Almost 15 years back, Honda Cars India stepped into the world of SUVs with the CRV. The car was not really a truly dedicated sport utility vehicle, but perhaps a soft roader to serve a more utilitarian purpose than regular cars. Almost immediately, the Honda CR-V caught the attention of all the car enthusiasts across India and went on to become one of the most admired cars in the segment. The CR-V launch gave the company a strong hold on the segment which was otherwise almost unoccupied back then. With several generations of CR-V, Honda tried to revive the charm it was once famous for but failed as the market was now much matured and had several other more potent competitors from international brands. With the newest 5th generation 2018 Honda CR-V, the car maker has reworked on some of the major key elements which the previous cars lacked.
What’s new about the 2018 Honda CR-V?
To start with, the company tried to make the car more practical with the addition of an extra seating row, taking the total seat count to 7. Also, for the first time ever, the CR-V will be offered with a newly developed diesel engine option for more flexibility.
The car will be available with mainly two engine options including the 1.6-litre DOHC i-DTEC Diesel TURBO engine mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, while the second option will be 2.0-litre i-VTEC Petrol engine mated to a CVT transmission.
The diesel unit isn’t the bi-turbo engine available internationally but deploys a single turbo. Hence the output of the same is less by almost 40bhp when compared to the other unit. It delivers close to 120PS of maximum power @ 4,000rpm, while the torque figures stand at 300Nm @ 2,000rpm. The engine features a 9-speed automatic transmission to enhance the flexibility of the engine, making sure the car remains in the right gear irrespective of the engine speeds.
The company has considered this engine (single-turbo) to keep the costs under check, as the bi-turbo engine would have upped the costs easily by INR 1.5 lakh.
As claimed by Honda, the fuel efficiency figures on this engine nears about 19.5/18.3kmpl (2WD/AWD) which by all standards is commendable for a car of its size.
While the petrol option comes in the form of a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder i-VTEC unit, delivering close to 153PS and 189Nm of peak torque. The gasoline-powered engine comes married to a CVT transmission.
2018 Honda CR-V Design – is it a miss?
The new car is a major set up from the older one as it looks more symmetric and bold. The 2018 CR-V comes with refreshed looks, which has been made on the original ‘CR-V’ design lines. It looks slightly heavier with bulging out wheel arches, bolder grille with a chunky chrome bar, and striking new LED lights add more modern appeal to the car. The bigger 18-inch machine-finished alloy wheels look great with the new chrome and black finish. From certain angles, it hasn’t lost touch of its predecessor and thus can be easily figured out that it’s a CR-V.
How about the interiors and the new cluster on the 2018 Honda CR-V?
The earlier meter console has been swapped with a new fully digital TFT LCD instrument panel which looks like it has been taken out straight from a superbike. Apart from displaying regular information, the system also has a driver attention meter, continuously judging the driver’s moments and alerting in case the person is sleepy or isn’t paying attention while driving.
It also features a centrally mounted 7-inch frameless touchscreen on the dashboard which comes as a Garmin developed satellite navigation system, and also supports both Android Auto and Apple Car Play. Apart from displaying regular bits like phone connectivity options, temperature, fan speed, and reverse camera view, it will also assist the lane watch camera added on the left rear view mirror, which is a first in segment feature. On the top of it, the car also comes loaded with features such as Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control, ABS, and Electric Brake Booster to makes sure it is safer to drive.
The earlier gear-lever has been replaced with a number of buttons on the diesel variant, for reverse, park, and drive modes. While a mode selector lever has been provided in the petrol variant.
Another interesting bit of information known is that the diesel version will offer the 3rd row of seating as standard, while the petrol will only come out with a 5 seater configuration.
2018 Honda CR-V – What’s the expected launch date and price?
The company will be launching the all-new 2018 Honda CR-V next month and the expected prices will start somewhere around INR 23 lakh, extending up to INR 30 lakh. At this price point, it will face serious competition from the already established rivals such as Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and Hyundai Tucson.
Some might say that Honda will have a hard time trying to justify new 2018 Honda CR-V value for money proposition as competition has leveled up much above the edge. And what rival brands are offering at a similar price point simply makes more sense.