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Old 13th March 2019, 13:21   #1
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Default Honda CR-V : Official Review

The Honda CR-V is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 28.25 - 32.75 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• New, sharper design has a wider appeal vs the previous-gen car
• Interior quality has taken a huge leap forward and is at par with European competitors
• Spacious cabin for 5. 7-seats available for added practicality
• The CR-V finally gets a diesel engine, that too with a 9-speed ZF AT!
• Sorted dynamics & car-like mannerisms
• Features such as the lane change camera, digital cockpit, push-button gear selector, panoramic sunroof & more

What you won't:

• Simply overpriced for what it offers!
• Small 1.6L diesel in a 30-lakh car. 9-speed AT deserves a more powerful motor
• 3rd row is best suited to kids only
• Some omissions such as front parking sensors, electronic tailgate operation etc.
• 7-seater variant only offered with the diesel
• Just 150 liters of boot space if 3rd-row seat is being used

This review has been jointly compiled with Vid6639. Thanks to him for the expert observations!

Last edited by GTO : 14th March 2019 at 10:06.
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Old 13th March 2019, 13:21   #2
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Review Index:

Interior - Front

Interior - Rear

Interior - 3rd Row

In-Car Entertainment

Driving the 1.6L Diesel AT AWD

Ride & Handling

Other Points

Smaller yet Significant Things

Last edited by Aditya : 13th March 2019 at 14:01.
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Old 13th March 2019, 13:21   #3
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Honda has been selling the CR-V globally since 1997. In 2003, the second-generation CR-V was launched in India and at one point in time, it was the best-selling luxury SUV in the country. However, rising fuel prices and the advent of diesel SUVs from competitors meant that the CR-V faded away into oblivion. The third-generation CR-V was a big step up from the second-generation and started off well. But, even that couldn't do much to garner sales. Honda tried to resuscitate the CR-V in 2013 by assembling the fourth-generation version locally, but the lack of a diesel engine as well as quirky rear end styling meant that it pretty much sank without a trace.

Honda's fourth attempt with the CR-V is a lot more comprehensive. For starters, there's a diesel engine on offer, that too with an automatic transmission. And it's not the usual Honda CVT but a 9-speed ZF unit (more on the reliability later). You even get the option of an all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive with the diesel. Honda hasn't forgotten the petrol, but this one that has now taken a back seat. You get the smaller 2.0L engine (no 2.4L on offer) mated to a CVT unit driving only the front wheels. What sets it apart is that the diesel comes with 7 seats but the petrol is available only as a 5-seater.

The CR-V hasn't really grown much when it comes to dimensions. It's around 2 inches longer than before and 1.5 inches wider. It's the smallest 7-seater SUV in the segment, which contains the Skoda Kodiaq and the big daddies - the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. It doesn't have the same imposing presence as the other 3. Where the CR-V has really improved is in terms of features and quality of materials. This is especially apparent when you step inside the car. The CR-V gets LED headlights, foglamps, panoramic sunroof, reversing camera, lane change camera on the left, touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, auto headlamps and wipers among other features. While a couple of the features mentioned are segment-firsts, there are some that are missing. Among these are front parking sensors, electric adjustment for the front passenger seat and electronic tailgate which the car's competitors get. Even then, none of these are deal breakers and the CR-V comes across as well-equipped.

In terms of safety, Honda has equipped the CR-V with 6 airbags, VSA (vehicle stability assist), hill hold assist, auto brake hold, driver attention monitor as well as a lane watch camera on the left ORVM that shows you what's in the left lane on the infotainment screen.

When it comes to pricing vs bang for buck, the CR-V misses out. Honda have priced it higher than what it should have been. The CR-V is the smallest in dimensions, has the smallest engine (1.6L diesel vs 3.2L in the Endeavour!) and loses out on a few features. But, when it comes to pricing, it's at par with the Fortuner and Endeavour. Only the Kodiaq is priced higher, but the Skoda also offers a lot more. It looks like Honda almost followed the strategy that Toyota had for the Yaris. The Yaris too was a smaller car with lesser performance, but it had good features and was well built. However, we all know what has happened with the Yaris. I would have thought Honda would go really aggressive with the CR-V and offset it with the Civic later on, since the SUV segment is the one that is leading the roost in India and everyone wants a piece of it. As it stands, the capable CR-V is not seeing the numbers it deserves thanks to the optimistic pricing. Had the CR-V been priced lower, it would have been a worthy competitor to the VW Tiguan and would even attract Hyundai Tucson and Jeep Compass buyers.

Honda CR-V : Official Review-crv.png

The CR-V for its size is pretty hefty, weighing in at 1.7 tonnes for the diesel AWD variant. The petrol CVT 2WD is almost 200 kg lighter. What this translates to is good build quality overall. While it doesn't have the same solid feel as the Skoda or VW, it does not feel light like a Japanese car. The CR-V is a proper Honda and doesn't compare with the other Hondas on sale when it comes to build quality. You can see that the CR-V is a global product and not one for developing markets. Doors open and close with a weighted feel, panels hardly flex when pushed with a thumb and there are no glaring panel gaps.

