New Cars and Bikes in India

2018 Honda CR-V Review

The new-generation Honda CR-V is all set to be launched in India on October 9, and ahead of its arrival we get to drive the SUV, and here's what we think about it.

The 5th generation Honda CR-V is bigger, more equipped, and gets a 7-seater option expand View Photos
The 5th generation Honda CR-V is bigger, more equipped, and gets a 7-seater option


  • This is the 5th generation Honda CR-V that is coming to India
  • The new-gen Honda CR-V for the first time gets a diesel engine
  • The new Honda CR-V is slated to be launched in India on October 9

The Honda CR-V is all set to make a comeback into India and that, was one of the company's big announcements at the 2018 Auto Expo. The promise of bringing 3 new cars this financial year was a point, that we've time and again brought to your notice. The new-gen Amaze is the most relevant in volumes terms and is already here. It's quite the success for Honda too with more than 30,000 units sold ever since its launch. The CR-V will be next and the Civic will follow early next year. But let's get down to business and talk about what the CR-V is all about.

Also Read: Honda CR-V India Launch Date Revealed


The previous-gen Honda CR-V was launched in India 5-years-ago

Honda's CR-V nameplate is something we're all familiar with. The last time around, Honda launched a new-gen version of the CR-V, it was 5 years ago and finally we have the 5th generation with us. The design is a familiar one, as it retains most of the styling elements of its predecessors and that's why it's instantly recognisable. However, there are some changes like the wide chrome grille and the strong character line which runs from the front bumper across to the rear. Those bulging curves on the wheel arches add to the road presence of the car and the body cladding shows off a bit of muscle. The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull rear roofline and D Pillar are gone, thank God! In addition to all of this, there are the full LED headlamps, LED DRLs and LED tail lamps, all of which are standard. There's a lot of chrome though, from the front, to the side and even at the rear and it's a bit of a turn off and though the CR-V might not be handsome, it sure has got road presence.

Also Read: Honda CR-V First Drive Review: Improved In Every Respect


Honda CR-V is longer by 47 mm than its predecessor, and gets a 40 mm longer wheelbase

The new generation CR-V has grown in proportions. The 5th gen Honda CR-V is longer by 47 mm than its predecessor, and most of that's in the wheelbase which is longer by 40 mm. And this should translate into more space; but does it? I got into the second row to find out.


Honda CR-V gets adjustable seats at the second row, offering plenty of space

There was hardly any knee room and a person who is taller than 6 feet will surely bump his head on the roof. However, what Honda has managed to do is make these seats adjustable and if you pull a lever, you slide back to enjoy plenty of space. I have a sneaky feeling that this space right here is one of the most comfortable of spaces in the car and probably even in the segment. However, taking the seat behind does mean that the third row is unusable. Wait. Did I just say third row? Yes, Indeed. The CR-V gets a third row and according to the folks at Honda, it's consumer demand that has driven them to take this decision.


The petrol engine version only comes with a 5 seat format, diesel version is a 7-seater

The Honda CR-V with 7 seats is only offered on the diesel model. There's a petrol engine available too but that only comes with a 5 seat format. That additional row though, how usable is it?

For me? There isn't any space to move around and I think I should really stop trying to get into the third row as it's not my cup of tea. I always seem to get stuck here, and I've managed to do that even in the CR-V. Honda offers the recline function on the seats in the third row but that really doesn't help the cause. It's usable for two adults for a short trip but essentially is for kids. What is good though is that even when I am in the third row, I do not gasp for air and that's solely because there are almost 10 AC vents across the car 4 in the front, 2 in the back of the console for the second row seats and four more mounted in an overhead panel, all of which makes the passengers comfortable.


Honda CR-V offers 936 litres of boot space with the second and third row down

There's good luggage space too. With all the three rows up there's 150 litres on offer. With the third row flat down, there's 473 litres while there's 936 litres on offer with the second and third row down. Mind you there's a full size spare tyre space too thrown in there.


Honda has made sure that the CR-V is at par with its competitors and trendy too

There's added comfort in the features that the CR-V has on offer. At the centre of the comprehensive infotainment system is a 7-inch touch screen that gives you everything you need. There's even a multi-view reverse camera with dynamic guidelines which comes in handy because the CR-V is quite a big car. The instrument cluster of the new Honda CR-V is very sensibly designed and it's simple to read and understand too. You can read both the engine rpm and the speedometer which is really great. In fact the meter displays all this information in a very compact format and kudos to Honda on that! Honda has made sure that the CR-V is at par with its competitors and trendy too. There's Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, but sadly misses out on Navigation.


