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Honda’s seven-seat CR-V is go

Seven wonders: Honda has confirmed what had been rumoured for some time – the new-gen CR-V will get a third row.

Three-row Honda CR-V confirmed as part of turbo-petrol-only mid-size SUV range

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Honda logo5 May 2017

By TIM NICHOLSON

HONDA Australia has confirmed that it will introduce a seven-seat version of its all-new CR-V when the mid-size crossover hits local showrooms in July.

As GoAuto has reported, the seven-seat CR-V was all but locked in to sit alongside the five-seat version, but it was just awaiting final sign off from the powers that be for the full line-up to be confirmed.

It will go head to head with other mid-size seven-seat SUVs including the just refreshed Nissan X-Trail, Mitsubishi’s Outlander and Volkswagen’s forthcoming Tiguan Allspace.

The fifth-generation CR-V will be offered with just one powertrain this time around, with Honda using a 140kW/240Nm ‘Earth Dreams’ turbo-petrol VTEC engine, paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

This engine is an uprated version of the 1.5-litre turbo-petrol unit that powers three variants of the new Civic that was launched last year in sedan guise.

The CR-V will be available in two- and all-wheel-drive guise, but Honda has already ruled out offering the recently revealed petrol-electric hybrid powertrain, and it will not re-introduce a diesel engine to the line-up.

Honda ditched the turbo-diesel-powered version of the current CR-V due to low take up. The company is now without a diesel powertrain in its Australian line-up.

Honda has not revealed specification or pricing but the company says it will build on the characteristics of the previous CR-Vs, such roominess, flexibility and “off-highway” capability.

As well as a fresh new design that was seen when the CR-V was revealed in October last year, the SUV, which is underpinned by an all-new platform, will offer “benchmark steering precision, ride comfort, body control and cabin quietness,” according to the Japanese car-maker.

Overseas specification shows that the new CR-V is 14mm shorter than the model it replaces, but the wheelbase stretches about 40mm longer, and it is close to 30mm lower and about 35mm wider than the fourth-gen car.

As reported it has a MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension setup.

Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said he expected the CR-V would become a “significant player” in the mid-size SUV segment, and added that there has already been some consumer interest in the model ahead of its July launch.

“As well as the VTEC Turbo engine line-up across the range, family buyers will also appreciate the versatility afforded by being able to choose between a five, or seven-seat models,” he said. “Our customers have been asking for this level of versatility and now we’ll deliver it.

“Because of its success overseas, our customers already know it’s coming. It’s clear both our existing customers and potential buyers currently in-market for a medium SUV, are already putting the Honda CR-V on their shopping lists.” This year will mark 20 years since the first-gen CR-V went on sale in Australia. It was one of the original models in the segment, but Toyota’s four-door version of the first-gen RAV4 beat it to market by nearly two years.

The CR-V’s year-to-date sales tally of 2016 units is down 20.7 per cent on the same period last year, and places it ninth in the segment behind the dominant Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan X-Trail.

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