The all-new CR-V is Honda’s answer to the blooming luxury SUV segment. And this time, they’ve even given in to the demands for a diesel option. Now, the new CR-V is, on the whole, larger than the outgoing car, and that becomes obvious when you step into the cabin. But we’ll get to that soon. So, does the all-new CR-V have the makings of a winner? To clear things up, here’s 4 things we liked, and two that we didn’t.
Smooth Petrol Engine
What we’re driving here is the 2-litre petrol version that drives the front wheels and makes 154bhp, and 189Nm of torque. By far, and like any other Honda motor, this one just puts a smile on your face when it comes to the motor being smooth and refined. Also, there’s decent grunt for everyday driving, especially while commuting, and a light-to-medium throttle is all that’s required to tag along with the rest of the crowd. The nice part is that, unlike most CVTs, the rubber-band affect is almost unnoticeable- just a gradual build-up of revs.
Another area where the CR-V just shines, is in the ride-and-handling department. Unlike ladder-frame SUVs, which quite frankly, can’t hide their weight when you go faster, driving the new CR-V comes off as a pleasant surprise. It is absolutely car-like to drive. The chassis balance is so sweet that you can actually dart into corners eagerly, and above all, it stays flat in mid-corner! And if that weren’t enough, the light and direct steering is simply a delight, making the CR-V genuinely fun to drive.
Getting into the new CR-V is a breeze due to doors that open really wide. And then you notice the unique centre console design that smartly keeps the transmission and electronic parking brake buttons closer to the driver.
The petrol CR-V is a 5-seater, unlike its 7-seater diesel sibling. It gets well-bolstered front seats that offer great support, with lumbar adjust, and loads of legroom and headroom. Likewise, the rear bench offers immense support with plenty of legroom too. Now, what makes driving this CR-V a whole lot easier, is the excellent visibility, and that smart blind-spot live footage which is fed onto the infotainment system. Neat trick!
Once seated in the new CR-V, you’re instantly greeted by the modern and premium feel from the interiors.
It is a great concoction thanks to the use of beige and black interiors, along with a combination of silver inserts, matt black and piano black trim, matt-finish wood inserts, and soft touch points throughout the upper portion of the cabin. And adding that large seven-inch touchscreen infotainment screen makes the dash feel all the more contemporary.
CVT gearbox – Not for Enthusiasts
Now, sure the performance from the petrol CR-V may be adequate when driven sedately. However, it feels lazy when you floor the throttle. The CVT gearbox in the petrol CR-V is slow to react when you feed more throttle, and hence, its not exactly engaging when you’re in the mood to drive fast, or need to perform a quick overtake.
Firm Low-Speed Ride
In terms of ride, the new CR-V’s ride quality tilts towards being firm at slow speeds. Which is fine if you ask us, since it doesn’t really get uncomfortable. Honda explained that the new CR-V gets a double-tube damper set-up which allows only the thinner tube to work over smaller bumps. The larger tube, which is more absorbent, is engaged only while going over a larger bump. And we have to admit, that once you up the pace, the ride gets markedly flatter.
The new Honda CR-V is undoubtedly a posh urban SUV. And if you look at what we’ve mentioned, there aren’t any serious deal breakers. So if you were looking for a practical, but fun-to-drive petrol SUV, the CR-V is clearly a great option.
Pictures by - Kaustubh Gandhi