Honda has launched their 5th generation CRV to the market. The all new Honda CRV comes in 5 model variants, both 2WD and AWD, but with one engine and transmission combination. Interestingly Honda has introduced into the CRV the option of a seven seat variant, but in 2WD only.
The previous Honda CRV ‘s have been very successful with over 9 million sold worldwide and over 170,000 sold in Australia. The 5th generation CRV is totally new with 0 % carryover from the previous model.
The 5 model range includes the
- VTi 2WD 5 seat,
- VTi-S 2WD & AWD 5 seat,
- VTI-L 2WD 7 seat and the
- VTI-LX AWD 5 seat version.
- Pricing starts from (MLP) $30,690 through to $44,290. These prices include additional features throughout the range.
Almost everything has improved. The vehicle is slightly longer, slightly less height, slightly wider with more ground clearance, an improved CVT and better engine.
On the brief launch drive we tested the Honda CRV over a number of different conditions that a family is likely to encounter, including dirt roads, back roads, school zones and freeway driving.
External looks are purely subjective, but to my mind the CRV doesn’t look too bad and maintains its svelte proportions even though it has grown. The side rear look has that now popular upswing for the rear window but unlike some other vehicles it fits the CRV. The front and rear both seam integrated and even the large external rear mirrors don’t seem to extrude.
So there is a big tick for the design.
Once you step inside the overall impression is of space. Honda have maximised the internal space. The front seats are very comfortable, right from the entry level model through to the top of the range. I am 190cm tall, and even though they restrict the front seat travel a little for rear leg room, I could slide the seat far enough back and adjust it to find a comfortable driving position. The height and reach adjustable steering wheel is thick rimmed and feels good in the hands.
Honda has designed an alternative dash that has digital readout and a host of information. It is unusual but easy to read and clear to understand. Stalks for the indicators are clear of the steering wheel spokes so are easy to see and access. The steering wheel houses what has now become familiar controls.
Honda’s continuing decision to mount the transmission lever on the centre stack allows a flexible and large centre console storage area. There is ample room for bottles in the door pockets and rear doors as well.
Above this is a 7.0-inch Advanced Display Audio touchscreen with Apple CarPlay® and Android® Auto operating system that offers a wide range of useful features and capabilities. The Advanced Display Audio system offers most popular audio formats, including AM/FM radio, Bluetooth® connectivity with audio streaming, digital radio (DAB+) and compatibility with the Apple CarPlay® and Android® Auto platforms.
One key feature is that the ‘A’ pillars are resigned to provide more visibility through roundabouts and corners etc. Visibility through the rear is pretty good, but another key feature is the reversing camera, which has three modes and provides excellent clarity.
Moving to the middle row of seats, they are again comfortable, more for two than three, and with a flat footwell and plenty of head, shoulder, leg, knee and foot room, even for someone that is 190cm tall like me. Visibility is also improved. And there is a fold down centre arm rest for drinks and two USB ports for the kid’s electronic gadgets. The rear doors open 90 degrees to allow ease of access.
The third row of seats are definitely in the occasional category for early teens at the most. The rear seats also fold flat to give a rear boot area some 1.83m in length with plenty of volume as well. One failing for a family vehicle is the fact that child seat tethers are at the roof in the rear not on the seat backs. This severely restricts the flexibility of the vehicle and is a major flaw. With the third row of seats in use there is virtually no luggage space at all, similar to all others in this class.
The boot area has an adjustable height rear door that has a safety sensor if someone’s fingers are in the way or standing behind the door when it opens. The load area is lower and overall space is voluminous. There is a full size spare alloy as well.
The VTEC turbo in line 4-cylinder engine provides 140kW @ 5600rpm of power and torque of 240Nm @ 2000-5000rpm through a new CVT and has either 2WD or Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System™ available. The CVT doesn’t like outright acceleration, but is responsive and with the flat torque delivery, the CRV is easy to drive and economical. Road noise is reduced and feedback through the electric assisted steering is enough to provide a pleasant drive. On the top spec vehicles with different tyres there is slightly more road noise. However it is marginal and not intrusive.
There is a host of standard safety features and on models that include Honda Sensing, the features includes the following driver-assist: – Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low Speed Follow (LSF) – Forward Collision Warning (FCW) – Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) – Lane Departure Warning (LDW) – Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM) – Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS).
Honda has always been an underappreciated manufacturer here in Australia I feel, the new Civic and now the new CRV should change that.