Arguably one of the stalwarts of the crossover sector, Honda’s CR-V has been the sensible family choice since its inception back in 1995. It may not be one of the most exciting vehicles on the market, however it does most things fairly well and a minor redesign for the 3rd-gen model in 2015 has helped keep it competitive.
Nevertheless that doesn’t mean Honda is sitting back and watching its product become stale, as recently spotted test mules and reports indicate than an all-new redesigned CR-V is just around the corner. So let’s peel back the camouflage and take an illustrated look at what to expect.
As with the departing CR-V, initial impressions are that stylists have again played it safe – which is to be expected for one of Honda’s volume-selling models. There is clear brand DNA with Honda’s ‘winged’ grille and intersecting LED headlamps – just think of a Jazz on steroids. Partial scollops cut into the lower front doors, whilst large fender flares and strong shoulder lines exude a more sharper appearance. Rear styling is curiously similar to Mitsubishi’s Challenger/Pajero Sport SUV, with a rear pillar up-kink and vertical tail lights.
Four-cylinder petrol engines will dominate the line up; so cue either a 1.5-liter turbo or a normally aspirated 2.4-liter as per the current CR-V. There have also been whispers of a plugin hybrid version; a 2.0-liter, four cylinder mated to a couple of electric motors would serve as an eco-conscious choice for buyers.
European markets are expected to still be offered a diesel variant – whether this is a carry-over unit is yet to be confirmed. Front wheel drive and a continuously variable transmission will be standard, with all wheel drive an option.
New underpinnings and bigger footprint
The next CR-V will be based on the latest modular Civic platform, growing in size, allowing for improved interior packaging and potentially both 5 and 7-seat configurations. Interior styling and materials are to get a boost in perceived quality – not that the current car is bad, it just lacks flair. A plethora of new driver-assist and tech goodies will appear, as will a redesigned infotainment system.
Competitive crossover alternatives
One of the current class-leaders; Mazda’s CX5, offers good looks and nimble handling, however it can’t match the Honda in sales. Then there is Ford’s equally impressive Escape, Hyundai’s Tucson, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Toyota Rav 4 and Subaru’s ageing Forester.
The CR-V is expected to launch in 2017 worldwide, with North America getting it as an MY2018.
Final thoughts; would you consider Honda’s next CR-V over the competition? Share your views in the comments below.
By Josh Byrnes
Photo Renderings Copyright Carscoops / Josh Byrnes