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Future models - Honda - CR-V

AIMS: Honda to premiere CR-V, Jazz Hybrid

Crucial model: Honda's new CR-V will try and win back sales from the popular Mazda CX-5 when it goes on sale in Australia in November.

Two new models for Honda at AIMS, including the crucial new CR-V compact SUV

Honda logo16 Oct 2012

HONDA Australia will stage a pair of new model debuts at AIMS this year, with the crucial new CR-V and petrol-electric Jazz Hybrid making a first local appearance shortly before arriving in local showrooms.

The CR-V has been one of Honda’s top-selling models in Australia since the first generation launched in 1997, and the new version will confront best-selling compact SUVs like the Mazda CX-5 and Nissan X-Trail when it hits showrooms in November.

In order to achieve this, Honda will arm itself with its most comprehensive CR-V range to date, with three specification levels, front- and all-wheel-drive configurations and – from the middle of 2013 – both petrol and diesel engines (a brand first).

All models at launch will be sourced from Thailand and powered by a revised version of the old model’s 2.4-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, developing 138kW and 221Nm, but a UK-built 110kW/350Nm 2.2-litre turbo-diesel version will arrive soon after.

15 center imageLeft: Honda Civic hatch and sedan.

Sales of the current-shape CR-V – launched here at the start of 2007 – are down 39.3 per cent this year due to the hangover from Thailand’s devastating floods that crippled CR-V supplies in the first half.

Meanwhile, the addition of the Jazz Hybrid – sales commence early 2013 – will bring the number of petrol-electric models in Honda Australia’s range to four, alongside the Civic sedan, Insight hatch and CR-Z coupe.

The Thai-built Jazz will certainly be the most affordable of this quartet, and will duke it out with the Toyota Prius C light car, which retails from $23,990 plus on-road costs.

Power for the petrol-electric Jazz comes from a 65kW/121Nm 1.3-litre petrol engine combined with a small 10kW/78Nm electric motor, with power sent through the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Claimed fuel consumption of 4.5 litres per 100km undercuts the regular Jazz by at least 30 per cent, but falls short of the Prius C (3.9L/100km), plus several diesel-powered small Euros like the Mini Cooper D, Volkswagen Golf BlueMotion and Volvo C30 DRIVe (all score 3.8L/100km).

Joining the CR-V and Jazz Hybrid at AIMS will be the rest of Honda’s Australian range, sales of which have recovered by 7.9 per cent this year as supply out of Thailand has returned to normal following the floods of 2011.

These models include the CR-Z – the current model, not the facelifted version shown in Paris in September – Civic sedan and hatch, Accord, Accord Euro, Odyssey, Insight, Jazz and City.

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