Honda CR-V – Prices, History, Engine, Interior & Exterior, Features

Introduction

Honda CR-V is a five-door five-passenger compact SUV manufactured by the Japanese automobile giant Honda since 1995 and introduced to the markets between 1996 and 1997. Honda Civic platform with an SUV body design was used. Honda CR-V is a mid-range utility vehicle, slotting between the smaller Honda HR-V and the larger Honda Pilot in the North American market. 

The 1st generation of the CR-Vs was manufactured between 1996 and 2001. The CR-V was available on the local Japanese market in 1996, but for the international market, it began being sold in America in 1997 after being displayed at the 1996 Chicago Auto Show.

First-Generation CR-V (1996 Model)

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The 1st generation of Honda CR-V came only in LX trim. The CR-V frame structure employed the use of unibody (where the floor plan, body, and chassis form a single structure) design. 

The Interior and Exterior

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On the inside, the CR-V is roomy and well equipped with five seats (two front and three rear seats) the rear seats can be folded, and a room stowing a picnic table is created on the rear floor area. As standard, the CR-V came with air-conditioning, radio cassette, metallic paint, power mirrors, dual airbags, remote central locking, power windows, roof rails, and power steering. The first-generation models had plastic cladding covering the front and rear bumpers, plus the fender wells. In most markets, the CR-Vs had a chrome grille; except the United States, where the grille was made of the same black plastic as the bumpers. Underneath the CR-V was equipped with a 4-wheel double wishbone suspension and was available in front-wheel-drive (2WD) and intelligent AWD. Unlike other cars in this category, Honda CR-V’s intelligent all-wheel-drive system was built to get you off slippery surfaces with ease and its tackling of rough tracks was assuring, and that made it an ideal car for family fun when off-roading.

In 1996 Honda CR-V was upgraded and a sports trim was announced. The sport model came with alloy wheels, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) fog lamps, a hard spare wheel cover, and a sunroof. In 2001 the classic model was introduced, and it came with CD and cassette radio, alloy wheels, and the rest of the standard options.

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The Engine and Transmission

This model was equipped with a 2.0-liter B20B engine that produced 94KW (126HP) of power at 5400 rpm and average fuel consumption of 10.2 L/100Km and came with the option of a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission.

In 1999 Honda introduced a more powerful engine. The B20Z 2.0L 4-cylinder producing 110KW (147HP) at 6200 rpm and an average consumption of 10L/100KM.

Second-Generation Honda CR-V (2004 Model)

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The first-generation CR-V did set a benchmark for mini SUVs, and the second-generation (2002-2006) Honda CR-V was released in 2001 as a 2002 model and it continued from the previous model left off. It was a completely revamped car that came with significant improvements and refinements. More power, more interior room, and increased passenger safety were the most significant upgrades, and all this was done by Honda to make sure that this second-generation CR-V keeps the buyers happy.

The Interior and Exterior

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This new CR-V is based on the Honda Global Compact Platform, which is an improved platform that gave room to a larger interior without jeopardizing the overall car length and hence more room for luggage and passengers. The car also came equipped with the latest safety features – comfortability, which is CR-V strength, was improved, and some utilities and functions were elevated to higher standards without much change on the exterior size. The 2002 CR-V also came with a new rigid chassis that improved its torsional and bending abilities. 

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The Engine and Transmission

The previous model’s power has failed so to correct it, Honda developed a new 4-cylinder 2.4-liter (K24A1) engine that produces 119KW (160 HP) at 6500 rpm and with the introduction of the i-VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and lift Electronic Control). Honda succeeded in maintaining the previous model’s consumption. On the transmission side, Honda built a new four-speed auto that made use of the Grade Logic Control, a technology that allows the transmission to make use of low gears automatically when the CR-V is climbing a steep slope, and the five-speed manual transmission came with additional synchronizers and short-throw gear shifts making gear shifting nice and smooth.

Third-Generation Honda CR-V (2008 Model)

The Interior and Exterior

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The third generation has a slight difference from the previous models; it came with a lightweight rear liftgate, unlike the side opening door of the previous models and the spare found some room inside the car on the floor at the rear of the car, moving away from the rear door mounting.

In this third generation, the CR-V has received several external upgrades such as the front grille, the front and rear bumper, and tail lights. The interior got some improvements as well with new seat fabric, a new audio unit, and some other amenities depending on the trim level (LX, EX, EX-L)

The Engine and Transmission

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The 3rd generation (2007-2011) CR-V was released in the 3rd quarter of 2006 as a 2007 model. Like the earlier generation model, this model also came with Honda’s 4-cylinder 2.4L K-series engines, but with an improvement in power at 124KW (166 HP) at 5800 rpm. Honda also offered a 4-cylinder 2.2L 103KW (138HP) at 4000 rpm diesel engine that consumes 5.1L/100KM and the 4-cylinder 2.0-liter (K20A) that gives 165KW (221 HP) at 8000 rpm and consumption of 9.0L/100KM.

Fourth-Generation Honda CR-V (2012 Model)

The Interior and Exterior

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The interior is extremely different from previous generations. The center console and dashboard are now fully joined unlike before where they were separate. The dashboard is supplied with modern LCD screens that display information such as audio settings and fuel economy. Though the overall body size is smaller than previous generations, the interior space is still unchanged and both rows are comfortable and spacious. The exterior gains a total transformation of the CR-V into a modern and sleek-looking SUV. All grades come with fog lights and alloy rims while higher grades are loaded with extras such as chrome trimming, roof rails, and daytime running lights.

The Engine and Transmission

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The fourth-generation (2011-2016) Honda CR-V was revealed in 2011 as a 2012 model. It came with a 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine that produces 138KW (185 HP). In this generation CR-V, we witness significant upgrades such as CVT transmission, larger brake boosters for a sportier feel, improved fuel consumption, revised shock absorbers, anti-roll bars, springs, and lower control arms to improve performance. 

Fifth-Generation Honda CR-V (2017 Model)

The fifth-generation CR-V came out in 2017 as a completely new car from the ground up. Honda preserved the formula that made the CR-V a beloved car by maintaining its dimensions, its utilities, and the ease of driving character. But also Honda made some small but significant improvements such as a new engine choice and upgraded technological features. Honda kept the same trim levels of LX, EX, and EX-L.

With this model, you get an average consumption of 8.0L/100KM. 

Final Verdict

The Honda CR-V is one of the most consistent cars in the market today and it has few issues if it’s well maintained. The new design raises it above its rivals and is generally appealing. Overall, the Honda CR-V is a highly rated car and a choice for many buyers looking for a safe and reliable family car and you can import one of your choices from BE FORWARD.

Originally published Mar 13, 2020, updated Aug 15, 2021

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Written by: Josephat Lukaza

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