Honda’s long service SUV has moved to a small turbocharged engine – but there are more than just telling it.
With the successful construction of the previous generations, the new Honda CR-V has brought about greater improvements, technology and diversified markets.
As early as twenty years ago, the fifth generation model of the medium “soft channel” SUV phenomenon arrived in Australia in July 2017.
A two or all wheel drive and five or seven seats in grade four are selected. One of the features of the new CR-V is the combination of engine and transmission, plus the latest safety and driver assistance technology, which keeps many small SUV buyers strong competitors.
At $30,690 (plus on-road costs), the two-wheel drive (2WD), five seat VTi entry-model has the following standard features:
>> Seven-inch touch screen
>> Apple CarPlay with Siri Eyes Free mode
>> Android Auto with Google voice search
>> Dual-zone climate control with rear vents
>> Cruise control with speed limiter
>> Power windows with auto up/down (driver) & remote function
>> Multi-angle reversing camera with guidelines
>> 17-inch alloy wheels
>> Driver Attention Monitor
>> Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
>> Trailer Stability Assist
Options are limited to a palette of seven colours. All are metallic and available at no extra cost.
afety and Driver Assistance
All CR-Vs have six airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, tyre pressure monitoring and a reversing camera with guidelines to make life easier. New to the range is the Driver Attention Monitor. If it detects no steering inputs it warns the driver via a display in the instrument cluster, and if there’s no response it vibrates the steering wheel and sounds an alert.
Moving to the VTi-S you get Lanewatch. When you flick the left indicator on, the rear-facing exterior mirror camera shows the side of the CR-V in the infotainment screen for safer turning and lane changing.
If you want the works, including Forward Collision Warning, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keep Assist, Road Departure Mitigation System and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Following, you have to buy the range-topping $44,290 VTi-LX.
Comfort and Convenience
A seven-inch infotainment screen with Android® Auto and Apple Car Play, Bluetooth with audio streaming is standard across the range.
Move up to the VTi-S and you get satellite navigation along with a powered tailgate, front and rear parking sensors, automatic dusk-sensing headlights, a leather wrapped steering wheel and 18-inch alloy wheels.
The VTi-S is also the most affordable entrée to All-Wheel Drive (AWD) motoring.
Need seven seats? Go straight to the $38,990 Two-Wheel Drive (2WD) VTi-L.
The VTi-L has premium goodies like leather-seats, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver’s seat, rain-sensing wipers, a panoramic sunroof, 10 cup holders and air conditioning for the third-row seats.
If you want privacy glass and your front seat buddy to have a powered seat, move on up to the $44,290 VTi-LX, which also has a driver’s seat with two memory positions, a leather-bound gear-lever, and a digital radio.
The different front look of the VTi-LX is due to its dusk-sensing LED headlights with active cornering and LED fog lights.
Engine and Transmission Choices
The Honda CR-V offers just one engine and transmission combo. The 1.5-litre VTEC four-cylinder turbo that’s good for 140 kilowatts and 240 Newton metres is coupled to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), equipped with shift paddles and driving either the front wheels (VTi, VTi-S, VTi-L) or all-four wheels (VTi-S, VTi-LX).
Prices for the Honda CR-V range:
VTi five-seat FWD – $30,690
VTi-S five-seat FWD – $33,290
VTi-S five-seat AWD – $35,490
VTi-L seven-seat FWD – $38,990
VTi-LX five-seat AWD – $44,290
The Honda CR-V range comes with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty.
It’s a real shame Honda reserves its Honda Sensing safety technology exclusively for its most expensive model, which becomes close to fifty grand by the time you get the VTi-LX on the road.
Immediately noticeable is this CR-V’s improved driving dynamics, which deliver more fun and involvement behind the wheel.
My pick of the litter is the VTi-S in AWD guise. You get the convenience of satnav, a powered tailgate, parking sensors front and back and auto headlights. Plus a few niceties like a leather wrapped tiller and 18-inch alloy wheels, plus the benefit of AWD at a mid-thirties price point.