THE 2017 Honda CR-V will add an optional third row of seats and switch its petrol engine over to a turbocharged 1.5-litre unit as part of a generational leap for the mid-size SUV.
Due on sale here in July, the engine will produce 140kW and 240Nm – significantly more power and torque than the current 114kW/190Nm 2.0-litre, and a slight improvement on the 140kW/222Nm 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine used in higher-priced CR-V models.
However, CR-Vs using the 1.5-litre four-pot will dump the SUV’s traditional five-speed torque converter – and potentially the six-speed manual – for a continuously variable transmission. Honda’s terrific and torquey 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine fitted with the nine-speed automatic also didn’t get a mention.
The jump to a seven-seat capacity, via a 40mm longer wheelbase than the car it replaces, is a big change for the fifth-generation Honda CR-V, which is built on an all-new scalable platform shared with the Civic small hatch and sedan range. It features MacPherson struts up front and an independent multi-link system down the rear, all using low-friction dampers.
Honda claims both FWD and AWD models use tubular front and solid rear stabiliser bars that promote quick turn-in and flatter cornering, vastly improving the CR-V’s handling when compared with the one it replaces.
“For Australia, the Honda CR-V will be a significant player in the medium SUV segment,” Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said.
“As well as the VTEC turbo engine line-up across the range, family buyers will also appreciate the versatility afforded by being able to choose between five- or seven-seat models.”