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Honda updates CR-V looks, kit and names, ups price

Honda’s updated CR-V boasts enhanced styling, more gear and safety but at a price

22 Jul 2020


HONDA has treated its CR-V mid-sized SUV to a comprehensive makeover for the 2021 model year, with the five and seven-seat family hauler scoring updated styling, more standard kit and more safety tech across the range.


Along with the increase in standard equipment and safety gear also comes a mild price hike of between $1000 and $3200 depending on the variant, with the base model Vi now costing $30,490 plus on-roads.


On the style front, all variants have been treated to the same mild facelift which brings new bumpers front and rear, new blackout grille, dark-tinted tail-light lenses and dark chrome tailgate garnish.


New variant-dependent alloy wheels have been rolled out while two new colours have been added to the CR-V’s palette – Ignite Red and Cosmic Blue.


As before, the base model Vi is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine – the only naturally aspirated mill in the range – good for 113kW of power and 189Nm of torque, all sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT).


In terms of standard equipment, the Vi misses out on a lot of the new kit being added to the rest of the range, primarily the Honda Sensing safety suite.


That said, it does score Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard as well as the same new 7.0-inch infotainment screen and revamped centre console as its pricier siblings.


Other standard equipment items carried over unchanged include a reversing camera, electric park brake, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, tyre-pressure monitoring and 17-inch alloy wheels.


As for the rest of the range, Honda has decided to revamp the CR-V’s name grading in a bid to simplify the line-up and make it easier for prospective customers to keep track of the different variants.


The previously mentioned Vi and following VTi ($33,490) go on but without the 2WD prefix while the seven-seat version is now simply known as the VTi 7 ($35,490).


Above the VTi 7 is the VTi X ($35,990), VTi L AWD ($40,490) and VTi L7 ($43,490) while the VTi LX AWD ($47,490) remains at the top of the tree, commanding an extra $3200 than before.


To summarise, the T in VTi stands for turbocharged, X, L and LX are the trim levels, the ‘7’ marks out the seven-seaters and AWD singles out those with all-wheel-drive.


Power on all these variants comes courtesy of a 140kW/240Nm turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder powerplant with drive sent to either the front or all four wheels – depending on the variant – via the same CVT as the base model.


According to Honda Australia director Stephen Collins, customers have been “wanting a higher level of specification, but at what is still considered to be an affordable price point” while demand for a cloth-trimmed seven-seater had also risen.


“To cater for those shifts in buyer preferences, we’ve added additional equipment and features to what was previously the mid-range VTi-S AWD, to create the affordable luxury VTi L AWD, while at the same time moving the VTi L7 further upmarket and repositioning the previous VTi-E7 grade to become the new VTi 7,” he said.


“Despite challenging conditions with the Australian dollar over the past three years, we’ve maintained stable pricing right across the CR-V range since it first arrived in mid-2017.”


As alluded to earlier, the biggest upgrade to the range is the addition of the Honda Sensing safety suite to all 1.5-litre models, which adds forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control.


“The inclusion of Honda Sensing as standard equipment on all CR-V grades with the 1.5-litre turbo engine, represents another step in our plan to introduce the latest intelligent driver-assist and active safety technologies right across the Honda vehicle range,” Mr Collins said.


He also said that almost 70 per cent of the local line-up would feature Honda Sensing by early 2021 as part of Honda’s “ongoing commitment to support the safe and comfortable driving of our customers”.


Other more variant-specific standard equipment changes include the addition of wireless smartphone charging to the VTi L7 and VTi LX AWD with the former also scoring a hands-free power tailgate and LED headlights.


The VTi L AWD meanwhile scores leather upholstery and heated front seats.


Honda says the MY21 CR-V is on track to hit Australian showrooms as of next month and officially hit the market on September 1.


Through the first six-months of 2020, the brand chalked up 5613 CR-V sales, accounting for a respectable 7.9 per cent of the sub-$60,000 medium SUV segment.


2020 Honda CR-V pricing*

Vi (a) $30,490
VTi (a) $33,490
VTi 7 (a) $35,490
VTi X (a) $35,990
VTi L AWD (a) $40,490
VTi L7 (a) $43,490
VTi LX AWD (a) $47,490

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