Front end is unmistakably Honda with a large chrome grille flanked by slim all-LED headlamps on either side. The styling is mostly inoffensive and the target audience will not find fault with the overall design. There is a silver skid plate at the bottom of the bumper as well as LED foglamps:

The rear too gets chrome treatment, but it's much more subtle than the front. The "H" logo sits in the middle of the chrome strip that runs across the tailgate above the tail-lamps. The large L-shaped tail-lamps themselves look awfully familiar to a certain Swedish SUV:

The CR-V has grown in length by 26 mm to 4,571 mm and its wheelbase has also gone up by 40 mm to 2,660 mm compared to the old car. On the whole, it maintains similar styling to the previous-generation car. It is difficult to mistake this crossover for anything other than a CR-V:

The CR-V looks the best from this angle. The muscular wheel arches give it a butch stance. Notice the prominent crease starting from the front bumper and running along the sides, below the windows all the way to the rear:

The CR-V gets large wraparound tail-lamps and a roof-spoiler with a shark fin antenna at the top. The window line gets a chrome garnish, which is thicker towards the rear quarter glass. The doors too get a chrome strip at the bottom that tapers towards the rear bumper:

All-LED headlamp looks neat! The headlamps have a lot of detailing elements. Notice that the chrome grille actually cuts into the headlamp cluster. The L-shaped DRL runs below the chrome strip while the top edge of the headlamp has an LED turn-indicator:

A look at the headlamp cluster with the turn-indicator and the DRL turned on:

The LED foglamps are housed low down on the bumper and surrounded in chrome. Below the foglamp you can see a vent, which is present only in the diesel for letting air into the intercooler behind. The vent is only on the left side and the right side is blanked out. The petrol gets a different chrome garnish since there's no vent needed:

The front grille consists of two large chrome inserts with the "H" badge in the middle, and a piano black lower portion. The upper chrome strip merges into the headlights:

Air dam gets a hexagonal grille with a silver skid plate below:

The portion on the right diverts air into the intake. This arrangement ensures that the engine always gets the best air from the front of the car:

198 mm of ground clearance is ample. The undercarriage is protected by a hard plastic skid plate covering the engine section:

Clamshell bonnet gets unconventional inverted V-shaped character lines:

Front wheel wells get full claddings...

... so do the rear ones:

Dual tone 18-inch alloy wheels are shod with 235/60 Michelin Primacy 3ST rubber. Despite the larger rims, the tall 60 profile of the tyre gives the CR-V a good ride:

Like the front wheels, the back wheels get an aero flap in front of them:

ORVMs get a slim integrated turn-indicator:

Passenger-side ORVM gets the blindspot camera. The camera turns on automatically when you activate the left turn indicator. Pretty nifty feature to have once you get used to it. However, in case of a brush with another motorist, be prepared to shell out big bucks for a replacement:

Door handles get request sensors on all four doors. Only the driver's door gets a keyhole:

Glass house is large and aids in giving an airy feeling inside. Even the third row has a good amount of light coming in. It's another matter that it's best for children only:

The CR-V gets a panoramic sunroof that opens from the front:

Wind deflector rises when the sunroof opens:

Towards the back of the roof is this shark fin antenna:

Side cladding on the bottom of the doors gets a chrome insert:

What's interesting is that the cladding wraps around the side and there's no running board visible when the doors are closed. This means no dirty trousers when getting down. Other cars which I noticed this in were the Tata Harrier and Land Rover Discovery Sport:

Two-piece tail-lamps are huge and as mentioned before, resemble a much more expensive Swedish brand's signature tail-lamps:

Rear bumper gets a dual-tone black and silver finish. It houses reflectors at both ends while a single exhaust peeks from the right side:

Large CR-V badging on the left side...

... while the engine and AWD badges are on the right side:

Reversing camera is neatly mounted on top of the number plate:

Rear gets a single tow-hook in the center:

A comparo pic with the Hyundai Santa Fe. The Santa Fe is marginally longer, but it's beginning to show its age:

The Kodiaq too is bigger than the CR-V, but follows a more boxy and traditional design language:

Last edited by Aditya : 13th March 2019 at 14:26.
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Interior - Front

The front doors open in a triple-stage action. They have a nice weight to them but don't necessarily feel heavy. Ingress & egress are good thanks to narrow door sills. Seats are placed at the right height and there is sufficient headroom, legroom and shoulder room.

The higher crossover seating position offers good frontal and side visibility, but rearward visibility isn't great thanks to the thick D-pillars.

The dashboard gets an all-black theme with faux wood and piano black inserts. While the seats and part of the door pads are beige, the lower parts of the cabin including the carpets are black. As a result, it doesn't look like a sea of white and is not likely to get soiled easily. Black carpets are always easier to maintain than light-coloured ones.

Overall interior quality of the CR-V is a big step up from the previous-gen car. It feels much more premium with the use of soft touch plastics, faux wood inserts, brushed aluminium bits, piano black elements and leather. Fit and finish of the plastics is also good and this feels like a proper global product from Honda. Most of the surfaces that one is likely to touch or rest his hands on, get either leather or soft touch plastics. Overall, the quality of the materials used is superior to the likes of the Ford Endeavour and the Toyota Fortuner.

