First Impressions: Honda CR-V

Posted on: March 5th, 2013

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The new CR-V will make its way to Malaysia with a two-litre engine that puts out 148hp, approximately 5 horses more than the outgoing model. Our drives on a mix of highways and B-roads suggested that this powerplant is more than adequate for its target audience. There is a chance that a 2.4-litre variant may find its way here sometime later for those with a greater power hunger.

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Visually, the new CR-V strikes a more aggressive stance than the outgoing model. What used to be soft curves have been buffed into strong imposing lines while features such as the front grille, headlamps and tail lamps now carry a bit more drama than the organic outlook of the previous car.

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Regardless of its generation, the CR-V has always sold well and it is not hard to see why. On the road, the ride is comfortable, composed and refined. The new CR-V is only available as an all-wheel drive and this translates to assuring driving dynamics. Suspension and steering are also tuned pretty well for a car that we can imagine selling to soccer mums and outdoorsy dads alike.

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In the driver seat, the first thing a current CR-V owner would notice is the sudden lack of cubbyholes. The plastics also sport a slightly glossier finish although this may be a result of excessive surface polishing. Other than those minor issues, the cabin still feels just as solid and refined as before, successfully preserving one of the big selling points of the CR-V.

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Equipment levels are pretty good, with an LCD screen built into the dash, acting as a display for in-car entertainment, reverse camera and whatnot, similar to the system found in the highest-specced Civic Navi.

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Even the instrument cluster is given a dash of modernity, with a digital display built into the middle of the speedo to feed the driver with essential driving info as is the case with most new cars these days. Like Honda’s hybrid vehicles, the CR-V’s meter cluster has colour-varying light strips which change depending on the driver’s habits.

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As a passenger, the CR-V is not a bad place to be in. The seats are comfortable while NVH levels are expectedly good. Roominess is also a plus point. Bear in mind that more interior space is carved out of the CR-V’s cabin despite the car sporting slightly smaller dimensions than its predecessor.

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For those with a knack of stuffing the boot with large cargo, the new CR-V proves to be a more practical vehicle than the car it replaces. While the trunk offers a generous amount of space from the get-go, the rear seats fold completely flat to form a truck-bed like space to store large items easily.

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Being the well-rounded SUV it is, as its predecessors have always been, the CR-V will be the benchmark for SUVs around the RM150k region. Until its launch, we cannot give a definitive pricetag but whatever the actual figure may be, you don’t need a fortune teller to predict that the CR-V is a car that will sell in droves.

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