An entirely-new CR-V goes on sale in the UK from January 2007. It promises a driving experience as good as a D-sector saloon car, improved equipment levels and Honda’s latest advanced safety technology. All this, and the CR-V remains as practical as ever.
The outgoing model dominated retail sales charts since launch, set new standards in the SUV sector and remains the benchmark vehicle for its impressive road manners and versatility. With the market becoming increasingly crowded, Honda has raised the bar further - the latest CR-V is even better on the road, has a more sophisticated interior and it’s even more practical.
A lower centre of gravity (reduced by 35mm), wider stance (increased by 30mm) and a number of changes to steering and suspension geometry have all helped to enhance the CR-V’s handling characteristics. Steering response is faster and feels more direct, while directional stability and all-round agility also benefit from further development to the car’s chassis.
While the on-road capabilities of the CR-V are much-improved, its off-road skills have been tweaked as well, with a revised Real Time 4WD system that detects front wheel slip and promptly sends torque rearwards. The new system - which, like the outgoing model, features a quiet, dual-pump system with a one-way cam unit - can transfer 20 per cent more torque compared to the existing unit. This 4WD set-up not only allows light off-road driving, but also helps maintain stability on the road - in snow or other slippery conditions, for example.
Improvements made to the driving dynamics are reflected in the styling of the vehicle - a coupe-like tapering side window profile gives the CR-V a similar shape to a car. The front has been given a bold presence, with a distinctive double grille as the focal point, flanked by projector-style headlights and a large bumper. It all makes for a muscular front end, emphasised by the car’s wide track and 17- or 18-inch wheels. At the rear, a vertically-opening tailgate is the main design feature, sandwiched between roof-high strips of lights, and notably, the spare wheel has gone - it’s now hidden under the load compartment floor.
Two active safety systems are available on the new CR-V, and they’re unique to the SUV segment. The first, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) is a radar-controlled cruise control function which maintains a set distance to the vehicle in front, while Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) predicts collisions and warns the driver, before applying strong braking and retracting the front seatbelts if the situation becomes critical. Both these systems are optional depending on grade.