Honda launched third generation CR-V in India yesterday. Mostly, we believe that the new CR-V is an exercise in aesthetics. The exterior of the car has been revised: we now have a different grille, a different hood, and new foglamps. The front and rear bumpers have been revised too.
Height, width, the ground clearance and interior space are exactly the same, while length has been increased by 45 mm. Honda has changed the wheels of the car too, and now you have 10 spoke alloy wheels instead of the earlier seven spoke ones. Honda recently introduced a mildly face-lifted version of its popular mid-size sedan Honda Civic, which has been getting a bit long in the tooth.
Under the hood, the engines remain the same. We have the same 2400 CC and 2000 CC petrol engines. The 2400 CC version of the Honda CR-V now also also offers cruise control which can be operated from controls on the steering wheel.
The significant improvement has been made in safety. The new Honda CR-V comes with six airbags including side curtain air bags and side air bags with occupant position detection system.
Finally, you also get a USB port in the glove compartment so you can finally connect your thumb drive to the music system.
The Honda CR-V has been in India since 2003, and has been extremely popular until the recently launched Toyota Fortuner SUV hit the Indian market.
The Honda CR-V unlike the other vehicles in its category is not really an SUV. It is a crossover, but in India, most people buy such vehicles for use on the streets or on bad roads. The Honda CR-V fit this role perfectly.
While there has been much demand for a diesel SUV from Honda, the company has consistently said that they have no plans to introduce a decent version of the CR-V in the near future. (Archived story: Honda CR-V recall)
As far as aesthetics of the new version of the CR-V go, we are of the opinion that the new grille, at least, is just a matter of personal taste. It is not very different from the earlier one.
The 2000 cc new Honda CR-V (manual transmission) is priced at Rs. 21,92,000, while the 2400 cc MT costs Rs 23,37,000. The higher end 2400cc automatic is priced at 24,12,000. All prices are ex showroom New Delhi.
Honda enjoys premium brand positing in the Indian automobile market, and the face-lift to the popular CR-V will help them sustain sales for a bit longer in the face of increasing competition.