Back in gear with CR-V

HONDA, hit hard by floods in Thailand, the tsunami in Japan and global recession, have bounced back with the new CR-V which was belatedly launched in South Africa last week.

All of the above had a devastating effect on the Japanese company and as a result, their bottom line took a hammering. What is it? The CR-V, one of Honda South Africa’s most popular models, is the fourth generation of the sport utility vehicle (SUV), with the first generation having arrived in 1995.

There are six derivatives, including front-wheel-drive and all- wheel-drive models and three engines (petrol and diesel) to choose from. How does it look? Much better than the model it replaces. The length has been reduced by 5mm and the height by 30mm, yet the new vehicle offers the same amount of interior space as the outgoing model.

What’s it like to drive?

Only two petrol models were available to drive on the launch, the 2.0 Comfort FWD (114kW at 6 500rpm, 192Nm torque at 4 300rpm ) priced at R299 900 and the 2.4 Elegance AWD (140kW at 7 000rpm and 220Nm of torque at 4 300rpm) which sells for R399 900.

Obviously the more expensive 2.4 all-wheel-drive model was the better of the two on the road – but that’s not to say the smaller front-wheel-drive one wasn’t good.

When one considers it’s R100 000 cheaper, then that will have a major impact on one’s buying decision. Any special features? We liked the “Econ” button as part of the eco assist system.

When activated, econ mode alters the mapping of the drive-by-wire throttle system, smoothing throttle inputs for a more relaxing drive and greater fuel efficiency.

In addition, it alters the operation of the cruise control and climate control, allowing for slightly increased variances from the set speed or the set temperature in order to conserve fuel.

Should you buy one? There are legends of CR-V fans out there and the new model will not disappoint, the added bonus will be the front-wheel-drive.

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