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The new Honda CR-V: It's superb!
Team BS Motoring | September 16, 2006
Ah, Paris. The City of Romance hosts a rather large motor show later this month and this car will be among the show stars. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the brand-new-from-the-ground-up Honda CR-V.
Which is big news for us, because it means that our CR-V -- a rather likeable car, everyone at BS Motoring agrees -- will be replaced by the new one.
Honda has announced that the new CR-V takes the experience a notch higher by aiming at D-segment saloons. To that end, the interiors are snazzy and there is more equipment on offer than ever before.
But we're jumping the gun a bit. The old CR-V set a new standard for soft-roaders, with its impeccable road manners, approachable, versatile SUV stance and its car-like accoutrements. And now, Honda claims to have bettered that.
How? The centre of gravity of the car is lower, the stance is a mite wider and a number of changes to the steering and suspension geometry all aim for a car that steers quicker and feels more direct.
Honda says the new chassis also makes the car more directionally stable and agile. In the dirt, the CR-V promises to go better as well. The new all-wheel drive system mirrors the old one, but now it can transfer 20 per cent more torque to the rear, which means a smidgen more ability off-road.
Outside, the styling package is quite radical. And already, opinions are polarised. The tapering coupe-like side windows are supposed to look sporty, but ultimately seem to make the CR-V look sort of like a Volvo XC90.
The new front-end is fresh to look at with its unique grille, projector headlamps and wide bumper. The rear tailgate opens sideways while the spare wheel is now below the load floor, instead of on the door. Strip lights on the C pillar have arrived.
For European markets, there will be lots of gizmos on offer, including an adaptive cruise function, a predictive emergency braking system which also pretensions the belts and cornering headlights. Plus there's airbags everywhere.
Including the world's first glove compartment airbag to keep the contents safe in a crash. Er. . . just kidding. For those who want to tow their homes along for a trip, there is trailer stability assistance as standard which works with the vehicle stability programme, while towing capacity is up 500 kg to 2,000 kg.
What's more, Honda expects a EuroNCAP 5-star occupant protection rating, 4-stars for child protection and a 3-star pedestrian rating.
For occupants, the interior dimensions remain similar, but the rear load area extends to swallow the space that belonged to the late door-mounted spare.
Access has been improved by larger doors that open wider, and lower sills. The internal materials include metallic elements set in contrast to textured black.
To duck under the hood, there will be a 2000cc petrol and 2200cc diesel on offer. The latter is the acclaimed 140 bhp i-CTDi. And since the car is twelve per cent more aerodynamic, economy should be better.
The petrol engine is all-new, based on the 1800cc SOHC iVTEC in the (Indian) Civic. Six-speed manual and five-speed automatics will be on offer. The petrol is good for 150 bhp and 19 kgm.
So when is it coming our way? We expect the CR-V to be on our roads by mid-2007, and with a diesel option too! Quick Honda Siel, there's no time to be wasted.