Honda has launched the 2013 Honda CR-V lifestyle SUV in India at a starting price of Rs. 19.95 lakh going up to Rs. 23.85 lakh. The Honda CR-V is a five-seater luxury SUV, and comes only with petrol engine choices of a 2-litre petrol and 2.4 litre petrol. It is available in four variants and five colour choices of red, silver, white, brown and a deep purple.
Prices of 2013 Honda CR-V
Honda CR-V 2.0 2WD MT: Rs. 19.95 lakh
Honda CR-V 2.0 2WD AT: Rs. 20.85 lakh
Honda CR-V 2.4 AWD AT: Rs. 22.40 lakh
Honda CR-V 2.4 AWD AT (AVN): Rs. 23.85 lakh
The Honda CR-V is now being assembled locally through completely-knocked down kits and this helps Honda to keep its costs in check. Duties are now at 10% only on imported parts in crates, unlike the 60% duty being paid earlier by Honda for the CR-V. Some of that cost reduction has been passed on to the customer. Still, being a petrol-only SUV, it is catering to a very niche market, with only the Mitsubishi Outlander for competition, besides the Maruti Grand Vitara. Also read: Honda CR-V coming on Feb. 12
Fresh look, rounded styling
The new CR-V has a more rounded styling compared to its predecessor. The front gets projector headlamps, which flow into the chrome slatted grille in a more traditional form, compared to the two-step design of the older SUV. At the side, the window-line tapers towards the rear, but is slightly upswept. The rear though, looks like Honda ran out of ideas and borrowed heavily from Volvo – the tail-lamp design looks like that on the Volvo XC60, while the rear windscreen and boot is rounded off and looks a little bulky. Fit and finish is top-notch, and it’s not as tall as the older CR-V as well.
The interiors of the new Honda CR-V are done up in beige leather, while the dashboard and door pads are black. Plastic is firm and of good quality, with fake wood inserts and a dash of buffed silver. The gear lever / shifter is mounted as an integrated part of the dashboard. The instrument panel is dominated by a large speedometer with a digital display in the centre, and bands along the sides – that light up in Eco mode. Also read: Upcoming diesel cars for India in 2013
Loaded with features
Honda is offering the top-end CR-V with an audio-visual navigation system and multi-information screen. It also gets an electric sun-roof, dual-zone climate control, integrated music system with Bluetooth, reverse camera, six airbags, ABS, EBD, stability program, and hill-start assist (only in the automatic variants).It also has a large green Eco button, which is supposed to optimize engine response and AC load for better fuel efficiency. It also has features such as cruise control and powered driver’s seat for added comfort.
Added power and performance
Honda has added more power to the CR-V. The 2.4 litre petrol, four-cylinder variant puts out 190 PS (187 bhp) of power at 7000 rpm and 226 Nm of torque at 4400 rpm. This is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, which also features a sports mode and paddle shifts for manual shifting. The top-end variants are all-wheel drive, with power going to the front wheels normally, but getting transferred to the rear when wheel slip is detected. The 2-litre petrol variant is a front-wheel drive only and puts out 154 bhp at 6500 rpm and 190 Nm of torque at 4,300 rpm. This is mated to a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. Fuel efficiency has never been the CR-V’s strong point and it’s still low. The 2-litre manual claims 13.7 kmpl, while the 2.4 automatic with all the goodies has an ARAI tested mileage of 12 kmpl. Real world figures are likely to be in single digits. Also read: Upcoming all-new cars for 2013
What we think
The Honda CR-V still has its work cut out for it. The previous generation CR-V was clocking under 40 units a month in sales, with the occasional spike. Sales stopped in September in anticipation of the new CR-V. Can this CR-V chalk up additional volumes for Honda? Probably, as the pricing has been reduced and it now comes in below Rs. 20 lakh, competing with the Mitsubishi Outlander more effectively and being cheaper than the Toyota Fortuner. However, as there is still no diesel in its line up (planned only for much later, and most likely the 1.6 iDTec), it will have limited appeal. But as diesel prices continue to rise, there may be some increase in demand for petrol SUVs. Will Honda manage to get its sales figures to three digits for the Honda CR-V? We think it’s a tough task right now.
Honda CR-V road test and video review coming soon.