Japanese manufacturers seem to have a knack for designing cars that are more interesting to behold than their European counterparts. Interesting-looking cars aren’t necessarily attractive ones, of course. Mitsubishi has its quirky-looking Eclipse Cross, Lexus a family of unapologetically edgy SUVs and Honda – in addition to its 10th-generation Civic – now has the latest CR-V.
While the car’s boxy silhouette hasn’t changed radically from Mk4 to Mk5, the CR-V is now a far busier thing to look at. Sharp creases and bold contours are used fairly liberally – just look at that bonnet – while abundant brightwork draws the eye.
Wider arches and larger wheels that are now positioned further towards the car’s extremities lend the CR-V a more muscular and athletic stature. The car has grown, too. Compared with that of its predecessor, its wheelbase has been stretched by 30mm to 2663mm (AWD), liberating additional interior space. All up, the CR-V is now 4600mm long, 1855mm wide and 1689mm tall – gains of 70mm, 104mm and 14mm over the dimensions of the 1995 original.
The fifth-generation CR-V is based on an adaptation of Honda’s ‘compact global’ platform that underpins the current Civic. This new chassis is not only lighter than the previous model’s, it also benefits from a 25% increase in torsional stiffness. Suspension, meanwhile, is comprised of a MacPherson strut-type arrangement at the front and a multi-link set-up at the rear.