicle exceeds 6.5 feet for over 2 seconds and when no key is detected inside the vehicle.
An audible tone sounds and the hazard lights flash to confirm that the vehicle has locked itself. This particular feature is programmable and can be turned on or off as the driver prefers. The last and the coolest safety feature is the Driver Attention Monitor. It is developed to detect reduced attention that is hard to notice even by the driver. On the highway or arterial roads, the driver attention monitor continually monitors and assesses driver behaviour behind the wheel to help determine if the driver is becoming inattentive and if so, warns the driver to take a break. The system uses input from the electric power steering to measure both the frequency and severity of the drivers steering inputs to gauge their level of awareness with coffee cup icon and a 4-level bar graph that is displayed on the MID below the speedometer.
The bar graph indicates full driver attention with 4 white bar illuminated elements and as the driver attention drops, fewer bars are illuminated. When the number of bars drops to two, a message inviting the driver to take a break is illuminated. If the driver continues to drive and the graph drops to the lowest level of one bar, a beeper sounds and the steering wheel vibrates, prompting the driver to pay close attention or take a break.
We think the 2018 Honda CR-V has great potential and now with the Diesel engine as an option makes it even better. The CR-V truly lives up to its name in the ride and handling department and takes forward the legacy of all the previous generation of CR-V’s. The Japanese SUV looks catchy and theres a lot of feel good factor about it. The build quality is excellent inside out and the CR-V feels very premium to look and feel. The all new 1.6L Diesel engine is the biggest highlight of the product.
Honda hasn’t compromised on safety either and equipped the car with all the safety features we can think of and with tons of goodies on the feature list. No denying that this is an excellently packaged product with all the hallmarks of Honda in it. We only hope that Honda prices the CR-V competitively and aggressively in the segment that it competes with the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Volkswagen Tiguan, Skoda Kodiaq, Hyundai Tucson.
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