Honda Cars India today introduced the fifth-generation Honda CR-V crossover, priced at Rs 2,815,000 (petrol variant at ex-showroom, pan-India). The new CR-V will be locally assembled at the company's Greater Noida facility from CKD kits being brought in from Thailand. The new CR-V will be sold at price starting Rs 28.15 lakh for the petrol (2WD) variant, Rs 30.65 lakh (diesel 2WD) and Rs 32.75 lakh (diesel 4WD) (ex-showroom all-India).
While the latest iteration of the CR-V is the fifth-generation of the popular global model, which was conceptualised in 1995, it is only the fourth version to be on sale in India where the brand was first introduced in the country in 2003 with the second-generation model. The CR-V has cumulatively sold 10 million units worldwide and has gone home to a total of 17,600 buyers in India over the last 15 years.
In its fifth-generation, apart from being offered in the ubiquitous petrol, the CR-V, for the first time, has also been introduced in a diesel guise, powered by an all-new 1.6-litre diesel unit from the company’s Earth Dreams series.
Where the new model has significantly evolved over the outgoing model, its distinctive styling cues continue to make it unmistakably recognisable as a CR-V. The front-end of the new model gets a thick chrome grille in the middle, flanked by a pair of all-LED headlamps on its either side. The LED treatment continues in the front bumper too, where it gets LED fog lamps in its lower half.
The side profile remains largely clean with a swooping roof towards the rear, giving it an athletic look. While dual-tone finished alloy wheels on the side lend a touch of sportiness to the design, the towering LED tail lamps accentuate the overall aesthetics with a certain degree of sophistication to the design.
What’s new on the inside?
The new CR-V gets an upmarket interior with full leather upholstery, and features such as a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionalities. The crossover also gets a panoramic sunroof and one of the biggest additions inside include a third-row of seats, albeit only in the diesel trim. With a length of 4,592mm (+47mm) and a wheelbase of 2,660mm (+40mm), the new CR-V has grown in proportions to offer more room on the inside and to accommodate the third row of seats.
Honda has also given a clean minimalist design for its centre console, where the conventional gear lever had been replaced by shift-by-wire push button gear selectors. The petrol, on the other hand continues to feature a regular CVT shift selector.
In terms of safety, the CR-V scores high with a host of passive and active safety systems on-board. While six-airbags, ABS with EBD remain standard, it gets ESP, traction control, a driver alert monitoring system and Honda's proprietary LaneWatch assist camera technology for blind spot detection as the active safety functions, keeping a consistent check on the crossover's composure while on the road.
New diesel powertrain
In a segment ruled by brawny diesels, Honda was playing its game with an all-petrol arsenal, but, all that's set to change. The company has introduced a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbocharged diesel motor on the new CR-V and has squarely targeted the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour.
While the CR-V abroad is also powered by a 1.6-litre unit, it is sold in a higher state of tune and in a dual-turbo form. The engine has been mated to a completely new 9-speed automatic gearbox sourced from ZF. Honda is producing the India- and Philippines-spec motor at its Tapukara plant in Rajasthan, and the engine is rated to produce 120hp with only a single turbocharger fitted. The competition, in comparison, boasts of substantially bigger 2.8-litre (Toyota Fortuner producing 177hp) and 3.0-litre (Ford Endeavour producing 118hp) units, but, Honda is betting big on fuel-efficiency, which is claimed to be a respectable 19.5kpl for the 2WD variant on offer.
The petrol motor, on the other hand, is a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated unit, producing 184bhp and being mated to a CVT. The new CR-V will be offered in a 2WD variant for the petrol, and will offer both 2WD and 4WD options in the diesel.
Speaking at the launch, Gaku Nakanichi, president and CEO, Honda Cars India, said, “The current fiscal has been an active and exciting year for us and we will be launching three products until March. While Q2 has been rather tough, we are optimistic with the upcoming festive season.”
Adding to it, Rajesh Goel, SVP and director, Marketing and Sales, Honda Cars India, said, “We are introducing for the first time in India, a diesel in the form of a 1.6-litre unit, paired with a 9-speed automatic gearbox. This is in addition to the 2.0-litre petrol unit. We see a 90:10 diesel to petrol skew in this premium segment of the market.”
For the period September 2017 to August 2018, the Toyota Fortuner went home to 23,817 buyers in India, while Ford Endevaour has sold 5,955 in the same period.