The Honda CR-V has an impressive track record in South Africa, having been introduced to the compact SUV sector of the local market more than 20 years ago. To ensure that it retains its reputation and to enhance its already rugged appeal, the manufacturer has now provided it with a subtly changed exterior look.
The range still consists of four models offering two different engine options and varying specification levels. A realignment of the range sees changes to the drivetrain and specifications of the 1,5T Executive. Most notably, this model now offers front-wheel drive, while still benefitting from the all-inclusive strategy Honda has become renowned for.
Showcasing subtle design changes that lend it a more modern look, the upgraded Honda CR-V boasts a changed front and rear bumpers, which have been redesigned to enhance a bold and aggressive look.
The front-end of the Honda CR-V is still dominated by a broad-barred grille which is framed by curved, slimline headlights with integrated daytime running lights. Dual air intakes with a dark meshed finish split the colour-coded bumper. A metallic scuff plate underlines the CR-V.
At the rear, the inverted LED taillamp clusters are linked by a chromed garnish strip and positioned high up on a tail gate that extends all the way down to bumper level. Adding a sporty touch to the 1,5T models are twin exhaust tailpipes, housed within the rear scuff plate.
Contrasting protective cladding on the lower sections of the body panels, together with pronounced wheel arch extensions, are a larger set of 19-inch alloy wheels on the top-of-the-range 1,5T Exclusive model.
As with the previous Honda CR-V, one of the key interior highlights is the full-colour TFT driver information interface, which is located in a dedicated binnacle directly ahead of the driver. The display is dominated by a graph-type rev counter, accompanied by a digital speedometer.
Depending on the model, a centrally located 5,0-inch or 7,0-inch display provides user-friendly access to the CR-V’s infotainment system. The centre stack also houses the controls for the dual-zone climate control system.
There are two drivetrain options for the upgraded Honda CR-V. The first is Honda’s familiar 2,0-litre four-cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine. This normally aspirated unit features variable valve timing and programmed fuel injection, and boasts a maximum power output of 113 kW at 6 500 r/min. Peak torque of 189 N.m is available at 4 300 r/min. This engine is linked to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with G-Shift control logic. Drive is to the front wheels.
The second engine option is a 1,5-litre turbo powerplant equipped with programmed, direct fuel injection and variable valve timing. It delivers 140 kW of maximum power at 5 600 r/min, together with 240 N.m of maximum torque between 2 000 and 5 000 r/min. It too is mated to a CVT gearbox.
As was the case with the previous range, the upgraded Honda CR-V line-up consists of four models, with a choice of two engines and four specification levels. All derivatives feature Honda’s latest-generation Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
The Honda 2,0 Comfort, priced at R556 100, acts as the entry-point for the range Distinguishing exterior features include aluminium-look front and rear scuff plates, and brushed aluminium roof rails, as well as 17-inch alloy wheels, shod with 235/65 R17 tyres.
Inside, the cabin features cloth upholstery and metallic accents, a soft-touch instrument panel featuring an innovative digital driver information interface, and an extensive list of comfort, safety and convenience features.
The dashboard is also home to a 5,0-inch full-colour display that acts as an intuitive interface for the CR-V’s infotainment system. It allows set-up and control of the four-speaker audio system, as well as use of Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free telephony and music streaming.
A USB port and AUX input are provided for external sources, and there are two 12V accessory power sockets: one in the instrument panel and the other in the centre console box.
Convenience features include dual-zone climate control with rear-mounted air vents, rear park distance sensors, and electrically operated front and rear windows. The exterior mirrors are also electrically adjustable, and an electric parking brake is standard.
A multi-function steering wheel ensures safe access to and control of the audio system, cruise control and hands-free telephony. The headlights are automatically activated in poor ambient light, while the hazard lights will automatically start flashing under heavy braking.
Standard active and passive safety features include dual front and side SRS airbags, curtain airbags, three-point inertia reel seatbelts all round and ISOFIX child seat anchor points at the rear. Automatic brake hold is also part of the package, as is ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), Agile Handling Assist (AHA), Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and Hill Start Assist (HAS) systems.
Remote central locking with speed-sensitive auto door locking and selective unlocking, and immobiliser with integrated alarm, are among the CR-V 2,0 Comfort’s security features.
The Honda CR-V 2,0 220 Elegance, at R617 900, is technically identical to the more affordable Comfort model in terms of drivetrain and exterior execution. However, the Elegance offers an enhanced package of interior features.
Standard leather upholstery adds a level of luxury to the cabin, while a larger, 7,0-inch Display Audio interface offers easier access to the vehicle’s infotainment features. The latter offers enhanced functionality, including Apple CarPlay.
The audio system of the Elegance model features eight loudspeakers. An additional USB connection is provided in front, while rear passengers get a second pair of USB sockets. There’s also a HDMI connection.
The front seats offer eight-way electric adjustment with a memory function for the driver’s seat, and four-way power adjustment for the passenger seat. Front seat heating is standard.
Park distance control is offered both front and rear, while the electric rear-view mirrors gain a heating function. The left exterior mirror tilts down when reversing for easier parking. The multifunction steering wheel is leather-trimmed, and now features gear shift paddles for manual CVT operation. The Elegance model also gains auto-sensing windscreen wipers.
The Honda CR-V 1,5T 125T Executive, at R699 900, shares all the key features of the 2,0-litre models, but gains 18-inch alloy wheels, shod with 235/60 R18 tyres. The headlights are full LED designs, complete with matching inverted LED daytime running lights.
The interior has the same leather upholstery, Digital Driver Information Interface and 7,0-inch Display Audio infotainment system as the 220 Elegance. However, it gains auto-levelling for the headlights, and a start/stop button, while the remote central locking system includes keyless smart entry.
The flagship of the new Honda CR-V range is the 125T Exclusive with a price tag of R796 300. Mechanically, it is identical to the Executive model, combining the same 1,5-litre turbo engine with a CVT gearbox. However, setting it apart from its lesser siblings are new 19-inch alloy wheels and three-element LED front fog lamps.
Inside, the leather upholstery and metallic accents remains, as does the sense of space, and the user-friendly ergonomics, thanks to the TFT-based Digital Driver Information Interface.
A key benefit offered by the Exclusive model is the integrated satellite navigation system, incorporated into the Display Audio system and offering full-colour mapping and turn-by-turn instructions. This further enhances the comprehensive infotainment suite offered by the latest CR-V.
Another stand-out feature is the electrically operated tailgate, with programmable opening height. Tyre pressure monitoring is another useful feature that provides early and immediate warning of a loss of tyre pressure.
In line with its range-topping status, the 1,5T Exclusive is offered with Honda’s Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) – a comprehensive array of active systems aimed at assisting the CR-V driver to safely deal with hazardous driving conditions.
Collectively known as Honda Sensing, these comprise Collision Mitigation Braking (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low Speed following (LSF) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS).
Additional new driver-assistive technologies include Lanewatch and Auto High Beam headlights.
The Exclusive model also gains 19-inch alloy wheels, while retaining a panoramic sunroof and AWD to differentiate it from the Executive model.
The range is backed by a five-year/200 000 km warranty, as well as a five-year/90 000 km service plan. Also included is a three-year AA Road Assist package. Service intervals are set at 15 000 km for the 2,0-litre models, and 10 000 km for the 1,5-litre turbo variants.