Features like the 12-way electrically adjustable driver's seat, large storage bin in the center console (thanks to the dashboard mounted gear lever (or buttons)) and rear roof AC vents (in the diesel) are useful. There are plenty of connectivity / charging options including multiple USB, 12V sockets and an HDMI port as well. Most of the controls are placed where you want them to be and all the switches and buttons have a good feel, quality and finish to them.

Black and beige interior colour scheme looks welcoming. Dashboard is logically laid out. Ergonomics are spot on:

The seating position is car-like. You sit higher than in a sedan, but much lower than a traditional body-on-frame SUV:

Leather-wrapped steering wheel feels good to hold. The buttons are easily accessible and the contours are perfectly positioned:

Left side has the media and phone controls, while the buttons on the right are for the cruise control:

Black paddle shifters are not large, but easy to operate and make a clicking sound when used:

The right (upshift) paddle gets tactile lines at the back to make it easy to recognise, while the left (downshift) paddle has a plain surface:

Zooming in to show you the stitching pattern of the steering:

Left stalk handles the wiper functions including the rear wiper and the sensitivity of the intermittent wiper sensor. The right stalk has controls for the headlamps and foglamps. Automatic headlamps are standard on all variants of the CR-V. The stalks feel solid and long-lasting, but not premium:

On the side of the indicator stalk is this button to operate the lane watch camera system (more on that later):

The steering is adjustable for reach and rake with a healthy range:

The CR-V gets an all-digital instrument cluster split into 3 parts. There's no analogue dial even for the temperature or fuel gauges. The center part of the cluster houses a colour LCD screen that displays the tachometer on top, speedometer in the center and MID below it. The temperature gauge and fuel gauge are located on the left and right side respectively. The warning lights are on the extreme sides of the cluster:

Start the car and you are welcomed with this screen. The tacho does a full sweep and so do the temperature and fuel gauges:

Ugly stalk for resetting and changing the trip meters looks out of place in a 30-lakh rupee car:

The MID shows low fuel warning, a green light on top when driven economically, accessory mode alert, warnings like fasten seatbelt (both driver and co-driver), H logo on start up and a press brake to start engine alert:

The font size is large and easy to read. The MID also alerts for driver attention levels based on steering input. There are 2 trip meters and notice the current gear indicator on the left of the speedometer. S1 and S2 appear when the paddles are used with the car in the "S" mode:

Other details in the MID include indicators for "ECON" mode, brake hold function requirements and status along with door ajar warning:

Engine start / stop button glows red when the engine is off:

It turns white when the engine is running:

Side air-con vents get an aluminium insert on 3 sides and has air volume and direction controllers:

Small cubby on the right side to hold coins and other small items:

Underside is neat and tidy with no loose wires. There is a fuse box (with spare fuses on the left) and a white OBD port:

Bonnet & fuel lid release levers placed near the drivers footwell below the dash:

Black doorpads won't get dirty easily. There is a beige leather insert to match the seats where you rest your arm and a faux wood panel that matches with the dash:

Brushed aluminium door handle feels solid; the lock button on the top doesn't affect the other doors:

Quality of materials is once again top-notch. The armrest feels soft and the faux wood insert adds a touch of class. Even the black portion on top of the wood insert is leather. The interiors have taken a huge leap forward in terms of quality and feel:

Switchgear includes mirror controls, window controls and a central door lock / unlock button. These are housed in a piano black insert:

The padded armrest could get soiled over time, but should be easy to clean (definitely better than light-coloured carpets):

The door pockets can accommodate a 1L bottle vertically and another one lying down behind it (or an umbrella or safety baton):

Well-sized seats are contoured and very comfortable to sit in. They offer good support and are firm enough to be supportive over longer drives. The healthy side bolsters could be slightly uncomfortable for those with larger body frames:

Only the driverís seat gets electrical adjustment:

In a 30-lakh car, it is unacceptable that the driver gets electrical seat adjustment while the passenger gets only manual adjustment (the Kodiaq gets electric seats with memory for the passenger too!):

Fore & aft travel range is healthy:

The height adjustment is also sufficient:

A closer look at the perforated leather upholstery. The quality of the upholstery is good:

Large armrest is covered in leather and can slide forward:

Front seatbelts are height adjustable:

Even the driver gets a grab handle:

Spacious footwell gets a large brake pedal. The dead pedal features a rubber pad stuck on to the carpet. It works well and is perfectly positioned to rest your left foot:

Both sides of the center console get a padded insert so that the driver's and front passenger's knees gets soft spots to rest on:

ORVMs are large and offer good visibility:

IRVM gets auto-dimming function and is large enough to cover the entire rear windshield:

Rear visibility is poor due to the tapering third-row windows and thick D-pillars. Further, with all occupants seated and the headrests raised, it gets even worse. You have to rely on the parking sensors and the camera when reversing:

Center fascia features a matte textured touchscreen infotainment system, climate control console and the dashboard-mounted gear selector buttons. It is slightly tilted towards the driver:

