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New Honda CR-V edges closer

In sight: Honda’s current CR-V is on borrowed time, with the all-new generation expected in Australia in 2017.

Honda Australia sets ball rolling on fifth-generation CR-V ahead of 2017 launch

Honda logo2 Jun 2016

By RON HAMMERTON

HONDA’S still-secret fifth-generation CR-V SUV is one step closer to Australian shores, as evidenced by a federal identification plate approval document published on the Australian Design Rule (ADR) website.

Although the model was not specifically named in the April 6 posting from the infrastructure and regional development department, which handles such technical homologation matters, GoAuto understands the approval applies to the new CR-V, thought to be due in Australia next year when it will continue the Japanese brand’s range renovation.

Probably bigger than before and based on an all-new platform shared with the latest Civic that arrives in Australian showrooms this month, the new CR-V will be a welcome addition to the local Honda range.

Sales of the ageing model have slipped 6.4 per cent this year in a segment that is up 13.4 per cent, making CR-V the eighth best seller in its class. In its first generation in the late 1990s, when it was a pioneer of the compact-SUV revolution, it was number one in its class.

Overseas reports suggest the new vehicle will get one or more of Honda’s latest Earth Dreams turbocharged engines and a new automatic transmission to replace the dated 2.4- and 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines and five-speed auto transmission that, with updates, have done duty for several generations.

The new Earth Dreams 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine – generating 127kW of power and 220Nm in its Civic guise – would seem to be a logical inclusion, along with the matching continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Spy shots of disguised test engineering mules in the United States suggest the growth in the CR-V’s dimensions might mean the possibility of a seven-seat version, which would be music to the ears of Honda’s Australian dealer group.

We can expect the styling and specifications of the next generation to be greatly influenced by American Honda, as the CR-V was its shining light last year, becoming America’s number-one SUV with a record 345,647 sales.

It was the fourth consecutive US record sales year for CR-V, which is manufactured in a number of plants around the world, including Japan, the US, Canada, Thailand, Mexico, India, China, Taiwan and the UK.

Australia’s petrol version comes from Thailand – an arrangement that will probably continue into the new model. It is unclear if Honda will re-commit to the diesel version that previously was shipped from the UK before the Australian organisation discontinued it last year due to exchange rate pressures.

Honda Thailand recently added a new plant to cater for the latest Civic and other compact cars, so it should have plenty of capacity to recommit to CR-V.

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