But Stephen Collins, Honda’s local director, has stopped short of saying the new CR-V will outsell Mazda‘s second-generation CX-5 crossover.
“The volume they’re doing is consistently 1500 or more a month, I think, so I think for us to get in amongst the top, I’m not saying we’re aiming for the very top, but I think amongst the top, we’d want to be doing around 1000 a month, that sort of number.” Mr Collins revealed as a sales target for the new model.
To get there, the new CR-V is likely to arrive with a choice of engines including a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol unit, or a more powerful 1.5 litre turbo engine with a model strategy that follows the lead set by the two-engine Civic sedan range.
“We will expand the appeal of the car, and our goal really, is to get CR-V back amongst the top players in the SUV segment. I think it’s very similar to what we’ve done with Civic,” Collins says.
Mr Collins also confirmed that diesel would no longer form a part of the CR-V’s sales mix, saying “we’ve got no plan for diesel in CR-V full-stop at this time”.
A choice of front and all-wheel-drive traction will be offered, though the model mix may be skewed in favour of front-wheel drive, with all-wheel-drive reserved for top-spec models.
“The numbers clearly show that two wheel drive is where the segment growth is by a long, long way, but still there’s a big chunk of all wheel drive there, so again covering a lot of bases is what is important to us with CR-V,” Collis says.
When asked about the possibility of adding a seven-seat model to the CR-V range, Collins was unable to give an official response, saying only that the company “will expand the appeal of the car”.
More information about the CR-V range in Australia is expected to be released closer to the new model launch in the third quarter of 2017.