The 2017 Honda CR-V has been revealed in the USA for the first time, where it goes on sale long before it comes to the UK market.
Although due for a North American release this winter, we’re unlikely to see the new CR-V on these shores anytime soon, as the UK only updated the current generation model last year. However, the American-spec model gives us a good idea of what we can expect to see arrive in Britain at the end of 2017 or early 2018.
The fifth-generation mid-sized SUV rides on an all-new platform and features turbocharged powertrain options for the first time. Wider, and with a longer wheelbase, it sports more sculpted styling than the current CR-V, and reflects Honda’s desire to make it a more premium product than the car it replaces.
Honda’s head of cars in the UK, Leon Brannan, has previously suggested to Autocar that the new CR-V represents a bid to rival more premium products such as the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Volvo XC60.
“CR-V is a massive pillar for us,” he said. “I’m not sure that HR-V in the UK will ever become a four-wheel-drive car; most people in this segment will vote with their feet and buy two-wheel drive. So if we can assume that HR-V will only ever be two-wheel drive, then you’ve got to come up with a different proposition [with the CR-V].
“Can we compete with Land Rover as a brand? That’s less about CR-V and more about Honda as a brand." Visual highlights on the new car include LED lights front and rear, a longer bonnet and narrowed A-pillars for improved visibility. The car rides on 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels and sits higher than the current model.
Inside, Honda promises best-in-class interior space and rear legroom, with better quality materials and “more intricately stitched seats”. Rear passengers get a volume control for the sound system, while up front there’s the option of a seven-inch screen running an Android operating system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Myriad safety features have given the car a five-star rating in US crash tests, and other features include a hands-free tailgate, operated by a wave of a foot under the rear bumper.
Only the CR-V’s petrol powertrain options have so far been announced, which in the US will include a 190bhp, turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit and a 2.4-litre direct-injection iVTEC with 184bhp. Both will be mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). We expect that the 1.5-litre turbo engine will make its way to the UK, and will likely be joined by the 1.6-litre iDTEC diesel unit seen in the Civic.
Both front and all-wheel drive versions will be available, with revised suspension for improved handling. The CR-V features Macpherson front struts and multi-link at the rear, with tubular anti-roll bars at the front and solid ones at the back.
The 2017 CR-V will be built at three plants across North America - East Liberty, Ohio and Greensburg, Indiana in the USA and Alliston, Ontario in Canada.