Buyers of the all-new Honda CR-V are ensured the kind of exclusivity normally reserved for buyers of much more exotic machinery.
The new midsize SUV is priced at a significant premium over its traditional rivals, with the 1.5T Executive commanding R959,900 and the 1.5T Exclusive stickered at R1,039,900. And by significant premium, we’re putting it very mildly.
This pitches it far above the Toyota Rav4, priced from R705,600 to R841,600, Nissan X-Trail (R672,900 - R794,900) and Volkswagen Tiguan (R623,800 - R843,000). Even the BMW X1 seems quite accessible by comparison with its starting tag of R788,045.
To be fair, we haven’t yet driven the new CR-V, so we don’t know if there is some magic formula that justifies the price premium. And granted, Honda is grappling with a weak rand and strong Yen. But we doubt many potential buyers are going to stomach the million rand price tag. Particularly given that both versions are front-wheel drive models equipped with CVT gearboxes.
For what it’s worth, the new Honda CR-V is specced to the hilt and Honda appears to have made enough engineering refinements to write a book about.
Built on an updated “Global Architecture” the new model’s body construction is 15% stiffer than before.
The Honda CR-V is also a little bigger than its predecessor, with the wheelbase growing by 40mm and the front and rear tracks widened by 10mm. The suspension has been retuned to improve ride comfort.
Power comes from an updated version of Honda’s 1.5-litre VTEC turbopetrol engine with direct injection. Promising a “more refined driving experience and enhanced power delivery” the 1.5T engine delivers 140kW at 6,000rpm and 240Nm from 1,700 to 4,500rpm.
The CVT gearbox, with “Step Shift” programming that simulates gear changes is also said to be quieter and more responsive.
The cabin of the new CR-V boasts a smarter and more minimalistic design, inspired by the latest Civic’s cockpit.
The executive comes with a partly-digital instrument cluster, featuring a 7-inch (17.8cm) TFT display, while the Exclusive receives a customisable 10.2-inch (25.9cm) all-digital LCD information display.
Both models ship with a new 9-inch (22.8cm) touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, linked to an eight-speaker premium sound system.
In addition to the aforementioned, the Executive base model ships with leather seats, electrically operated tailgate, dual-zone climate control, 360-degree parking camera and wireless charging pad.
Visually it’s distinguished by 18-inch alloy wheels.
Standard features in the flagship Exclusive model include a panoramic sunroof, interior ambient lighting and head-up display. On the outside it gains 19-inch alloy wheels, ‘sport’ front and rear bumpers and dual tailpipe finisher.
Both grades are also fitted as standard with an improved range of “Honda Sensing” driver assistance features.
These include Adaptive Cruise Control, linked to an improved camera system, Lane Keeping Assist and Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Forward Collision Warning and Collision Mitigation Braking System.
But the million rand question remains: can you stomach that pricing? Included is a five-year or 90,000km service plan and five-year or 200,000km warranty.
Honda CR-V Pricing (February 2024)
1.5T Executive FWD - R959,900
1.5T Exclusive FWD - R1,039,900