It goes without saying that the CR-V has quite a few die-hard loyalists in India. The keyword being ‘a few.’ For, as a petrol-only SUV, the CR-V has had a hard time off late in India.
Well, Honda took note of the problem and finally came up with a diesel model. The trouble is that the new diesel has a mere 1.6-litre engine, which is good for just 118bhp and 300Nm. So, keeping its increased size and weight in mind – at 1,725kgs – it doesn’t exactly shoot off the line. And the petrol model has a similar issue. While it has a 2.0 litre unit developing 154bhp, the CVT auto-box – while great for efficiency – is definitely a fly in the ointment.
On the road, however, the CR-V diesel is surprisingly nice to drive. The nine-speed torque converter automatic gearbox works very well with the engine’s power delivery. Power and torque are distributed effectively and efficiently in the low-to-mid rev range. It’s only at the top-end of the rev counter that the lack of power becomes evident.
As for the petrol, the CVT’s rubber band effect dampens the throttle response right from get go under hard acceleration. The truth is that the CR-V runs out of breath the moment you put pedal to the metal. Once the rev counter crosses the 3,000rpm mark though, fortunately progress does become brisker, but you can continuously feel the gearbox holding the engine back. So, the only way to drive this car comfortably is with calm and linear throttle inputs. And this should go down well with most CR-V owners who seek a comfortable driving experience above everything else.
The new model lives up to the CR-V name with its comfortable ride, well designed seats, lengthy equipment list and good quality levels – all of which come together to offer a very premium and refined SUV to buyers.