Honda’s popular CR-V sports utility vehicle has been upgraded for the 2015 model year. The improvements range from a bolder exterior styling package to enhanced levels of standard equipment, while the model line-up has been adapted to reflect customer preference.
The CR-V has a long history of success in South Africa, despite the increasing competitiveness of the segment, with the latest, fourth-generation model posting in excess of 4 700 unit sales since being launched in SA in November 2012.
While the silhouette of the Honda CR-V remains unchanged, significant changes to the front and the rear of the compact SUV have created a bolder, more progressive appearance. Most notable is the all-new grille, which features a larger, more aggressive black-meshed lower aperture, together with chrome detailing, and a bold, gloss-black horizontal spar.
The grille is flanked by slimmer, more elongated HID headlights fitted with revised, wrap-around LED daytime running lights. The lower section of the new integrated front bumper has also been redesigned to accommodate the more prominent fog lights, while a front scuff plate adds further visual presence.
At the rear of the CR-V, bolder tail light clusters are at the core of the updated design, which also includes a pronounced chrome garnish strip below the rear screen. An aluminium-look scuff plate has been added to the rear apron, matching the front design and expressing the CR-V’s SUV heritage.
The changes to the front and rear bumpers have resulted in a shape that’s slightly wider and longer than the previous CR-V, creating a more poised and dynamic appearance.
Style and functionality are at the core of the CR-V’s redesigned interior, which features a brand new seven-inch touchscreen display as the interface for the vehicle’s infotainment system on all models except the entry-level Comfort. However, Bluetooth-based connectivity is standard across the entire model range.
The dashboard has been redesigned to accommodate the touchscreen display, and now features a chromed lower accent line that runs the width of the fascia. Enhanced materials with tactile appeal underscore the cabin’s smart and elegant execution.
A sliding armrest that can be moved forwards and backwards by 60 mm has been added between the two front seats for convenience, while the 60/40 split rear seats can be folded down flat with the simple pull of a handle to create a massive, flat-floored cargo area with a 1 120 litre capacity. With the seats upright, cargo capacity remains generous at 556 litres.
The new touchscreen-based infotainment system is standard on all 2015 CR-V models except for the entry-level 2.0 Comfort. The seven-inch display offers a broad range of features, including extensive connectivity to smart devices, and smartphone-style functionality.
The system supports the familiar pinch, swipe and tap interface common to current-generation smartphones, and can be customised by choosing from a selection of two colour schemes.
The menu-driven, icon-based interface is intuitive to use and provides quick, easy access to the system’s full scope of functions and features, including trip computer data, audio, telephony, FM/AM tuner and the rear-view parking camera.
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
Under the 2015 CR-V’s skin, upgrades to the chassis have resulted in improved ride and handling characteristics. The changes include a reworked front suspension with different bushes, new dampers, a revised suspension geometry, all leading to a smoother, more engaging ride.
A 15 mm increase in front and rear track as well as revised camber angles benefit overall stability while the steering ratio has been increased by eight percent to boost steering response and manoeuvrability.
NVH has been further reduced through the implementation of a series of measures, including doubling the thickness of the door seals, upgrading the carpets and revising sound absorption materials. In addition, front-end sealing measures have further reduced wind noise, contributing to an overall noise reduction of six percent.
SAFETY AND SECURITY
The 2015 Honda CR-V range offers a comprehensive array of safety and security features. Standard across all models are ABS anti-lock brakes with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA).
Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), emergency stop light system, front and rear fog lamps and LED daytime running lights are also standard, while the automatic transmission models also gain Hill Start Assist (HSA).
The flagship 2.4 Exclusive also adds Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keep Assist (LKA) and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) to the already extensive list.
Passive safety features include two front, two side and two curtain airbags. The driver’s airbag is a dual-stage design. Three-point inertia reel seatbelts are standard front and rear, while the front seatbelts are equipped with pre-tensioners and load limiters. Front active headrests and rear ISOFIX child seat anchors are standard.
Security features include an alarm/immobiliser, remote central locking, automatic speed-sensitive door locking and selective unlocking, keyless tailgate unlocking and a lockable glove compartment.
The revised 2015 Honda CR-V range consists of six models spanning four specification levels, two engine choices and two transmission options.
Honda CR-V 2.0 Comfort FWD
As before, the entry point to the CR-V range is the 2.0 Comfort, powered by Honda’s 1 997 cc four-cylinder i-VTEC engine. The unit produces a maximum power output of 114 kW at 6 500 r/min, together with a torque peak of 192 Nm at 4 000 r/min.
Drive is delivered to the front wheels via a choice of six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions. Performance is sprightly, with the manual-gearbox version completing the 0-100 km/h sprint in 10,0 seconds, while the auto version’s time for the same test is 12,4 seconds. Top speeds are 190 km/h and 185 km/h respectively.
The 2,0-litre engine’s efficiency allows for a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of just 7,7 litres/100 km* for the manual transmission version, while the auto-gearbox model achieves an even more frugal figure of 7,6 litres/100 km*.
Although the two Comfort 2.0 models are the most accessible members of the CR-V range, they are by no means entry-level as far as execution and standard features are concerned. The wheels are handsome 17-inch alloys shod with 225/65 R17 tyres, while roof rails are standard.
