I’ve got staying power, just when you think it’s over, I’ll come right back again, once declared Barry White. Such has been the story of the Honda CR-V. Just when we think it has done the best it can, it comes back with a bang. The Honda CR-V has been a phenomenal hit for the manufacturer and Honda boasts that the fourth-generation CR-V is the world’s best-selling SUV. A major achievement for any manufacturer considering that SUVs are the mainstay of most manufacturers’ portfolios these days.
The CR-V hasn’t been at the top by accident but has been there because Honda has been able to make something out of it that is hard to beat. The CR-V seems to be the meeting point between practicality and quality. Yes, everyone is catching up on quality but you get the sense that through the CR-V, Honda has perfected art. The fifth generation has been redesigned from ground up to ensure that perfection remains the central theme of the CR-V.
Honda has tried to keep the CR-V looking fresh without offending the base. The new bold front-end features curved slim line headlights with integrated daytime running lights. The boldness in design extends to the side profile and rear of the CR-V. The side profile houses dominant wheel archers and a sculptured waistline. The rear also plays its part in keeping things interesting with inverted LED taillight clusters that drop down from the back spoiler and are linked by a chromed garnish strip, and are positioned high up on the back door.
The fifth-generation CR-V has a smart and spacious cabin. The latter is credited to an increase in wheelbase. Rear passenger legroom has been extended by 9 cm. The 60/40 split back seat can be folded flat to expand the already generous 522 litres of luggage space. Soft-touch surfaces, matt alloy accents and stitching combine to give the CR-V’s interior an upmarket feel.
Drivers have an option of a 5-inch or 7-inch easy to use infotainment system. This could be bigger especially considering how wide the CRV’s dashboard is. Honda can be forgiven for this considering that Honda has thrown in a new driver information interface with a graph-type rev counter and a digital speedometer. My favourite is the lidded binnacle that also acts as a centre armrest. It is deep for storing a lot of things but has shelves that can be brought forward and retracted to provide much needed convenience for the things that you wish to keep close. The convenience extends to the three USB ports, two 12 valve ports as well as an HDMI port. One nifty feature in the Honda CR-V is the touch volume control on the steering over and above the traditional volume controls on the wheel. Slide your thumbs up and down and Dj Driver on the wheel will have the whole family jamming to their favourite track or avoiding unsuitable content.
The new Honda CR-V is offered with a choice of two engines. A 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine carried over from the previous CR-V model with 113 kW and 189 Nm, and a new 1.5 turbocharged engine with 140 kW and 240. The former is offered on the Comfort and Elegance models whilst the latter is offered on the Executive and Exclusive models.
The CR-V is offers a comfortable and quiet ride. We had the 1.5 engine in our test Executive CR-V. This new engine is smooth and powerful. The gear timing change is accurate and seamless. The car handles well and is very stable in bends. Honda claims a fuel consumption of 7,0 litres/100 km. I managed 9,0 litres/100 km driving the car as close as possible to a would-be CR-V driver.
The pricing of the CR-V range is as follows:
CR-V 2.0 Comfort R422,900
CR-V 2.0 Elegance R477,900
CR-V 1.5T Executive R584,900
CR-V 1.5T Exclusive R626,900
The range is offered with a five-year/200 000 km warranty, as well as a five-year/90 000 km service plan. Also included is a three-year AA Road Assist package.
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