Like the side air-con vents, the center ones get a brushed aluminium border. However, they do not get air volume controllers. All variants get a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Its covered in detail in a separate post:

The CR-V gets a dual-zone climate control. Buttons for the system are located below the touchscreen. As there is no separate screen for the climate control unit, the main screen is used to display its functions. Press any button and an alert pops up on the screen:

The blower and temperature knobs get a nice knurled texture:

Gear selector system is unconventional, but works well. I was apprehensive about it to start with, but it is well-designed. The park button will work only with the brake pedal depressed. Ditto for reverse, which gets a pull-down button. Neutral and D/S can be used on the go. The lights beside the P, R & N buttons come on when the gear is selected. On the right side is the electronic parking brake and auto hold switch. On the left is the switch for the ECON mode:

Center console gets wooden inserts along the borders:

Small cubby in the front with a 12V socket. It has a rubber base:

Two decent-sized cupholders. Even these get a rubber base:

Here is the armrest in the fully retracted position and then opened up to reveal a large storage space inside:

The L-shaped insert seen above is detachable and can be positioned in different ways depending on the need. It's pretty neat and liberates a large space when removed. It makes the central storage large enough to accommodate even a ladies purse:

Storage bin under the armrest has an HDMI port, 2 USB ports and another 12V socket:

Passenger side of the dashboard gets soft touch plastic separated by a piano black insert. There's a wooden insert below:

Illuminated glovebox appears fairly large from the outside, but the actual storage space is very small - just enough to hold the car's documents and manual (Note the light was not working in our test car):

Both sunvisors get vanity mirrors with lights:

Roof bezel has controls for the sunroof, cabin lamps as well as individual map lights and the Bluetooth microphone:

Nifty sunglass holder gets soft felt lining to reduce the odds of scratching your shades:

Sunglass holder doubles up as a conversation mirror - handy when having a talk with rear passengers or keeping an eye on the kids:

Total of 6 airbags including dual front airbags, side airbags...

Ö and curtain airbags in the A-pillars...

... and B-pillars:

Last edited by Aditya : 13th March 2019 at 13:25.
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Interior - Rear

The rear doors of the CR-V open wide in a triple-stage action. They open at nearly a 90-degree angle to make ingress & egress easier. Being a monocoque crossover, you don't have to climb into it like the body-on-frame SUVs. The wide doors, easy ingress and lower height make the CR-V one of the easiest cars to get in and out of. Senior citizens will greatly appreciate this trait:

There is sufficient space between the seat and B-pillar to move your feet when getting in or out:

Rear doorpads get the same black and beige theme with faux wooden inserts as the front. Speaker is mounted in the middle with the tweeter sitting above it. There's no skimping in the quality of materials and you get the same soft touch finish on top of the doorpad. Notice the large window above:

Arm rest area is sufficiently large and gets a padded leather surface:

The door pockets are smaller than the ones at the front, but can hold a 1L bottle as well as other knick-knacks:

Rear seats are split in a 60:40 ratio. In the 7-seater variant (diesel), the seats have fore & aft adjustment. They are fixed in the petrol variant (5-seater). The rear bench is wide enough for three adults, but the middle occupant will have to contend with the raised seat base as well as the protrusion in the back due to the armrest and a prominent floor hump. The seats have good cushioning and are comfortable for both short and long distance journeys:

All three occupants get an adjustable headrest and 3-point seatbelts:

The fore & aft travel range is quite long. With the seats set all the way back, legroom is very generous:

The seats are comfortable even for a 6-footer like me. With the front seat in my driving position, I had a couple of inches of knee room to spare:

Surprisingly, it's the headroom that's tight due to the sunroof and the roof-mounted air-con vents:

Second row backrests can be reclined or folded forward individually:

Armrest gets two cup holders. It is sufficiently wide for both the side occupants to use:

ISOFIX child seat anchors are present on both the outer seats. They are neatly hidden behind a flap:

Individual LED map lights for the middle row:

Rear window doesn't roll down all the way:

Both front seats get somewhat shallow seatback pockets. They are soft-lined on the inside to reduce chances of scratching objects kept inside:

Grab handles get soft closing action and the rear right one gets a coat hook as well:

Rear air-con vents get individual direction controllers and a common air volume controller:

Dual 2.5A USB charging ports for the second row occupants:

Last edited by Aditya : 13th March 2019 at 13:26.
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Interior - 3rd Row

Pull this strap to fold the backrest and tumble the seat forward. The operation is supposed to be a one-step effort, but takes some getting used to:

Getting into the CR-V's 3rd row seats is not easy for adults. It requires a few yoga sessions to contort your body. The only solace is that the second row seats slide forward and tumble over, making things a little easier:

Small grab handle behind the door to hold on to while getting in and out of the third row:

Since there's no side step, you have to climb in using this plastic piece to step on. Forget adults, even kids will find it a task:

Rear seats are split in a 50:50 ratio and can be reclined. They are decently sized, but the problem is...

