Looks Great, Drinks Less, Feature Loaded and Smooth to Drive.
by John K. Lindgren
Petrol head? Not me. I am more of a Diesel aficionado. I like torque and fuel efficiency, turbo charged diesels. Those coveted German luxury sport SUV’s Porsche Cayenne and Macan Diesels, Audi Q7 TDI and BMW X3 and X5 “Torque of the Town” – these are clean, high-tech turbo diesels.
Now Honda CR-V has gone diesel. Finally! Remember the old frumpy looking first generation 20 years ago? Like a boxy delivery truck (lorry) with a spare wheel sticking out at the rear. Many complained how thirsty it was the old Honda CR-V or “Compact Runabout Vehicle!” Flash forward 2017 the 5th generation totally redesigned, re-engineered all-new Honda CR-V also the best selling compact crossover in north America finally arrives in Thailand powered by a downsized i-DTEC Diesel and boasting new spacious interior, three rows, seven seats. Sticker price: 1.699 baht (Porsche Macan Turbo Diesel 6.8 million baht)
Design: Unmistakable CR-V heredity. Shorter hood but a bigger body, sharper character lines and higher ground clearance. Now, more premium and a tad tougher looking CR-V boasting full-LED headlight clusters front and rear. On the roof a BMW inspired shark fin antenna. Polished 18 inch alloys add street credibility. Our Crystal Black Pearl test car is the top-of-the-line DT-EL 4WD model.
Interior: The new CR-V’s 7-seater capacity maximizes every millimeter in the cabin. Three rows of supple leather upholstery. Piano black and soft touch accents. The entirely new cockpit design with new premium LCD color instrument cluster and 7-inch Touch Screen Display, Navigation and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Plus sporty paddle shifters to make the driving more exciting.
But something is missing! Where is the gear lever, the shifter? Gone! Replaced with an electronic gear selector (push button) P, R, N and D/S. (S sport mode). Honda automotive innovation, par excellence. CR-V creature comfort comes with powered driver and passenger seats and a surprisingly spacious second row of seats with ample head and legroom. Third row for the smaller family members or pets. Also air vents for the second and third-row passengers. Charging the smartphones? Four USB ports to keep everyone happy. The rear doors almost open almost 90 degrees, providing easy entrance and exit. At the back the large trunk space becomes super (XXL) spacious with the third row folded. Another highlight the hands-free power tailgate. So smooth!
Engine: Under the sculpted hood Honda’s i-DTEC 1.6 L turbocharged diesel motor pumping out 160 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. Power delivery through the 9-speed automatic gearbox. Fuel consumption average 18 km/liter. Far more mileage than the previous generation CR-V’s, the gas-guzzlers . Want more fuel efficiency? Engage the ECON mode, which optimizes throttle output, transmission and air-conditioning for better fuel economy.
Safety Features: Some call it “accident avoidance technology” and the new CR-V has it all: LaneWatch and Vehicle Stability Assist, Auto Brake Hold, Hill Start Assist and Driver Attention Monitor, similar to Volvo that detects fatigue and alerts the driver by vibrating the steering wheel. For safe parking there’s multi angle rearview camera.
The drive: Bangkok Nawamin road – Hua Hin. Straight to the luxurious sea-side 5-star Hyatt Regency Hua Hin near Chop Stick mountain. The property boasts large verdant gardens, the large interconnecting lagoon pool and the seven-meter high water slide. For more privacy the Regency Club with all the privileges. Hyatt Regancy, still my wife’s, madame’s favorite week-end getaway in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
Verdict: Arrive in better shape. Yes! Thanks to the all-new Honda CR-Vs high up driving position and imposing road presence and the paddle shifters for proactive driving and overtaking on the busy Petchkasem road. Fuel consumption? No worries. Enough fuel for Bangkok Hua Hin – round-trip.
The all-new HONDA CR-V Diesel with Turbo is the real deal family compact crossover (SUV). Now, with more space, more comfort and all the bells and whistles. Swing by your nearest Honda dealer and ask for a test drive.
Honda CR-V 1.6 DT-EL 4WD
Engine: 4-cylinder 1.6 liter diesel turbo
Power: 160 hp
Torque: 350 Nm
Transmission: CVT auto 9-speed
Top speed: 196km/h.
Fuel consumption: 18 km/liter
Price: 1,699 million baht