Long before the Range Rovers and the S-Classes of the world took over as Bollywood’s favourite vehicles, the Honda CR-V tirelessly did the job. But eventually came a time when it was hard to justify the high running cost of the petrol-only CR-V. The presence of more-affordable premium offerings didn’t help its case, either. But with the new Honda CR-V, the company intends to change that. Not only is it ready for the 2018 buyer now,but it’s also even got a new diesel engine. And the option to seat seven people. That’s a win-win, isn’t it?
Honda’s design language might have changed — and it all looks to be inspired by the NSX supercar — but the CR-V’s unmistakable shape is retained. But while the silhouette is familiar, it’s more imposing and has a more confident stance to it. Bits like full-LED headlamps, LED fog lamps, chrome radiator grille, and even the LED tail lamps make the CR-V quite a different vehicle from before. The 18-inch wheels look particularly striking and are in line with the overall design of the vehicle. It’s as if Honda’s had enough of playing it safe.
And Honda hasn’t exactly played safe on the inside, either. The cabin is a mix of Honda idiosyncrasies and premium feel. The wood-finish garnish adds to the CR-V’s dashboard, while the lack of a gear stick further adds on to the simplistic design. Features like a Lane-watch camera and driver attention monitor are a welcome inclusion. An 8-speaker, 7-inch-touchscreen infotainment system complements other premium features like leather upholstery, sunroof, and paddle shifters (diesel only). The petrol variant is available only as a five- seater and comes with the ability to be switched on via a remote starter app. If that’s not future-ready…
With a sound knowledge of the Indian market, Honda has set the features and powertrain choices for the CR-V. The 1.6-litre 120 PS diesel engine is available in both 2WD and AWD versions. Both come with a 9-speed AT as part of the standard equipment. The Honda CR-V 2WD is claimed to return 19.5 kmpl while the AWD version comes with a claimed fuel economy of 18.3 km. On the other hand, the 2-litre petrol engine makes 154 PS and is paired with a CVT gearbox. Like in the seating capacity, the petrol version is 2WD only (both are front-wheel drive) and is said to return 14.4 km. It’s also lighter than the diesel, at 1545 kilos (kerb weight).
The 2018 Honda CR-V has priced at Rs 28.15 lakh for the petrol-engined version. It’s just available in one variant, so it comes loaded with everything Honda wanted to put in it. The diesel though comes in two versions: 2WD and AWD. The former is priced at Rs 30.65 lakh, but if you’re looking at the reassurance of an AWD system, you’d be required to pay an additional Rs 2 lakhs. The Honda CR-V Diesel AWD has priced at Rs 32.75 lakhs. All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi.
In terms of competition, the major rival for the Honda CR-V Diesel appears to be the Skoda Kodiak. Similarly-specced but with a larger, more powerful engine, the Kodiak is slightly more expensive than the CR-V. The Hyundai Tiguan Petrol can be an alternative to the CR-V Petrol, and given the price difference, the Hyundai is bound to have an advantage there. The more conventional SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, and Isuzu MU-X appear to offer better value.