‘See Harvey, the latest Honda SUV. Nice, hey?’

  • First CR-V with high-power, high-efficiency, turbo
  • Focus on comfort, style, space and versatility
  • ‘Cutting-edge’ tech, infotainment and safety systems
2017 HONDA CR-V: Image: Honda / Qjuickpic
2017 HONDA CR-V: Image: Honda / Quickpic

GENERATION V OF Honda’s long-running and very successful CR-V sport utility vehicle is about to reach South African showrooms while claiming to be “he most advanced, most spacious, most sophisticated iteration to date”.

It’s two decades since the CR-V staked a claim to be the pioneer of the then new SUV sector in South Africa and since then its offspring have each brought something new to market.

Honda SA, however, told The Corner the 2017 version has been completely re-designed and re-engineered to be even more handsome and now with a turbocharged engine, a more spacious and quieter cabin, more rear legroom and a bigger boot.

2017 HONDA CR-V: Image: Honda / Quickpic
2017 HONDA CR-V: Image: Honda / Quickpic

That last has, Honda says, a “two-mode” floor to accommodate a variety of large objects and the infotainment systems have been upgraded with more functions.

‘REAL HEADTURNER’

The whole shebang rides on a new platform said to have improved overall ride quality and refinement and introduced crisper steering. “The result,” its maker says, “is a vehicle that’s more polished and more engaging to drive.

“The new Honda CR-V is a real head-turner – strikingly different while remaining unmistakably Honda. The styling cues copy the more extrovert approach of the latest Honda Civic  but also create a distinctive, SUV appearance that expresses the newcomer’s bolder aesthetics.”

Below the main grille are two air intakes with a dark-meshed finish that split the colour-coded bumper. The top model gains diode headlights and front foul-weather lights above a metallic underbody scuff plate for those occasional ventures off-road.

‘ELEMENT OF RUGGEDNESS’

The rear also uses diode lighting and there’s another body-protection plate. That protection is supported by bodey cladding along the lower sections of the new CR-V’s body panels.

Honda believes the pronounced wheel arches “introduce an element of ruggedness while new-design alloy wheel rims add visual class”.

2017 HONDA CR-V: Image: Honda / Quickpic
2017 HONDA CR-V: Image: Honda / Quickpic

Growth in cabin size has been generated by a longer wheelbase; front and rear track has been widened to extend rear legroom by nine centimetres and once again the rear seat can be split and folded to increase cargo volume.

An important interior benefit is the introduction of a full-colour driver’s information interface to replace CR-V IV’s analogue dials. The screen is in a dedicated binnacle (see images) directly ahead of the driver and dominated by a graph-type tachometer and digital speedometer.

READ MORE Honda features on Carman’s Corner

Depending on model, a central 13 or 18cm display shows the new CR-V’s infotainment system. The centre stack (see image) also houses controls for the dual-zone aircon and extends to the all-models CVT (constantly variable transmission, with which Honda doggedly adheres) selector lever.

2017 HONDA CR-V: Image: Honda / Quickpic
2017 HONDA CR-V: Image: Honda / Quickpic

Bucket-style front seats are installed on each model and all except Comfort versions have power adjustment and heating. Rear seats claim the best-in-class” title; behind them yawns 522 litres of luggage space, extendable to 1084 with the seat backs folded.

The motive power…? A choice of two drivetrains: 2.0 Comfort and 2.0 Elegance units have a refined version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine from the previous CR-V rated at 113kW at 6500rpm and 189Nm at 4300rpm and spinning that CVT.

THIS IS ONE HOT FIFTEEN-HUNDRED

The 1.5T Executive and 1.5T Exclusive models have a 1498cc turbo whose variable valve timing can deliver 140kW at 5600rpm and 240Nm from 2000 to 5 000rpm. That’s a lot of clout from a 1.5 engine – and even better it is hooked to an auto-variable all-wheel drive.

