The bigger, next-generation CR-V will feature turbocharged powerplants and be offered in, inter alia, 7-seater guise, to compete with the latest wave of its compact SUV rivals, including the new Volkswagen Tiguan.
These spy photographs of a prototype undergoing testing (supplied by our European-based source) suggest that the next CR-V, which can be expected in South Africa in 2018, will be notably bigger than the current version and feature more distinctive exterior styling.
Judging by these images, the next CR-V incorporates some of the aesthetic cues from the latest-generation Civic, including Honda’s "Solid Wing Face" grille and slim-profile headlights, as well as bolder, L-shaped wraparound taillights that stretch from the tailgate around the rear edges and up the side of the glass. They also protrude from the body ever so slightly.
The newcomer will be based on a stretched version of the new Civic platform, which also underpins the next-generation Accord, and, whereas the wheelbase of the Japanese compact SUV could increase by around 80 mm over the existing car’s, its overall length will increase by 50 mm, which suggests its overhangs will be slightly shorter.
The increase in length is believed to facilitate the (optional fitment of a pair of extra seats at the rear and although this would not make the Honda a natural rival to the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Hyundai Sante Fe and Kia Sorento, for example, we understand that Volkswagen plans to introduce a Tiguan with an extra row of seats in the near future and other compact SUV/crossovers are more than likely to follow suit.
Apart from added interior space, the CR-V should also be more upmarket, replete with a plusher cabin trim, extra sound-deadening material (for better NVH suppression in the Honda's interior) and a modern touchscreen infotainment system.
The range will begin with a front-wheel-drive derivative with a 6-speed manual gearbox and although a 1.0-litre 3-cylinder i-VTEC turbopetrol engine is possible, it’s more likely that a 1.5-litre turbopetrol and 1.6-litre turbodiesel will be offered in conjunction with a revised version of the 2.0-litre petrol motor.
As for the self-shifting option, there are conflicting reports: it could be either a 9-speed automatic ‘box or a continuously-variable transmission. It is certain, however, that top CR-V models will again be offered in 4-wheel-drive configuration.
Image credit: S.Baldauf / S.B. Medien