Honda CR-V gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, but sadly misses out on Navigation

And that's not the only department that Honda is keeping up with its competitors. Because there's something more added to the kitty this time around one that might just transform the CR-Vs journey in India.

Honda CR-V Diesel

Technical Specifications


1597cc, 4 cylinder i-DTEC

Maximum Power:

118 bhp@ 4000 rpm

Peak torque:

300 Nm @ 2000 rpm


9-Speed Automatic



Honda CR-V finally gets a diesle version, powered by a new 1.6-litre engine

That transformation is the addition of a 1.6-litre diesel engine. Finally, the CR-V gets a diesel engine and it's been long overdue. It's got an aluminium block and parts like the piston, connecting rods and crankshaft have been designed to be lighter and so there's less friction. The main aspect though is that the engine is made in India and assembled at the company's plant in Greater Noida. The engine gets a single turbo and churns out 118 bhp and 300 Nm of torque. The torque kicks in at around 2500 rpm and the engine has a good mid-range. Overtaking too is no problem because the 9 speed transmission makes sure that you have the power at your disposal and you enjoy your time behind the wheel. It's available with a 2 wheel and 4 wheel drive option but we drove the 2WD diesel. The 9 speed automatic can also be operated using paddle shifters and that's a big boon. The paddle shifts respond well to your inputs and with the 9 different gear ratios, it gives you the flexibility to cruise as also to improve fuel economy. This one returns more than 19 kmpl according to ARAI. The 4WD version returns close to 18.3 kmpl and that too is great. There's a slight delay when you press the accelerator and there's a whizzing before the gears start to catch up. However, that delay can be measured in milliseconds and it's not such a big deal.


Honda CR-V gets 9-speed automatic transmission with push-button electronic gear selector

The gear selector of the all-new 9-speed automatic transmission is worth mentioning here. It's not your regular gear stick. It's actually, a push-button electronic gear selector. There are separate buttons to select drive, neutral and park. Reverse too can be engaged by pushing down another button. It's very simple, not complicated at all and a welcome addition to the CR-V.


Honda CR-V petrol gets a CVT automatic gearbox

There's also a petrol variant on offer and that's a 2 litre engine which produces 152 bhp and it's available only with the two wheel drive system but the CVT makes for a smooth ride and the option is a welcome one for all those who still want a petrol CR-V. However, we didn't get a chance to drive it extensively and that's a review for another day.

Honda C-RV Petrol

Technical Specifications


1997cc, 4 cylinder i-VTEC

Maximum Power:

151 bhp@ 6500 rpm

Peak torque:

189 Nm @ 4300 rpm



But the biggest talking point of course has to be the ride quality, something that the CR-V has been known for. The new CR-V does not disappoint. It might have grown in proportions but it takes the undulations on the roads in its stride. The stiffer body structure also helps in bringing in a sense of surety in terms of driving dynamics. And so even on twisty roads it absolutely sticks to the tarmac offering better drivability. It's not an off-roader though but it'll do well on bad roads and make you feel comfortable. In fact, the ground clearance of the CR-V too has improved and it now stands at 208 mm.


Despite its larger proportions, the Honda CR-V takes the undulations on the roads in its stride pretty nicely

The safety features on offer too put your mind at ease. It gets ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, Vehicle stability assist, hill start assist, 6 airbags, Isofix child mounts seatbelt pretensioners and even driver attention monitor all of which we are told are standard. Adding to that sense of surety is the fact that the CR-V has received a 5 star rating in the ASEAN NCAP crash test.


Honda CR-V has received a 5 star rating in the ASEAN NCAP crash test

So, a lot has changed and a lot hasn't. The new-gen CR-V doesn't look handsome but still reminds you of the legacy, yet, there are enough and more changes to make it relevant and competitive. It's still an absolute joy to drive and the addition of a diesel adds a whole new target audience to the kitty.


Honda CR-V is launching in India on October 9


The fact that Honda plans to assemble the CR-V in India hints at aggressive pricing and come October 9, 2018 we'll know about that too. Priced right, the CR-V can really help Honda establish itself as a strong contender in the premium SUV space. But the question is - with all that's on offer in the market would you want to buy a 30 lakh CR-V? Seeing what became of the VW Tiguan in India; that question may kind of answer itself.

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