“The system has undergone significant improvements for the new CR-V,” Honda tells us. “It includes a substantial increase in maximum rear-wheel torque and a new intelligent control system to improve performance without having to wait for the front wheels to slip before proportioning torque to the rear pair.

“The all-wheel drive system delivers the efficiency and economy of front-wheel drive on normal surfaces but adds traction, composure and peace-of-mind over compromised surfaces such as wet roads or gravel tracks.” (Prices and features below the image.)

2017 HONDA CR-V: Image: Honda / Quickpic
2017 HONDA CR-V: Image: Honda / Quickpic

MODEL LINE-UP AND FEATURES

Four models, two engines, four spec levels, each with that CVT and front or all-wheel drive.

Honda CR-V 2.0 Comfort FWD: Entry model, Honda says, “but with an extensive offering of comfort, convenience and safety features”.

Top speed is 192km/h, fuel consumption 7,3 litres/100km and distinguishing exterior features include aluminium roof rails,17″alloy wheel rims and 235/65 tyres, halogen headlights, daytime running lights and foul-weather lights. The tail lights used diode technology.

CLEVER FEATURES, LEATHER WHEEL

There’s a USB port and AUX input, two 12V power sockets, dual-zone aircon, rear parking radar and power window lifts and external mirrors.

Multi-function buttons on the steering-wheel can handle audio, cruise control and phone. Headlights are auto-on and the hazard lights will ignite under heavy braking.

Passive safety features include front and side crash bags and curtain bags. Active items include anti-lock brakes, stability assistance and, for learner drivers, hill-start assistance. Smarter is a driver alert monitor – if the pilot gets dozy, the steering-wheel will vibrate – the system is standard across the CR-V range.

Cabin storage across the range includes facia and centre console boxes, seat-back pockets an an eyewear niche. All four door panels have hard pockets and bottle slots.

Honda CR-V 2.0 Elegance: Technically identical to the cheaper Comfort model but with more cabin goodies, such as leather upholstery and a larger info/entertainment screen with Apple CarPlay, voice-controlled search and apps driving eight speakers.

A third USB slot is supplied up front; rear folks get two. There’s also a HDMI connection and driver’s seats has eight-way power adjustment. The co-pilot has to make do with four-way adjusting but both get seat heaters.

Parking radar covers nose and tail; external mirrors have heating and the nearside one adjusts for reversing.The multifunction steering-wheel is leather-trimmed and has CVT shift/lock paddles.

Honda CR-V 1.5T Executive AWD: The first turbocharged CR-V has AWD and even more comfort, convenience and technology stuff.

Top speed is 200km/h, fuel burn seven litres//100km and the units share the two-litres’ key features – along with 18″ alloy wheels rims shod with 235/60 rubber.
The 1.5T Executive has the same, combination of leather upholstery, Digital Driver Information Interface and the 19cm Display Audio infotainment system as the 2.0 Elegance.

The Elegance also gets a sunroof, headlights auto-levelling keyless entry.

Honda CR-V 1.5T Exclusive AWD: The flagship: while mechanically identical to the Executive, it has an integrated satellite navigation system, power tail door, tyre-pressure monitors and is the only CR-V to have Advanced Driver Assist – an array of systems to help with hazardous driving conditions.

Listed, they are: auto braking with collision warning, road-departure mitigation, lane-keeping warning and assistance, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor and auto high-beam headlights.

PRICES, WARRANTY, SERVICE PLAN
The 2017 Honda CR-V will be in South African Honda showrooms from end August, 2017. Recommended retail prices at launch:
CR-V 2.0 Comfort – R422 900
CR-V 2.0 Elegance – R477 900
CR-V 1.5T Executive – R584 900
CR-V 1.5T Exclusive – R626 900
The range will be backed by a five-year or 200 000km warranty and a five-year or 90 000km service plan. Included is a three-year AA roadside assistance package.
Service intervals 15 000km for the two-litre units, 10 000km for the 1.5-litre turbo units.

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