The recently revealed sixth-generation Honda CR-V has been approved for sale in Australia, but it’s unclear just when it will reach showrooms.
Honda Australia remains tight-lipped on launch timing, confirming last July it was “more than 12 months away” but not providing any updates subsequently.
The vehicle’s presence on these government approval documents, however, suggests a launch could take place this year.
Approval documents list a range of seven CR-V variants, down only two on the current car.
No variant names are listed, but a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine powers six of these.
The new hybrid powertrain, being introduced for the first time in a local CR-V, appears to be offered with only front-wheel drive and 19-inch wheels, suggesting it’ll serve as the flagship model.
The 1.5-litre variants consist of front-wheel drive five- and seven-seat versions with 17-inch wheels and five- and seven-seat versions with 18-inch wheels.
All-wheel drive models are five-seaters as in the current CR-V, with two variants listed: one with 18-inch wheels, the other with 19-inch wheels.
It’s worth noting these approval documents can sometimes list variants that don’t end up being launched in Australia.
First revealed in the US where it’s also built, the CR-V has subsequently gone on sale in Thailand in both turbocharged petrol and hybrid guise, both with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
The current Australian-market CR-V is sourced from Thailand.
The sixth-generation Honda CR-V is the largest yet, which gives the upcoming ZR-V – due here mid-year – some breathing room.
The new CR-V is 4694mm long, 1864mm wide, 1692mm tall, and rides on a 2700mm wheelbase, meaning the sixth-generation car is 69mm longer, 10mm wider, 2mm taller, and has a 41mm longer wheelbase than the outgoing model.
That puts it at the larger end of the mid-sized SUV segment among models like the Mitsubishi Outlander and Nissan X-Trail, which also offer an available third row of seating, while the ZR-V is at the smaller end with other two-row models like the Mazda CX-5.
For context, the mid-sized ZR-V measures 4567mm long, 1839mm wide and 1621mm tall on a 2654mm wheelbase.
Honda says the CR-V has a look that is more “rugged and sophisticated” than before, thanks mainly to a stronger shoulder line, and the base of the A-pillar sitting 122mm further back, 36mm lower, and 71mm further out.
Inside, the CR-V dashboard is highly influenced by the latest Civic and ZR-V with a long honeycomb mesh strip running the width of the car and disguising the location of the vents.
Knurled dials grace the freestanding infotainment screen — 7.0-inch on base models, and 9.0-inch on higher grades — and climate control section. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay comes with the larger screen, while the smaller display only supports wired smartphone mirroring.
The instrument panel features a physical speedometer on the right, and a 7.0-inch digital display on the left, which includes a fully digital tachometer on turbo models and power flow diagram on hybrid variants.
In the US the base engine is a revised version of the 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Maximum power remains unchanged at 142kW (140kW in Thailand), although it’s now generated at 6000rpm, 400rpm higher than before.
While peak torque remains at 243Nm (240Nm in Thailand), the curve is now wider, starting at 1750rpm — compared to 2000rpm before — and ending at 5000rpm.
A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard with the turbo, and it comes with a “step-shift mode” that simulates traditional gears under hard acceleration.
An improved 2.0-litre hybrid is expected to account for 50 per cent of sales in the US. The Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine has been upgraded with direct injection, while the two electric motors have been repositioned to sit side-by-side, allowing for the fitment of a larger, torquier traction motor.
Total system output is 152kW, an increase of 2kW over the previous-generation CR-V hybrid which wasn’t offered locally, while the electric motor is said to produce 335Nm, an improvement of 20Nm.
Continuous maximum speed has been increased from 137km/h to 185km/h, while the “linear shift control” system allows the petrol engine revs to rise and fall as they would do in a non-electrified car with a traditional automatic transmission.
Both drivetrains are available with an all-wheel drive system that can send up to 50 per cent of the car’s torque to the rear wheels. Hill descent control with a driver-selectable speed is standard on all models, regardless of drivetrain.
Both CR-V drivetrains have larger boots –1028L when measured to the ceiling — and on the turbo this can be expanded by a further 85L by lowering the boot floor. Drop the 60/40 split-fold rear seats, and storage space jumps to 2166L.
It should be noted American CR-Vs are five-seat only, while international models will be offered in both five- and seven-seat guises.
The current CR-V is one of only a few vehicles in its segment locally to offer a third row of seating.
Stateside the CR-V rides on 18-inch alloy wheels 235/60 tyres, or 19-inch rims with 235/55 rubber. The CR-V’s suspension setup consists of MacPherson struts up front, and a multi-link system at the rear.
On the safety front the CR-V’s sensors have a wider field of view, with the front-facing camera boasting a 90-degree viewing range, and the radar said to have a 120-degree field of view.
In the US, blind-spot monitoring is now standard, joining adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, and lane-keep assist. New safety elements include traffic sign recognition, traffic jam assist, and driver attention monitoring.
Other available features include a 15W smartphone wireless charging pad, and 12-speaker Bose sound system.
MORE: Everything Honda CR-V