The Best seller CR-V just got better
Over the past few years, Honda has been at the forefront of automotive technology. And the inventors for the “Comfortable Recreational Vehicle”, or Honda CR-V have just now launched the latest iteration. We always knew it was going to be good, but how good exactly is this new version. Let’s find out.
Before we hit the road Hondas team of experts gave us the technical breakdown of the new car and the direction the company is currently heading. Expect two-thirds of Hondas to be electric by 2030. Autonomous driving is also prominent in Hondas not too distant future, but back to the CR-V.
The chassis is all new and with thousands of hours going into the suspension to give the CR-V an even smoother ride. Liquid injected suspension bushes are just one of the many new tricks employed in the new CR-V to make it more pliant and quieter.
The real-world differences include 65mm more knee clearance, a wheel base that is 40mm longer but somehow the car still managed to maintain a total length that is 10mm shorter than the previous Honda CR-V.
The interior is comfortable and the new TFT full-colour instrument panel is adequate, but quite basic when compared to VAG offerings.
250mm more cargo area is available when the seats are folded down and the load bay is now completely flat compared to the old version which had a slight step when fully utilized. That means that if the need arises, things like fridges can actually be slid into the load bay. It really is THAT big and that practical with over 1.8 Meters of cargo space in the rear.
Even the cup holders have been upgraded and now front and rear passengers can carry 1l bottles and the adjustable centre console can hold a small 11” laptop if need be.
The flagship 1.5 turbo engine, shared with the Civic is tuned to produce 140kW and 20Nm more than the old out-going CR-V with 240Nm. Fuel economy is now 7.0 on this model compared to 8.6l/100 on the old generation car.
The four-wheel drive system has been tweaked to send 10% more torque to the rear wheels when needed and all models come with a CVT gearbox.
The best CVT gearbox out there?
Most Journalists scoff at the thought of CVT but this one really is quite a gem. In the 1.5 litre flagship, the gearbox and engine are perfectly matched and one could be forgiven for thinking it’s a traditional auto gearbox. The trademark slip has been engineered to a small degree but for me, I’d happily live with the noise of a “slipping clutch” for a smoother drive. Either way, the evolution of this gearbox is fascinating and Honda is set on keeping this technology around and continually improve it. The 113kW 2.0 model doesn’t work as well with the CVT gearbox but again, the gearbox itself works well.
On the road
Much needed rain was falling in Cape Town on the day of our launch and even then, the Honda CR-V felt sure footed, peppy and easy to drive. The steering is light and with just 2.2 turns lock to lock, incredibly easy to twirl as one manoeuvres in and out of tight spaces. Tyres are now slightly wider at 235 section, compared to the previous 225 and they provide ample grip, even in slippery conditions.
The best-selling SUV has gotten even better and loyal Honda fans will love what the CR-V has become. The 2.0 is adequate but at times a little bit sluggish so my pick of the bunch is the 1.5 turbo. Especially if you’re going to be lugging around kids or refrigerators.
- 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 is backed by a comprehensive five-year/200 000 km warranty, as well as a five-year/90 000 km service plan.