Inside, the seats feature smart cloth upholstery, front and rear armrests are standard. A CD front-loading sound system with FM/AM tuner and six loudspeakers is standard. The system is compatible with MP3/WMA sound files, and also features both a USB connection and an auxiliary jack for linking flash drives and portable music players to the system.
Convenience features include a sunglasses storage box, a centre console binnacle with 12V accessory socket, and one-motion fold-down rear seats, as well as seatback storage pockets for both the driver and front passenger seats.
The CR-V 2.0 Comfort models also offer electrically operated front and rear windows, dual-zone climate control with separate ventilation controls for rear occupants, rear parking sensors, and electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors with integrated indicator repeaters.
The tilt and telescopic-adjustable multifunction steering wheel offers controls for the audio system, the cruise control and speed limiter function, and Bluetooth telephony. A multi-information display provides information from the Honda’s trip computer.
Honda CR-V 2.0 Elegance FWD
One step up from the Comfort models are the two 2.0 Elegance versions, also powered by the same 2,0-litre four-cylinder engine, and offering a choice of six-speed manual or five-speed automatic gearboxes. This model was previously equipped with all-wheel drive, but now features front-wheel drive only in line with customer demand.
Power and torque output, as well as performance and fuel consumption figures*, are identical to those of the 2.0 Comfort derivatives, but equipment levels have been further enhanced to reflect the more upmarket Elegance specification.
The 2.0 Elegance swaps the Comfort’s fabric for leather upholstery, including leather trim for the steering wheel and the gearshift knob, while the door sills and boot are fitted with smart, protective garnishing. The front seats are electrically adjustable (eight-way for the driver, four-way for the front passenger), and feature both seat heating and adjustable armrests.
The Elegance is also the first of the new-generation CR-V models to be fitted with a seven-inch touchscreen-driven infotainment system, which includes a six-speaker sound system, as well as a USB socket and an auxiliary audio jack. A conversation mirror above the normal rear-view mirror provides a convenient wide-angle view of rear occupants.
Front and rear parking sensors are standard, as is a rear-view camera linked to the touchscreen display. The exterior mirrors are retractable and feature a reverse tilt function.
Honda CR-V 2.4 Executive AWD
One step up from the two Elegance models is the CR-V 2.4 Executive, which is powered by Honda’s proven 2 354 cc four-cylinder i-VTEC engine. The power unit is credited with a maximum output of 140 kW at 7 000 r/min, coupled to maximum torque of 220 Nm at 4 300 r/min. A five-speed automatic gearbox is the only transmission choice, while all-wheel drive is standard.
The 2.4 Executive will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 11,1 seconds, and achieves a top speed of 190 km/h. The combined cycle fuel consumption figure is 8,6 litres/100 km*.
While the Executive model offers all the standard comfort, convenience and safety features of the Elegance versions, it augments those specification levels even further.
Externally, the most significant difference is the use of HID headlights with integral washers instead of halogen units, while active cornering lights are included. In addition, the 17-inch wheels are replaced with 18-inch alloys shod with 225/60 R18 tyres.
Inside, the main distinguishing feature is the presence of an electrically operated sunroof. The Executive also offers keyless starting via a start/stop button, with smart entry and exit.
Honda CR-V 2.4 Exclusive AWD
The CR-V 2.4 Exclusive AWD is the new flagship of the range and while it is mechanically and dynamically identical to the 2.4 Executive version, it takes the already comprehensive equipment list up a further notch by including an array of advanced safety features.
These include electronic seatbelt pre-tensioners, as well as Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keep Assist (LKA) and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS).
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses radar to detect the speed of vehicles ahead of the CR-V, and reduces the set speed of the cruise control system when the vehicle ahead is travelling slower. Once the slower vehicle moves out the way, ACC resumes the original set speed.
Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) combines both a camera and radar technology capable of operating over an expanded range, combining high and low speed braking, and bringing the car to standstill if required.
Lane Keep Assist (LKAS) uses a multi-purpose camera to track lane markings on the road, ensuring the vehicle remains in the middle of the detected lane. The system operates at speeds of more than 72 km/h where the road has a curve radius of 230 metres or more.
Lane Departure Warning (LDW) also uses the multi-purpose camera to track lane markings on the road. If the car deviates from its current lane without indicating, Lane Departure Warning alerts the driver with audible and visual warnings.
PRICING AND WARRANTY
The updated Honda CR-V range is available from Honda Motor Southern Africa’s national dealer network. The pricing includes a three-year/100 000 km warranty, while a five-year/90 000 km service plan is included. A one-year AA roadside assistance package is also included. Services on all models are at 15 000 km intervals.
Honda CR-V 2.0 Comfort FWD Manual R347 400
Honda CR-V 2.0 Comfort FWD Auto R362 400
Honda CR-V 2.0 Elegance FWD Manual R394 400
Honda CR-V 2.0 Elegance FWD Auto R409 400
Honda CR-V 2.4 Executive AWD Auto R508 400
Honda CR-V 2.4 Exclusive AWD Auto R544 400