New Honda CR-V may have a third row of seats

A spy shot of the next-generation Honda CR-V has been doing the rounds on the internet. The test mule has a stretched rear hinting that there could be a third row of seats in the new CR-V.

The tail lights have shapes similar to the one found in Volvo’s SUVs, such as the XC90 and XC60. The front has been camouflaged hinting possible redesigns in the grille and headlamps. The side profiles of the test mule, up to the D pillar, are almost identical to the current CR-V.

Still, the extended region is not large enough to offer a spacious third row, as the legroom will have to be compromised, so even if there is a third row on the new CR-V it’ll likely be suitable only for children. Also read: Honda CR-V and Accord to get diesel engines

honda cr-v photo
Photo: A Spy shot of the Honda CR-V testing

Apart from the design changes and the possibility of a third row, the new CR-V might get a more powerful and fuel efficient 2.4 litre i-VTEC engine. Currently, the 2.4 L Realtime 4WD (4-wheel-drive) CR-V is powered by a 2.4 litre i-VTEC that produces 161 PS of maximum power at 5,800 rpm and 218 Nm of maximum torque at 4,200 rpm.

The company claims a mileage of 10.8 km/litre for the manual transmission and 11. Km/litre for the automatic transmission variant. The less-pricey 2.0 L, 2-WD (Wheel Drive) variant is powered by a 1,997 engine that makes 143 bhp of maximum power at 6,000 rpm and 190 Nm of maximum torque at 4,200 rpm. This engine returns a mileage of 13.1 km/litre (Honda claimed).

A couple of years ago, there were not many options for premium SUV buyers in India and the Honda CR-V was the top-selling model then. But today, there are many choices such as the Skoda Yeti, Toyota Fortuner, Chevrolet Captiva, Hyundai Santa Fe, Ford Endeavour, Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara and Mitsubishi Outlander in the price range of Rs. 15 – 25 lakhs.

The Toyota Fortuner is the No.1 seller and among the many reasons for its success in India market, the three-row seating arrangement and the presence of a diesel variant are key aspects that attract customers. The present Honda CR-V lacks both these aspects and is strictly a 5-seater that even lacks a diesel motor. Also read: Skoda Yeti vs. Nissan X-Trail vs. Honda CR-V: Comparison

Sales of the Honda CR-V in the recent past have not grown at par with the competition. Honda sold a mere 512 units of CR-V in the 2010-2011 fiscal year, while Toyota sold 11,996 Fortuner SUVs in the same period, Ford sold 3,242 units of its Endeavour SUV and Chevrolet sold 1,732 units of Captiva.

This clearly shows that the demand for premium SUVs is very strong, but the Honda CR-V has failed to attract buyers. Will the new Honda CR-V be launched with a diesel engine and a higher seating capacity? We hope so.

Photo Courtesy: ONCARS.in