... that the seat base is very low. This means that the occupants sit in a knees-up position:

With the middle row seats pushed all the way back, there is no legroom at all for the third row. It is essential to maintain good relations with the folks in the middle row to get any usable leg room:

It was a squeeze but I managed to get into the third row. It's very cramped and you are wedged in. Knees point to the sky and anything more than a 5 minute ride is not welcome. The low seat combined with the limited legroom makes sitting in the third row very difficult:

On the left seat, you have to place each feet on either side of the seat rail in front (= not comfortable). Also notice the strap that last row occupants can pull to fold the seat in front (while exiting):

I'm 6' tall and I found the headroom decent. There is a nice scoop in the roof liner to liberate some headroom. However, the air-con vents sit too close to your head and will throw cold air right on your face if not properly adjusted:

Headrests get only 2 positions - fully up or all the way down. When kept in the raised position, the rearward visibility is severely restricted:

Middle seats fold flat for third row occupants to comfortably stretch their legs and place them on the seat-back infront:

Triangular window is on the smaller side and contributes to making the last row feel claustrophobic:

A foldable cupholder is provided on both sides so you can keep your drink secure. They can hold a 1L bottle each. The plastic surface can be used as an armrest:

Top tether points for the middle row child seats are mounted above the rear windshield. This renders the last row unusable if any child seat is installed:

Large sunroof makes the cabin feel airy, but doesn't cover the third row:

The CR-V gets quad roof-mounted air-con vents with a 4-speed fan control. They help in cooling the cabin in no time. While they are mainly for the third row, the front 2 vents blow cool air onto the backs of the second row occupants and really help in peak summer. These vents are available only on the diesel variant:

Boot space with all seats erected is a paltry 150 liters. Also note that taller bags will not fit due to the sloping hatch. While it's not completely unusable, it is definitely better than an XUV500:

5-seater petrol CR-V gets 522 liters of luggage space:

Pull this strap to fold the backrest forward:

Folding the third row backrests gives 472 liters of space. Boot floor has two levels of adjustment and one can get a flat loading bay when it is fitted at the higher level and the seats are folded down:

With the third row seats folded and the middle row tumbled forward, total luggage space is increased to 936 liters:

Third row seats can be tumbled forward by pulling this orange tab. They are heavy and require some effort to lift:

Strap hooks on to the headrest of the middle row seat and holds the third row seats in tumbled position:

Once lifted, they reveal a full-size alloy spare wheel. Tools are neatly stored in a Styrofoam casing, which sits in the spare wheel. Toolkit includes a tow hook, wrench and jack lever. Jack is placed beside the spare wheel:

Seatbelts can be parked in this slot when you want to fold or tumble the seats forward:

Tailgate is not electrically operated like in some similarly priced SUVs. You have to use a handle to pull down the tailgate to close it:

Tailgate gets full black cover on the inside. No ugly bits sticking out anywhere:

Small boot lamp can be manually turned on or off:

Last edited by Aditya : 13th March 2019 at 13:27.
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In-Car Entertainment

The CR-V comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system:

On start-up, you are greeted by the Honda logo:

This annoying warning comes up every time after starting the system and will continue to be present till you dismiss it by clicking OK:

Music is played through a tweeter on each of the 4 doors...

... along with a mid-bass speaker also on all 4 doors (for a total of 8 speakers):

The touch screen gets a matte texture which minimises glare. The resolution is quite good. Notice the 5 capacitive buttons on the right - Home, Audio, Telephone, Back and Display day / night option:

Apple CarPlay is available...

... and now it comes with Google Maps:

Android Auto is also provided:

Implementation of Google Maps is better on Android Auto compared with Apple CarPlay - it is exactly the same as you would use on your smartphone:

Music source consists of FM, AM, USB, Bluetooth, iPod, Smartphone, Audio Apps and HDMI:

Now playing screen displays the album, song, artist as well as the source. Pause, Next and Previous buttons provided below:

Connected device can also be navigated for folders...

... as well as playlists (if already present):

Sound settings include the usual Bass, Mid and Treble...

... as well as Fader and Balance options:

The speed dependent volume can be set to low, medium or high and can be turned off altogether as well:

Info menu consists of Trip Computer, Clock / Wallpaper settings and device information:

The trip computer reveals not just the current distance and fuel economy but also the previous 3 distances. The history can be deleted as well:

Wallpaper / Clock settings can be configured from here. The current wallpaper and clock is displayed:

The settings include clock adjustment, format (12/24 hrs), Clock on/off and the overlay clock position (the one seen on the upper right of the screen):

Selected wallpaper can be previewed before confirming:

System and device information (if connected) can be seen from this menu:

It displays the device version and the device number:

When connected via Bluetooth, speed dials can be configured:

The system syncs your phone's call history as well and displays it on the infotainment screen:

Phone menu consists of Speed Dial, Redial, Phonebook, Dial pad and Call History:

The dialler gets decently sized buttons and legible font. Of course, we don't recommend using it on the move:

Pick up the phone when connected to the system and it can be switched to private mode - the call will go through the phone and not through the car speakers:

Phone settings include Bluetooth devices, Speed Dial edit, Phone sync and Ring tone when a call comes through:

The settings menu can access different options across Clock, Info, Phone, Audio, Camera, System, Bluetooth / Wi-Fi, Vehicle and Smartphone:

