The cabin treatment is not only aesthetic but also premium and oh-so Honda in appearance and material choice. Like all premium models from the brand, the build quality is solid and nothing in here feels cheap. That said, we did find the steering mounted buttons (carried over from budget Honda models) to be flimsy. Unlike the Fortuner’s insides which feel rudimentary at a lot of places, the cabin design and layout is a big highlight of this car, given its in here the owners will spend time, it’s a big draw card for choosing the CR-V over the competition. Compared to the old model, the design is more upmarket, with a good mix of materials used cleverly. The dash, for instance, is all black with shiny gloss black trim pieces whereas the door pads are a mix of beige, wooden inserts and gloss black trim pieces. Somehow, this amalgamation of materials works well to create a soothing ambience.
Sadly, we cannot say the same for Honda’s infotainment system. While the 7-inch display is placed high and looks premium, the system itself is not exactly user-friendly – the UI looks aftermarket and switching between the menus takes some getting used to. What’s more, the graphics aren’t what you would expect to see in a car of this segment. Similarly, the fully digital instrument cluster isn’t that impressive under sunlight as the screen looks dull and not as crisp as we would have liked. That said, it does make for a visual treat at night, standing out from the rest of the interior bits.
In terms of space and comfort, the petrol CR-V is different from its diesel sibling, but we will get to the changes in a bit. The front seats are snug and supportive and foot well is generous as well (despite the wide centre console). Visibility, too, is excellent with a huge glass area and slim A-pillars. What also helps is this unique camera-based system which enhances driver’s view of side traffic. Using a camera on the passenger-side mirror, the driver can have a live feed on the infotainment screen, of the traffic or pedestrians in the car’s blind spot. Space in the second row is equally impressive as there’s loads of legroom and the rear seat itself is nicely contoured and offers adequate thigh support. So what about the changes? Well unlike the diesel powered CR-V which is a 7-seater with a 5+2 configuration, this petrol-powered model seats five only. The latter also doesn’t get rood mounted AC vents and a sliding rear bench. That said, the backrest can be reclined and you do get conventionally mounted rear AC vents between the front seats.