Honda display India-bound new CR-V at auto expo 2018

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Last year, Honda had confirmed that the latest-gen CR-V will be one of the six new models it plans to launch in India, and the SUV has now got its first public presentation in India at the Auto Expo 2018. The looks of the latest CR-V is not a radical departure for that of the model sold in India. The basic silhouette is of a soft-roader, but at the same time Honda has injected some personality into the design too. The angular headlights look sleek, the chrome bar on the grille adds bling and the bodywork is full of stance-enhancing elements like moderately flared wheel arches and wider front fenders. But above all else, it’s the bulging L-shaped tail-lights that add some distinction to the new CR-V’s look.

Where the new CR-V takes a big step up over the outbound model is in the cabin. The arced dashboard that houses a frameless touchscreen unit at the center looks attractive, and there’s clearly a greater focus on quality than any CR-V before. Material quality is good and there are plenty of soft-touch plastics to give the cabin a premium feel. The large front seats are very comfortable, but passengers in the second row might find themselves seated lower than they’d like. In a first for a CR-V, there’s a third row of seating but space is at a premium and egress/ ingress is a bit awkward too. However, the option to seat seven does give the CR-V a newfound versatility that will be appreciated by buyers with large families.

What will also be of great attention to customers is the choice of powertrains on offer. There will be a 2.4-litre petrol engine as before, and Honda will finally offer the CR-V in India with the option of a diesel engine too. Powering the CR-V diesel will be a 1.6-litre motor from Honda’s ‘Earth Dreams’ engine family that will pump out a tough 160hp. Honda already manufactures the engine in India for export and that will help keep costs (and hopefully prices) in check. There is no approval on final specs as yet, but the engine could also be offered with the option of a nine-speed automatic gearbox. Honda will launch the CR-V in India by mid-2018 and we expect prices to start in the region of Rs.23 lakh (estimated, ex-showroom, Delhi).