1 Sep 1997
Pre-CR-V, Honda’s most popular model was the venerable Civic small car.
But Australians turned to the Civic-based front-to-four-wheel drive (called Real-Time in Honda-speak) off-roader in droves, and – along with the conceptually similar Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester – almost systematically killed off medium sedan sales for a while.
In a nutshell, the CR-V was big on space and practicality (though a little short on refinement).
Powered by a 94kW/182Nm 2.0-litre DOHC 16V four-cylinder engine combined with a four-speed column-shift auto or five-speed manual floor shift gearbox, the CR-V was at-best a light-duty 4WD.
It’s the city slickers and school-run mums that took it to heart most. Maybe it was the foldaway picnic table that lured them in.
From March ’99 a gutsier 108kW/182Nm 2.0-litre engine appeared, along with a Sport model, which featured alloy wheels, anti-lock brakes and a sunroof.
Limited editions included the ‘98’s 50th Anniversary and April ‘01’s Sport Classic.