Honda CR-V 1.5 Turbo | Could This Be It?

BY Azfar Hashim

Honda’s highly-loved CR-V gets everything new to keep up with time, but it remains to be seen whether it could do as well as its previous versions

Photos by Azfar Hashim

The first generation Honda CR-V arrived on our shore about twenty years ago, and it was received very, very, very well by local drivers. After all, this was at a time when interest for the SUV genre was slowly picking up; back then, most SUVs came with big, thirsty engines so when a 2.0-litre model like the CR-V was introduced, it’s only natural to expect the car to sell like, well, hot cakes.

It was the same for every generation after that, peaking when the third-gen was introduced.

But after that however, the segment was full to the brim, filled with models from the other Japanese competitors and even the Europeans. Which meant this latest generation CR-V has a lot at task.

Lets start with the drivetrain. This front-wheel drive version gets power courtesy of Honda’s 4-cylinder turbocharged 1.5-litre DOHC VTEC powerplant; paired to a CVT, this 1.6-tonne SUV whips out 190 bhp and 243 Nm of torque. And for the curious, it takes 9.4 seconds to reach 100 km/h from standstill.

Although you’re expecting the CR-V to be quick off the mark (because it’s turbocharged, what else?), in actual fact, there’s that noticeable lag initially followed by the fact that it’s bogged down by its own weight that prevented it from feeling sprightly. You only get the action from the 2,500 rpm mark onwards.

That said, the CR-V works fine for normal traffic. On the highway, it seems to enjoy staying on the fastest lane at three-figure speeds, accompanied by good steering feel and stability to satisfy you. Honda deserves a big round of applause for providing sufficient sound dampening for the cabin — engine and CVT drone are kept at the barest minimal to keep things comfortable for all occupants.

Inside, the CR-V should impress buyers who just want a reliable, fuss-free family SUV. You get seat for six passengers — the last row best reserved for young children, up to tweens — and with its own air-con blowers for all those at the rear, you can expect nothing else but comfort. In this aspect, Honda has gotten their priority right for this car.

Complimenting this is a large sunroof, and for the driver, the highly useful LaneWatch blindspot monitor. What this does is whenever the left indicator is activated, a camera — mounted on the left wing mirror — will give you a clear view of your blindspot, eliminating potential collisions.

As a whole, the Honda CR-V should be an attractive proposition for buyers looking for a reliable Japanese family SUV.

But with an asking price of $155k (with COE), the other available options within a similar price bracket just made it go down further in an average buyer’s list.