2013 Honda CR-V : First Drive
The 4th generation Honda CR-V has finally made it to Indian shores. It's new, stylish, well-built and has that typical 'Honda' air of distinction, and should be able to put up quite a fight in the entry level premium SUV league
The CR-V is currently offered with two engine choices here in the Indian market. For the fuel conscious, the obvious choice would be the 2.0 litre SOHC i-VTEC engine which is capable of generating 156PS @ 6500rpm (an increase of 13 PS over its predecessor), and makes a decent 190Nm of torque @4300 rpm. Available only as a two wheel drive (2WD), the 2.0 litre unit comes mated to either a 5 speed automatic transmission or a 6 speed manual. If it’s more power that you are looking for, then the 2.4 litre DOHC i-VTEC ought to suffice, especially with 190PS on tap at 7000rpm (an increase of 29PS over its predecessor) and a solid 226Nm of torque @ 4400rpm.
Incidentally, the 2.4 litre model is only offered with a 5 speed automatic transmission. However it is also the only model in the line up to get the REALTIME 4WD system as standard fitment. In terms of mileage shared by ARAI, the 2.0 litre returns about 13.7 kilometers to the litre and the 2.4 litre unit offers 12 kilometers to the litre. Honda claims that there has been a substantial change in mileage figures and that the new CR-V is destined to prove its mettle this time around.
In fact, to further aid the entire mileage process, Honda has included the ECON mode which allows you to switch on the ‘economy’ mode to get the best mileage possible, while the system also teaches you how to drive more efficiently. Its and interesting system that is more than just a gimmick and does have a direct impact on mileage figures. Having said that, real-world mileage figures still need to be checked and will remain a mystery until we get to fully test these vehicles on our own, I did get the opportunity to drive both versions and I have returned with a mixed bag of emotions.
I first took the top of the line 2.4 litre version for a drive and while I was able to easily notch up into three digit speeds, I felt that the automatic was taking away some of the driving pleasure that this engine ought to have offered. It wasn’t sluggish, it was just a tad bit un-dramatic and that made it a little boring. Using the paddle shifts did lighten up my mood and it definitely offers a more engaging drive experience, however I am sure that it wasn’t the best in terms of mileage for the cool ECON lights never came on even once!
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