Honda’s 2018 CR-V SUV Launches in India, Priced at Rs 28.15 Lakh
(The story has been recontextualised after Honda India announced the prices of the CR-V on 9 October)
Cameraperson: Abhay Sharma
Video Editor: Kunal Mehra
Honda has finally revealed the prices of the new CR-V which goes up against other SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour.
The 2018 CR-V has many firsts to its name. What was once a petrol-only SUV, now comes with a diesel engine option. What was once a five-seater SUV, now also comes with seven seats. And it’s loaded with features. But the question is, is it too little too late for the segment the Honda CR-V competes in?
The Quint was invited to Jaipur for a quick test drive of the upcoming Honda CR-V and here are our first impressions of the new SUV. The 2018 CR-V will be assembled in India as a completely knocked down unit, with a fairly decent level of local parts as well.
1.6 litre diesel motor offers good fuel-efficiency
Push-button transmission system
Excellent ride and handling across all surfaces
Cramped last row in 7-seat variants
No all-wheel drive petrol variant
No manual mode or paddle shifts on CVT petrol
Design and Looks
The 2018 CR-V is a completely new SUV, yet it retains some of the design elements that make it recognisable as a Honda.
Take the front-end look for instance. It’s quite familiar because of that bold chrome slab across the grille and a trademark Honda family look. It now gets all LED lights – headlamps, fog lamps, daytime running lamps and tail-lamps.
The tail-lamps look a little Volvo inspired and when you consider the overall package that Honda is offering, it does come across as a “relatively” poor man’s Volvo XC60, if I could call it that – because it has quite a long feature list as well.
There’s not much to differentiate the variants from each other, except for subtle changes in the fog lamp design between the petrol and diesel variants. That’s because the diesel has an intercooler hidden behind the left fog lamp, with an air-intake built into the lamp housing.
It’s not just a case of keeping up with the Joneses. SUV buyers now demand as many features as possible in the Rs 25 lakh plus segment. The 2018 CR-V delivers on that front.
It comes with a host of features, starting with all LED lighting, LCD instrument panel, panoramic sun roof with air conditioning vents in the roof for all three rows (in the seven seat variant), touch-screen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, automatic lights, wipers and auto-roll down and up on all windows.
It also features brake hold, electronic parking brake, eco mode and cruise control. The blind spot rear-view camera on the left mirror displays the image on the infotainment system every time you flick the left indicator. There’s also a conversation mirror in the roof panel to keep an eye on passengers.
The diesel variants come with seven seats, with the middle row sliding and tumbling. It has about 150 litres of luggage space with all rows up, expandable to 935 litres with two rows folded. Space in the last row isn’t generous though. The petrol variant has five seats only.
How Does it Drive?
The big difference in the 2018 CR-V is that it is now available with a diesel engine. It gets a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine that puts out 120 bhp of power and 300 Nm of torque. This is mated to a 9-speed torque converter automatic transmission. It comes in both two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations.
The transmission shift system is interesting – gone is the traditional stick shift. In its place are a line of buttons to select drive, reverse or park. Neat.
The petrol variant, however, gets a CVT transmission with a conventional stick shifter. The engine is a 2-litre, four-cylinder unit that puts out 154 bhp of power and 189 Nm of torque.
Ride quality is excellent. It glides over most surfaces with ease, without upsetting its composure. Steering feedback from the electronic power steering system is decent enough.
The petrol is fairly muted, while the diesel feels quite peppy on flat out acceleration. The thing is, gears 7,8 and 9 are almost unusable in manual mode because 9th can be engaged only beyond 140 Kmph (in S mode, with paddle shifts).
Honda claims a fuel efficiency of 19.5 kmpl for the two-wheel drive diesel, 18.3 for the all-wheel drive diesel and 14.4 kmpl for the petrol (which is in two-wheel drive form only).
What We Think
We didn’t get to spend too much time with the Honda CR-V for a very detailed insight. However, from the first impressions we got, it’s safe to say that the Honda CR-V will be quite popular with buyers looking for an SUV that’s mostly going to be doing duty in the city.
The diesel is pretty fuel-efficient and although it sports a smaller engine than most others in the segment, it doesn’t feel underpowered. Interior quality is top notch and the CR-V has been tuned for comfort. Don’t expect it to do too much of the rough stuff and it is actually better off as a five-seater mostly.
The petrol CR-V will appeal to those who want a 5-seater commuter for the city and as expected, Honda has priced the petrol variant lower than the diesel options.
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