Honda has tweaked its CR-V, but it’s still grumpy, which is the way we like it

20 December 2021 - 12:21 By Motoring Reporter
The Honda CR-V gains more aggressive styling.
The Honda CR-V gains more aggressive styling.
Image: Supplied

It is worth remembering that Honda was one of the pioneers of the medium-sized sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment.

The CR-V was launched as far back as 1995, well before players like the Hyundai Tucson, Mazda CX-5, Volkswagen Tiguan and Peugeot 3008. Its only real contemporaries during that era were the Toyota RAV4 and Kia Sportage, released globally in 1994 and 1993 respectively.

The Minato, Tokyo, carmaker released the all-new Fit in SA earlier this year, followed by an extensively revised Amaze. Completing the new product hat-trick this week is a refreshed CR-V for 2022.

Cavernous rear quarters make the CR-V a hit among those with adventurous lifestyles.
Cavernous rear quarters make the CR-V a hit among those with adventurous lifestyles.
Image: Supplied

Eagle-eyed CR-V aficionados might be able to spot the subtle exterior revisions, which include a more purposeful bumper design, front and rear. Like the model it replaces, the CR-V wears a scowling face, flanked by headlights in a furrowing gaze. The disgruntled look is in fashion, it seems, and this Honda is right up there with the grumpiest of them.

From the side, take note of the somewhat curvier waistline, while the rear adopts lighting clusters reminiscent of the WR-V launched in 2020. These are joined by a chrome strip. Opt for the 1.5-litre turbocharged derivative and twin tailpipes are added to the mix. This engine choice in high-grade Exclusive trim also benefits from a new 19-inch alloy wheel style as standard.

The rear bears close resemblance to siblings like the WR-V.
The rear bears close resemblance to siblings like the WR-V.
Image: Supplied

It is business as usual on the inside: the perception inferred from the supplied images is one of typical CR-V tactile quality and plushness. The interface, however, does not seem to be of the same standard as seen in the Fit, with its superior resolution and cleaner layout. Depending on model grade, buyers either receive a five-inch display or a seven-inch infotainment set-up. Honda describes rear legroom as class-leading and the rear cargo area offers 522l of space, or 1,084l with the seats folded.

Two engine choices are on offer, both four-cylinder petrol units paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). First up is the familiar, 2.0-litre, normally-aspirated motor with 113kW/189Nm, followed by a boosted 1.5-litre that packs 140kW/240Nm. Under the skin, Honda claims to have recalibrated the electric power steering system to offer greater precision and feedback.

As before, a MacPherson strut front suspension is employed, with a multi-link layout at the rear axle. Other chassis highlights include liquid-filled bushings and low-friction dampers. All models are front-wheel drive, except the flagship Exclusive, which is all-wheel drive.

The seven-inch infotainment screen in the Honda CR-V.
The seven-inch infotainment screen in the Honda CR-V.
Image: Supplied

The grade walk begins with the basic Comfort, upped by the Executive and Elegance, topped by the Exclusive.

Fare in the Comfort covers the essentials, featuring dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, a multifunction steering wheel and cruise control. Safety kit is as you would expect at this price point: dual front, side and curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, vehicle stability control and hill-start assist.

The Elegance adds the seven-inch infotainment system, leather upholstery, electric seat adjustment for driver and passenger, as well as heated front seats and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

A plush and well-appointed interior.
A plush and well-appointed interior.
Image: Supplied

The Executive can only be had with the 1.5-litre engine and boasts niceties such as full-LED headlights, keyless entry and keyless start. In the full-cream Exclusive, buyers get a panoramic sunroof, electrically operated tailgate, navigation and the Honda Sensing assistance features.

This comprises a forward-collision warning system, autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

PRICING:

2.0L FWD Comfort CVT: R556,100
2.0L FWD Elegance CVT: R617,900
1.5T FWD Executive CVT R699, 900
1.5T AWD Exclusive CVT R796,300


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