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Honda CR-V strives for more XY appeal

Man up: Honda has gone for a more butch look for its latest-generation CR-V SUV.

Aggressive styling to appeal to more males drove the latest Honda CR-V’s design

1 Aug 2017

HONDA has revealed that it has tried to infuse more “masculinity” into the design of the fifth-generation CR-V in order to lure more male buyers, but without alienating the female consumer set the series has attracted since its mid-1990s inception.

According to the Honda Motor assistant large project leader (CR-V dody design), Hiromichi Tsushima, the CR-V has been designed with a ‘manlier’ emphasis to give it a more commanding presence on the road.

“We wanted for it to appear more muscular as well as more SUV-like, but not so it would dissuade the considerable female demographic that the previous CR-V attracted, he told GoAuto via an interpreter at the launch of the fifth iteration in Canberra last week.

“Not that we don’t want women to buy our CR-V. Of course we do, and we are very pleased that it has been so successful with female buyers. But a more balanced and equal gender appeal is our desire. We also want to increase the level of younger buyers attracted to the brand.”

Designed by an American in Japan but refined by Honda’s team in Tokyo after the RW-series program commenced in 2012, the fifth-gen version of America’s best-selling SUV over the past 20 years features more macho styling cues than before, including what Honda states is “… a wider, more broad-shouldered stance, longer wheelbase, more sharply sculpted body and premium detailing including LED headlights and tail-lights”.

Combined with the wider and more muscular mudguards, a longer bonnet, shorter rear overhangs and dual exhausts, the aim is give the CR-V “… a more sophisticated and athletic presence,” Mr Tsushima said.

He also added that the more ‘cab backward’ silhouette with a more sharply raked windscreen, as well as a flatter underbody, also help aerodynamic efficiency to bring consumption and emissions down.

While the chassis tune was benchmarked against the Volkswagen Tiguan’s, Mr Tsushima revealed that the BMW X3 and other luxury-segment medium SUVs were studied to help achieve a more premium look and feel inside and out.

The interior design was created entirely in Japan.

A 28-year veteran at Honda Motor, Mr Tsushima has worked on the original Honda Odyssey (1994), as well as several Accord generations. He is also responsible for the Honda Stepwgn, a domestic-market Civic-based mid-sized people-mover capable of accommodating up to eight occupants.

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