A CR-V fitted with an efficient turbo-diesel engine and two-wheel drive is Honda’s response to a challenging global market, but will it come to India?
The face remains the same, what changes is the heart – a 120bhp, 1.6 turbo-diesel in the CR-V is a decision dictated solely by the times. It’s the same engine that debuted recently under the hood of the Civic, except that here it’s expected to ‘move’ the 1,600kg mass of the CR-V. It goes without saying that there is only one question – will it be lively enough?
Agile and responsive
The new turbo-diesel, coupled with a six-gear manual transmission, certainly does not display a sporting soul. Nevertheless, despite preferring to run in the mid-range, it doesn’t disappoint when called into action - in other words, when pushed into the red end of the tachometer. Showing off an appreciable elasticity, initially it seems to lack a bit of grunt – but when pedal is to the metal, it displays good progress and a certain grit, along with considerable smoothness.
Acoustically, it remains typical of diesels. On the other hand, there is a welcome absence of vibration, despite the fact that the automaker – in an attempt to contain fuel consumption and weight – did not find it worthwhile to equip this engine with the counter-rotating shafts present on the 2.2 litre diesel engine. But, all in all, the 30 fewer bhp’s aren’t really all that noticeable, even if it must be said that a nice automatic transmission would have fit in beautifully. Why isn’t it there? In this case, the omission was decided in the name of reducing weight and consumption. Honda, moreover, is studying a pair of 7-gear dual-clutch automatics – one to link to transversally mounted engines (like the Civic and the CR-V), and the other to match to longitudinal engines. Moreover, the Japanese carmaker doesn’t lack experience in this field – even if, surprisingly, its first dual-clutch automatic transmission was used on a bike.
Coming back to our 1.6 CR-V, on the road, its greatest strength derives from the combination of drivability – very similar to that of a sedan – and the high bodywork of a SUV. All things considered, in spite of its large size, it’s remarkably agile and responsive, thanks also to certain improvements in the suspension and steering.
The technical side
A lighter engine to reduce consumption
The new 1.6 litre diesel is built in Swindon, England. Turbocharged with a geometrically variable turbo with electrical actuation and 1.5 bar of boost pressure, it delivers 120bhp. It has a 16-valve DOHC head, but is devoid of balancing countershafts in the name of reducing weight and consumption. It weighs 134.5kgs (a good 47kgs less than the 2.2 litre engine), with the alternator fitted but without the intercooler. According to Honda, the fuel consumption is over 22km/l.
The dashboard’s design is unchanged, but the instrumentation has been updated and now comes equipped with Eco assist – the illumination of the tachometer varies in relation to the driving style. And if you press the Econ button, the air-conditioning consumes less energy
CR-V 1.6 i–DTEC
1,597cc, 4 cylinder turbo-diesel
120bhp @ 4,000rpm
300Nm at 2,000rpm
6-speed manual transmission>
0-100km/h: 11.2 seconds
Average consumption: 22.2km/l
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