Arguably one of the cars that started the whole mainstream SUV trend.



2024 Honda CR-V Review: User-Friendly Recreation

This is arguably one of the cars that started the whole mainstream SUV trend. In its original 1995 first-generation form with the spare tyre clipped to the back door and 2.0-litre engine, the Honda CR-V brought the tough off road SUV body design into the urban cityscape. With an interior that was as comfortable as that of a family sedan but with even better all-round visibility, it was a car that changed the concept of what an SUV, up until then mostly the domain of the Land Rover Defender, could be.


The CR-V is now into its sixth-generation, and the new car was launched in Singapore at the 2024 Singapore Motorshow. The Singaporean-specification car has only one engine variant in the form of a 1.5-litre, four cylinder turbo engine, but has two seating configurations. The standard 5-seater is S$10k cheaper than the 7-seater variant at time of writing. When you consider that the price of the car is already in the mid S$200k range that’s really just a very small increase for two extra seats. 






At its core, the 2024 Honda CR-V is a largish, premium crossover SUV that’s a step above its smaller sibling, the Honda Jazz platform based Honda HR-V. Inside the cabin, the dashboard is identical to that of the present-generation Honda Civic sedan, but despite both cars in Singapore being powered by a 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder engine, the CR-V has 193 horsepower to the Honda Civic’s Category A COE-friendly 129 horsepower. Which just goes to show how far they’ve had to turn down the Honda Civic’s engine to get it into Singapore under the cheaper Category A COE segment.




That’s of course taking into consideration that the CR-V needs enough power to reliably and efficiently move seven occupants when it is fully loaded. Like every other car of this design, the third row’s two seats, split 50/50, fold into the boot floor when not in use or when you need all the luggage space, and the second row bench slides back and forth on rails to accommodate legroom for the third row.




As you would expect, the slightly cramped third row is fine for a local jaunt, but an all-day Malaysian drive would get uncomfortable after an hour.






Back to the driver’s seat, the car does indeed feel like a very high Honda Civic, and even the dashboard, with the aircon vents camouflaged behind the hexagonal grille pattern is a uniquely Honda design feature. A 9-inch display monitor helps you manage the usual radio and car information status, and with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto it’s as convenient as it gets. There’s also a wireless phone charging pad on the centre console, along with an array of USB ports. 




It’s not a groundbreaking design, but there’s a good premium quality feel to the whole ensemble. The front seats have motorised adjusters but the second row must be pulled around manually. Tipping them forwards opens access to the third row. There’s an impressively flat floor through the whole passenger compartment too.




It’s quite high off the ground so a small child will have to scrabble a little to step up into the car. But the car also has a benefit that isn’t called out in the form of rear doors that open a full 90 degrees for easier access when it’s parked in a space that allows for it. 




A huge panoramic sunroof overhead lets plenty of light into the cabin, and unique to the 7-seater variant are a pair of roof-mounted aircon vents placed just behind the second row so that the third row passengers can get some cool air.




Around the outside of the car you get LED lights all-round, and a tidy rear end that only has a single CR-V badge. There’s a clear family relation to the Honda Civic in the way that it’s styled.




So what’s it like to drive then?

It’s 2024, and everybody is going on and on about EVs, or at least, petrol–electric hybrid cars. Yet the CR-V has none of that. It’s all traditional petrol and air being pumped into the engine through a turbocharger, and with a continuously variable transmission the car is technically always in the right powerband for maximum efficiency. 




Two things stand out in the CR-V. The first is that it’s very quiet for a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engined car, and the second is how good of a drive it is. Unlike the wallowy ride of the cheaper Toyota Corolla Cross, the CR-V has a solidly planted ride and can hold on to its line in corners very accurately. 




There’s a user-actuated mode of interest in the form of the big green ‘Econ’ button on the centre console. Honda’s official literature states that it adjusts the fuel map at highway speeds and the air conditioner compressor load is reduced to improve fuel efficiency. In practice, there was very little discernible difference in how the car drives with the Econ mode activated, and the air conditioning is already very powerful in itself.  The car is quite quick with just a driver onboard. Officially, the car has a 0 to 100km/h sprint time of 8.3 seconds.




Despite a claimed fuel economy of 7.5L/100km, we managed only 10.2L/100km over a three-day period. This is also likely down to the fact that the car was nearly new when we drove it, and fuel economy does improve as the engine beds in over the first month.



The full suite of active safety features give the CR-V a real premium feel too. The adaptive cruise control is smooth, and you can easily ascertain if the lane assist is tracking properly by looking at the instrument cluster. The display shows which way the road curves if the lane markings are visible to the car. Front collision assist also helps lessen instances of absent-minded impacts where the car rolls into the one in front by sounding an alarm if it thinks an impact is about to happen.


Credits: Carbuyer. Author: Lionel Kong

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