Audio settings get the device list, Cover art and Audio source pop up options. At the top, same settings for a Bluetooth device can also be adjusted. Video option is blanked out till you connect an HDMI device:

Camera options can adjust the lane watch and the rear backup cameras:

You can also adjust the Home screen order, instrument panel configuration, display settings and background colour:

Touch panel sensitivity, guidance volume, voice recognition volume, beep volume and the clock type can be adjusted from this menu:

Last of the settings are for changing skin of the system, reset to factory, screen out time and more information about the system:

The car also gets Wi-Fi, but it can be only used to connect to another hotspot for software update and features that require internet access:

Individual settings for the Driver assist, Meter, keyless access, lights and door / window can also be adjusted from the screen:

Driver attention can be set to Off (not recommended), Tactile and Tactile + Audio alert. The car detects drowsiness based on steering input:

Home screen can be customized for apps and widgets just like your smartphone:

Some of the pre-loaded apps include App installer, Browser, Calculator , Downloads, Gallery and Search...

... while only 2 widgets are available:

We dug deeper into the menu options and surprisingly, found that it runs off Android 4.2.2:

We even managed to load the Team-BHP website on it - works only at stand still though:

One more feature of the system is the ability to show turn by turn navigation on the instrument panel. The settings come up when you start Google Maps navigation for the first time:

It shows the distance to the next step along with the action needed (straight / roundabout / turn etc.):

Reverse Camera gets multiple views - here it is in the wide angle mode:

Tap the buttons on the bottom left to adjust the views. The middle icon represents the straight back view:

The final view is for checking out objects closest to the car, as well as aligning the car perfectly in your parking spot:

Lane watch camera can be triggered either by flicking the left indicator or by pressing the button on the stalk. While I initially felt it was a gimmick, using it on the highways and in the city for some time convinced me that it is a very useful feature, especially while driving such a large car:

Last edited by Aditya : 13th March 2019 at 13:28.
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Old 13th March 2019, 13:21   #8
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Driving the 1.6L Diesel AT AWD

1.6L diesel puts out 118 BHP & 300 Nm:

The Honda CR-V is powered by a 1.6L, 4-cylinder i-Dtec 'Earth Dreams' diesel engine, which is paired to a 9-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Power is transferred to the front wheels if you opt for the two-wheel drive variant. We tested the all-wheel drive variant, which has an on-demand all-wheel drive system. The diesel engine shares its block with the 1.5L diesel found in the City and Amaze. We can say that the 1.5L engine is a lower displacement version of this 1.6L engine. This unit is an international engine, but the 1.5L motor is India-specific and made to suit our tax norms. The oil-burner produces 118 BHP (@ 4,000 rpm) and 300 Nm of torque (@ 2,000 rpm) in the CR-V. Straight away, these numbers look disappointing on paper for a 7-seater SUV weighing in at 1.7 tons. What's more disheartening is that there's a twin-turbo unit available in international markets, which makes 158 BHP and 350 Nm of torque, which is 40 BHP and 50 Nm more. Considering the high price of the CR-V and the fact that the competition offers 2.0L and even 3.2L engines with 200 BHP, Honda should have offered the higher 158 BHP tune in India as standard. The 158 BHP version of the engine is even locally manufactured, which means costs can be kept in check.

The CR-V AWD weighs in at a hefty 1,725 kg, giving it a power to weight ratio of 68 BHP / ton and torque to weight ratio of 174 Nm / ton. These are among the lowest figures in the segment. Add in 7 passengers and you're looking at an engine and gearbox combo that has its work cut out.

The 9-speed AT gearbox (ZF 9HP) is manufactured by ZF Friedrichshafen. It can handle torque of between 280 Nm and 480 Nm. It is suitable for front engined, front-wheel drive as well as all-wheel drive layouts. The company claims that it delivers 16% higher fuel efficiency than their 8-speed unit. It made its debut with Land Rover and Jeep at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. At present, it is being used in cars such as the Fiat 500X, Honda CR-V, Pilot and Odyssey, Jeep Compass, Renegade and Cherokee, Land Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport and Jaguar E-Pace among others. The gearbox is claimed to have some of the latest technology available and expectedly, it has been facing reliability issues in other markets. There have been some complaints regarding slow shifting and noisy operation which ZF has claimed, are software problems and not mechanical issues. Long term reliability remains unknown and we will have to wait for ownership reviews to pass a judgement.

Press the engine start / stop button keeping the brake pedal pressed and you are greeted by a diesel thrum. The NVH levels in the CR-V with the Earth Dreams engine is far superior to the City, Amaze or Jazz. Honda has beefed up the insulation considerably. However, you don't associate a diesel thrum with the CR-V since the car has always had silky smooth petrol power. Once the engine is turned on, the next surprise is the gear selection. There's no gear lever, just buttons marked P, R, N & D/S on the center fascia. While some might not appreciate the unconventional buttons for gear selection, I actually found the arrangement very intuitive once I got the hang of it. While P and N are of one size and shape, the D/S button is a bigger and more pronounced that's easy to find. The R button is sunk in and needs to be pulled up like a power window switch. This means you will never engage R by mistake. The CR-V also gets paddle shifters behind the steering wheel. Manual mode can be engaged by pulling these paddle shifters. This mode is useful when you need engine braking. To go back in to D/S mode from manual, just toggle the D/S button on the console. Manual mode also holds the gear and will not upshift even after reaching the redline. Ultimately, it will upshift on its own at 4,250 rpm. It will also automatically downshift if the rpms fall too low.

