Of all the Honda CR-Vs, what make the latest one different is the Shuhari factor. Shuhari is a Japanese traditional martial art concept which describes the stages of learning to mastery. 'Shu' means the first stage; where you learn the basics of a subject directly from the guru. 'Ha' means collecting more details on your own and innovating. 'Ri' means finding a new path with the help of what you have already learned so far and creating your own style. In the very first drive, one could understand that the CR-V is Honda’s shuhari system in its perfect form.
In the premium SUV category, the only vehicle that didn't have a diesel mill was CR-V. However, the fifth generation CR-V fills that gap. The latest diesel engine generates 120 bhp of power and more than enough torque (300 Nm) from the 1600 cc engine. Honda promises a mileage of 19.5 km for diesel and 14.4 km for the 2000 cc petrol mill.
There is no manual transmission for the new CR-V. The petrol variant gets a CVT and the diesel a nine-speed automatic transmission. In terms of driving pleasure, diesel easily trumps petrol; mainly due to the 300 Nm torque. For petrol, at 4300 rpm the engine is capable of 189 Nm of torque.
The new CR-V gets two more seats, though the legroom in the third row is just about enough. However, if the second row is not fully pushed back, even six-footers can sit comfortably in the third row. If you are not using it, the third-row seat can be folded up or removed. Even the third row gets an AC blower and cup holder.
First launched in 1995 for the developed markets including the US, the CR-V became bigger with every new generation. Initially it was just a bit bigger than a regular hatchback. Now, in its fifth generation, the CR-V is a big SUV. Compared to the old model, it is 47 mm longer, 35 mm wider and gets a 40 mm longer wheelbase. This increase in fully reflected in the interior space too.
The main changes in the new CR-V are in the form of several premium touches compared to the old model. From the outside itself it looks like a big SUV. The build quality and durability are clearly visible in all aspects. Built as a city SUV, it gets wheel arches and chrome finish. The windows too get a chrome lining. LED lights are provided both in the front and the rear. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels further boost its looks and performance.
The new CR-V sports a dual-tone beige-and-black dashboard, with wood finish on the dash and doorpads. The gear lever is located close to the dashboard. The diesel automatic gets no gear lever; instead it gets switches. The steering wheel is three spoke. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There are enough spaces for storage purposes. The armrest in between the front seats has a three-way adjustable storage space.
The eight-way adjustable front seats are comfortable for both the driver and the passenger. The second row is also equally good. The car is equipped with ABS-EBD, vehicle stabiltiy assist, driver attention monitor and motion adaptive electric steering. The CR-V also gets a lane watch assist where a camera placed under the left ORVM sends a feed to the centre instrument cluster providing you a quick glance at the traffic.
Diesel is the star
The diesel variant is the best drive among the two. The engine is very responsive even at low and mid ranges. It is also a capable highway cruiser and good city drive. The automatic gearbox will get paddle shifters too. The 2-litre petrol engine is good enough for 154 bhp of power. The vehicle combines both ride comfort and driveability in equal measures.
The petrol CVT version comes for Rs 28 lakh and the diesel version is Rs 30 lakh. The AWD diesel model is available at around Rs 33 lakh.