The compact SUV is the latest model in Honda's range to receive the new 1596cc oil burner, which provides the CR-V with 118bhp at 4000rpm, 221lb ft at 2000rpm and CO2 emissions of 119g/km.
The engine is the first in a series of efficient units Honda will roll out under the Earth Dreams Technology banner, and has already been fitted to the Honda Civic.
The unit is the lightest diesel engine in its class and weighs 47kg less than Honda's 2.2-litre i-DTEC powerplant.
Reducing mechanical friction of the engine was a key objective of Honda's development team, and at 1500rpm the 1.6 i-DTEC has around 40 per cent less mechanical friction than the 2.2.
Honda's engineers also worked to improve the volumetric efficiency of the cylinders, employing a high intake flow and a high-swirl head port that precisely controls the combustion process to reduce hot spots that create unwanted emissions. The engine air flow is managed by using an exhaust gas recirculation system that operates at high and low pressure to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides.