The fourth-generation Honda CR-V has been a low performer for the Japanese carmaker in India, in terms of sales, primarily due to the lack of a diesel engine. However, the upcoming fifth generation will get a 1.6 litre diesel engine and possibly a seven-seat layout for ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) markets. The 1.6 litre diesel engine will generate 158 hp of power at 4,000 rpm and 350 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm. The good news is that unlike other Honda cars that are offered only with a manual transmission or a CVT, the new luxury SUV will get a ZF-sourced 9-speed automatic transmission.
Unlike the current versions on sale in India, the 2.0 litre petrol engine will be given amiss and the 2.4 litre i-VTEC will power the next generation of the SUV. This motor produces 187 hp of power at 7,000 rpm and 226 Nm of torque at 4,400 rpm. This engine is expected to be paired to a CVT transmission unlike the current generation's 5-speed automatic gearbox. Both engine options that would be available in India will also have and optional all-wheel-drive system. The Honda CR-V available in the North American market is powered by a 1.5 litre petrol engine with option of turbocharging.
In terms of the design the new CR-V would resemble the silhouette of the current generation SUV, however, a host of changes like LED headlamps, LED fog lamps,LED tail lamps, 19 inch diamond cut alloy wheels and some more bits which offer a sharper styling. In addition, the wheelbase is 41 mm longer than the current version at 2,654 mm and the rear legroom has increased by 54 mm. A first of a Honda car, the front grille has a motor driven shutter that closes at high speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag.
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Inside the Honda CR-V, a new 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is offered. Other features include push button start/stop, remote engine start, 8-way electrically adjustable driver's seat and a 4-way for the front passenger. The ORVMs (Outside Rear View Mirrors) will now offer heating for better rear visibility during winters as well as Blind Spot Indication. Along with these new features, equipment like steering mounted audio, phone and cruise controls as well as electric parking brake will also be a part of the convenience package. The North American market also gets a full-colour TFT instrument cluster which is expected to be carried forward for the ASEAN markets as well. Adding to the convenience, the new CR-V will also get hands-free tailgate operation. The boot volume also now increase from 1048 litres to 1134 litres.
The absence of a diesel engine in the CR-V has been its primary reason for poor sales figures in India. The introduction of the new 1.6 litre i-DTEC motor may turn things around and improve sales, however, the new SUV will have to go up against established competitors, the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour.