The CR-V has not noticeably increased in size (even though it rides on a new under-carriage), with the exception of its load capacity, which has increased to a very practical 1.8 metres.
The latest model has retained its sloping, pointed side windows, tough guy front end and slit-eyed headlights but added bulges have been added to the wheel-arches.
Driver aids have been upgraded with a prominent 7-inch Display Audio interface which provides seamless integration of iPhone features and functions and voice-controlled search capacity and selected apps. Settings are now also at the driver’s fingertips on the steering wheel.
The new models have a particularly impressive eight-speaker sound system with a speaker in each door as well as a pair of tweeters front and rear. An additional USB connection is provided in front, and rear passengers get a second pair of sockets.
The new CR-V is destined to boost its popularity thanks to its first-ever turbo-charged, four wheel drive addition to this popular range. The 1.5 Executive and Exclusive kick out a robust 140kW and 240Nm. Honda claims a combined fuel consumption of 7.0 litres/100km in the combined cycle.
The bigger model in the range is a normally aspirated 2.0-litre that produces 113kW and 189Nm and like all the CR-V’s it comes with a CVT transmission (there are no manual CR-V choices).
There are two variants in both engine choices and they have different features, too many to go into detail here. However, common to all four models is the high standard of technology, safety features, driver aids, much-improved cabin insulation, excellent visibility all round, light but solid steering and planted roadholding.
At the launch of the new range, I drove both versions on pleasantly winding roads in the Western Cape and I was particularly impressed by the upgraded CVT-transmission that has lost the irritating drone of the previous system (it is now the same as found on the Civic sedan), the improved cabin insulation and the livelier performance delivered at the press of the Sport button.
I absolutely loved the zesty character of the new 1.5 sport which, sadly, is more expensive than the two larger-engined models.
The CR-V is destined to give opponents such as VW Tiguan, Ford Kuga, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Opel Kadjar even more sales uphill.
The models and prices, which include as five-year/200,000km warranty and a five-year/90,000km service plan, are: