Honda’s CR-V has never really been a hot-seller in India, and you probably know why. We had stated before in our CR-V car review, that Honda has had its customers for the CR-V, but in very restricted numbers. One of its major shortcomings being the absence of a diesel engine right since the first-generation model. A petrol-engined SUV meant that it was too costly to run , leaving no choice for the loyalists either but to sway towards a diesel mill. Also, the CR-V having always been a 5-seater, is another factor why it never gripped the market – keeping in mind the market is festooned with a whole bunch of 7-seater SUVs. Our Honda CR-V review further reveals what sets the new car apart from the older ones…
Under the bonnet lies the biggest surprise: a 1.6-litre, diesel engine that makes 118bhp and 300Nm of torque. Paired to the engine is a 9-speed automatic torque converter transmission. The Honda CR-V comes with buttons for different driving modes; not the usual gear stick and parking brake lever. There isn’t much turbo lag, and the transmission is silky smooth. In urban conditions, there is enough of grunt in the mid-range to deal with city traffic. However, in the top of the power band, the lack of power is apparent, especially when the need to overtake arises. In Sport mode, the CR-V tends to be sprightly, and the paddle-shifters are a boon to use. The petrol engine, on the other hand, is a little more eager, but with the CVT ‘box, the motor starts whining at around 3,000rpm. We think it has something to do with the fact that the engine has been tuned to deliver better fuel efficiency. The best way to extract the most out of these engines, is to drive them in a relaxed manner.
Despite its SUV-like ground clearance, the CR-V drives more like a car, which has always been the case. At high speeds, the CR-V stays planted. However, due to the SUV weighing in at 1,545 kgs(petrol) and 1,725kgs(diesel AWD), there is quite a bit of body roll, but it isn’t alarming as such. Ride quality is brilliant; in fact – class-leading, to say the least, thanks to the MacPherson strut and multi-link rear suspension. It tackles bad roads with ease. However, it’s the deeper ruts and cracks in the road that result in the CR-V being a little firm as it crashes through.
The CR-V looks the part; of that there is no doubt. Its overall design is now more muscular, with flared wheel arches, a chunky front bumper and that massive chrome bar on the radiator grille. Also distinctive are the LED headlamps and the Grim Reaper scythe-like tail lamps at the rear. The tail gate design is neatly done, and there’s a strip of chrome that runs in between both the tail lamps.
On the inside, you’re greeted by a 7-inch floating infotainment touchscreen. At the front, the seats are placed high and that helps in having a commanding view of the road ahead. The second row, however, is a low-set, but since the seats slide, occupants will invariably have more space to stretch their limbs. Thanks to the longer wheelbase, there is also more legroom than before, but the third-row is a bit cramped and is best occupied by children. The all-black finish for the cabin looks lovely, with strips of wood on the doors, dashboard and centre console. Also, there are loads of storage spaces around.
It all boils down to one thing – the type of SUV you’re looking for. If hardcore off-roading is your cup of tea, then you might want to consider looking away from the CR-V. But if it’s the daily commute within city limits you’re after, then the CR-V is up to the task of being your loyal steed, for it offers lots of comfort, features, two refined engines and of course, the fantastic ride quality – all at an ex-showroom price of ₹ 28.15 lakh for the petrol model and ₹ 32.75 lakh for the diesel model.
Do look out for our in-depth Honda CR-V review to find out more.