For pottering around town the D mode is sufficient. Lift off the brake pedal and the car crawls at a speed of 7 km/h. The AWD is also quicker off the line thanks to the system sending power to all four wheels when moving off from a standstill. The car moves off with no drama and you know it will be at home in the city. The high seating position and the good visibility will be appreciated when driving. It's only after the rev counter crosses 3,000 rpm that the engine note gets louder. There is no point revving this engine post 4,000 rpm. Vibrations are kept in check even at high rpm. ECO mode is also available, however, that severely dumbs down the engine and is not recommended for use if you need to move briskly.

In terms of driving on the highway, the engine is barely adequate. Usually on our reviews, we comment that a particular engine deserves a better gearbox. In the case of CR-V, this superb 9AT begs for a more powerful engine. The shifts are almost not noticeable except from the change in the engine note. We also felt that the 9-speed gearbox is, frankly, overkill for this car, especially in India. Consider this, the 9th cog can only be selected at speeds above 140 km/h. I can't think of a road where you could drive this car in top gear. However, thanks to the gearing, this can be a good car to munch miles all day long. The cruising ability of the CR-V, thanks to the 9AT, is outstanding. Yes, you would probably never use the 8th or the 9th cog, but even then, the CR-V is a good highway cruiser. We preferred to keep the car in S mode, which slightly improves the throttle response and holds the gear a little longer than the D mode.

Overtaking is effortless as the gearbox downshifts pretty quickly. Generally, gearboxes hunt for gears or take own their sweet time to jump down a cog. No such problem here. You can also use the paddles to prepare the car for an overtaking move. Do note that at highway speeds, it's best to prepare this car for overtaking as it’s not as quick as you expect.

We also got a chance to drive on a minor hill section. We found that the gearbox struggled at slow speeds as it kept on moving between 2nd and 3rd. At speeds of 20-40 km/h, the gearbox was best kept in the manual mode using the paddle shifters. The 2nd gear appears to be too short, while the 3rd is too high. Note that this was the only time that we encountered a flaw in the gearbox. Otherwise, it was well behaved. Even at low speeds in the city, it was always in the right gear.

Honda brands its diesels under the 'Earth Dreams' name:

Full under bonnet insulation is provided:

Firewall gets a fabric-type insulation sheet:

CR-V gets a plastic skid plate for underbody protection. Given the high ground clearance, the underbody is quite well protected:

ECU is located behind the right headlight. It is well protected from the elements and sits high enough to stay out of harm in case of water logging:

Engine oil dipstick is right next to the hot exhaust, be careful when pulling it out:

Fuse box under the hood comes with minimal fuses...

... while the underside of the lid gets a tool to remove the fuses and 6 slots to house any spare ones:

Intercooler is placed in front of the left wheel arch. These vents open into the wheel well...

... while the intake is from below the front fog lamps. We feel that in the event of a minor bump, the intercooler is prone to damage:

Three "Diesel" stickers - one on the flap and two on the cap serve as a reminder of the CR-V's diet. Remember this is the first diesel CR-V and the local pump attendants would be used to filling petrol only:

Last edited by Jaggu : 13th March 2019 at 16:18.
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Old 13th March 2019, 13:21   #9
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Ride & Handling

The CR-V is equipped with the ubiquitous MacPherson strut suspension at the front and a multilink setup at the rear. The suspension is well tuned and despite the larger 18-inch wheels, the ride quality is plush. The overall tuning of the suspension is biased towards ride quality, which is further helped by the tall 235/60 section Michelin tyres. There is none of the excessive side to side movement which is seen on traditional body-on-frame SUVs like the Fortuner. The CR-V, being a monocoque based on the Civic platform, is more car-like to drive with light controls and predictable dynamics.

At slow speeds, you will rarely hear the suspension thud over large potholes. The suspension goes about doing its job quietly and comfortably. As speeds build up, the ride remains composed and the CR-V feels stable even at triple digit speeds. You do notice the softer edge to the suspension when going over undulations, but it's never wallowy or boat-like. It rides flat and very car-like.

Show the CR-V some corners and it won't shy away from trying and amicably so. There is bound to be some body roll due to its height as well as the 1.7 ton kerb weight, but it's not excessive. Just don't expect a sports sedan-like corner carving ability. The idea is to be smooth and you will be rewarded with a neutral handling crossover that can keep up with sedans. The fat 235 mm rubber along with the multilink rear suspension ensures that there are no heart-in-mouth moments during quick lane changes or fast turns.

The EPS has a steering rack with a variable ratio that keeps it light at city speeds and weighs up nicely at higher speeds. The turning radius of 5.5 meters might prove tricky in some instances like making a U-turn on a 2-lane road, but is manageable in the city in general. At high speeds, the steering weighs up adequately. It's a typical EPS unit, but enthusiasts will find the feedback poor.

