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Updated Honda CR-V revealed in US

Hybrid powertrain, updated styling for US-spec Honda CR-V SUV, Aus debut unsure

19 Sep 2019

HONDA has revealed an updated version of its CR-V mid-size SUV in the US, which boasts updated styling and a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain that has been on Honda Australia’s wish list for some time.


At the launch of the fifth-generation CR-V in 2017, the company told GoAuto that the removal of a turbo-diesel variant meant the company was looking for another fuel-efficient alternative – possibly a hybrid – however it would hinge on being able to source such a powerplant in a cost-effective manner.


The main stumbling block to bringing the updated CR-V hybrid to Australia would again be sourcing, with Australian examples coming out of a factory in Thailand, while US-spec versions are built locally in Greenburg, Indiana.


As for the US-spec CR-V hybrid, the powertrain combines a pair of electric motors with a 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine which forgoes the need for a traditional automatic transmission, like in an electric vehicle.


The battery is stored under the cargo floor, with the all-wheel-drive powertrain producing a combined output of 158kW, up from the 140kW in the 1.5-litre turbo-petrol unit in Australian examples.


Honda is also anticipating a 50 per cent reduction in fuel use over the turbo-petrol engine, which in Australian examples averages 7.0 and 7.4 litres per 100km for the front- and all-wheel-drive versions respectively.


Along with the new hybrid powertrain, the updated CR-V ushers in new styling changes inside and out, starting with broader openings for the front foglights that are integrated into the bumper, with petrol versions scoring round foglights and Hybrid variants treated to bar-type lights with five LEDs.


A more pronounced grille is included, while dark-tinted tail-lights and a dark chrome finish on the garnish below the rear window also feature.


New chrome exhausts are included on higher-spec petrol versions, while the Hybrid has a hidden tailpipe as well as blue Honda logos and special badging.


New wheel designs are also available, in 18- and 19-inch diameters.


Inside, a redesigned centre console bin and wireless phone charging on certain trims are new to the range, while Hybrid version score a uniquely styled interior with a push-button gear selector, paddle-shifters for regenerative braking, and an instrument panel which features a display for power/charge status, and a selectable display for power distribution and regeneration.


Through the first eight months of the year, CR-V sales have fallen 16.3 per cent, from 11,247 units to 9419, placing it seventh in the all-important mid-size-SUV segment behind leaders such as the Mazda CX-5 (17,913), Toyota RAV4 (15,884) and Nissan X-Trail (12,951).


Despite its fall, the CR-V is still the best seller in Honda’s line-up, which overall has dipped 14.4 per cent year-to-date.


GoAuto has contact Honda Australia to see whether the Hybrid variant is likely for a local launch and to determine when the facelifted petrol model will enter showrooms.

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