The AWD's 198 mm ground clearance is sufficient and the car never bottomed out anywhere - even when we took the CR-V into a field to shoot. The car should be able to tackle most road conditions in India with ease. However, don't expect the CR-V to be as capable at off-roading as some other SUVs.

Braking is par for the course, thanks to the use of disc brakes all-round. The pedal offers good feedback and you know exactly how much to depress the pedal for the required braking. At highway speeds, brake hard and the car feels stable, maintaining its composure well. Even with a full load, we expect the brakes to perform well. ABS + EBD, vehicle stability assist, agile handling assist, and hill start assist are offered as standard.

Last edited by Aditya : 13th March 2019 at 13:30.
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Old 13th March 2019, 13:22   #10
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Other Points

• The CR-V was unveiled in India at the 2018 Auto Expo.

• The Auto Expo car had black interiors, powered tailgate and front passenger electric seat adjustment, but no sunroof. The production-spec car got the sunroof but missed on the others!

• Honda should have gotten the new 1.5L turbo petrol engine instead of the 2.0L naturally aspirated unit. At a time when everyone is moving to lower displacement engines, there's no excuse why a manufacturer that is known for the cutting edge technology in petrol engines is giving us an older and underpowered engine.

BHPian Sahil says that his father, who uses a W222 S-Class, feels that the CR-V's suspension is at par with the Mercs and in fact, better in some conditions.

• Doors get walk-away lock feature. With the keys in your pocket, simply walk away from the car and it locks automatically. Pretty nifty!

• Fuel tank capacity = 57 liters.

• ARAI ratings: Petrol 2WD - 14.4 km/l; Diesel 2WD - 19.5 km/l; Diesel AWD - 18.3 km/l. Expect single digit FE figures for the petrol especially in the city.

• Honda offers a 3 years / unlimited km warranty on the CR-V. It can be extended to the 4th and 5th years.

• Service interval is 1 year / 10,000 km.

• Apart from the Golden Brown Metallic colour of our test car, the CR-V is available in 4 more shades - White Orchid Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic, Radiant Red and Lunar Silver Metallic. You can see these shades in the opening picture of this report.

• The Honda CR-V e-brochure can be viewed here - Honda CR-V.pdf

Disclaimer : Honda invited Team-BHP for the CR-V test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by aah78 : 13th March 2019 at 17:48. Reason: Duplicate phrase removed.
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Old 13th March 2019, 13:22   #11
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Smaller yet Significant Things

Take a look at the colours offered on the CR-V. From left to right - White Orchid Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic, Golden Brown Metallic, Lunar Silver Metallic and Radiant Red:

57-liter fuel tank is placed ahead of the rear axle. It is too small for a 7-seater. Even some 5-seater SUVs get larger tanks:

Recommended tyre pressure is 33 and 30 psi for the front and rear tyres respectively with a maximum load of 3 occupants and luggage and 34 and 36 psi for the front and rear tyre respectively when fully loaded:

Good decision to offer black carpets and floor mats in India. They are much easier to clean and maintain. The driver's side mat is held in place by 2 mounting points:

Nope, this is not a center speaker. Just a dummy grille on the dashboard:

Neat! The green "A" warning lamp comes on whenever the automatic brake hold is engaged while the "Brake Hold" warning lamp above it comes on when you activate the automatic brake hold:

Audible speed warnings at 80 km/h and 120 km/h are provided in the CR-V. While the continuous beep at 120 km/h makes sense, the one at 80 km/h sounds once in 60 seconds and can get irritating. Thankfully it is mild:

Try accessing some menu options when the car is moving and this error pops up:

While the diesels get a regular key with the lock and unlock buttons, the petrol gets a remote engine start button extra. You can start the car from the lobby and the air-con should cool the cabin by the time you reach it:

No vent below the fog lamp in the petrol variant:

Last edited by Aditya : 13th March 2019 at 14:42.
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Old 13th March 2019, 14:04   #12
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Default Re: Honda CR-V : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 13th March 2019, 14:54   #13
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Default Re: Honda CR-V : Official Review

Rated 5* for the awesome review. Nice work blackwasp as usual.

About the product, 1.6L in CR-V is simply not done, especially with such hefty kerb weight. It deserves 2L unit. With 2L unit this would have been a great highway cruiser. I wouldn't put 30L+ in a car which is going to struggle with full load. This I believe is a miss from Honda India.

Now for the review, I really waited for the review for Petrol CR-V but really sad to see it is not reviewed. Any idea when can we have the official review of Petrol?
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Old 13th March 2019, 16:19   #14
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Default Re: Honda CR-V : Official Review

A very well detailed review. Rated 5 stars.
Awful pricing for an otherwise brilliant car. 1.6L isnt justified for a car of this size.
Petrol must be a better option than diesel.

Last edited by bhavukjain : 13th March 2019 at 16:21.
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Old 13th March 2019, 16:19   #15
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Default Re: Honda CR-V : Official Review

5* for the review, but not so for the product.

I do wonder what's up with Honda. Their products have such great potential, but they skimp on the wrong things!
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