A long-awaited diesel engine option join the Honda CR-V range from January, as the Japanese brand's local division belatedly attempts to cash in on SUV buyers' hunger for diesel-powered models.
It will also become Honda Australia’s first diesel automatic model, with the brand confirming the choice of manual and auto transmissions for the newest addition to its line-up.
The Honda CR-V diesel will arrive 14 months after the initial launch of the fourth-generation model, which is currently available with two four-cylinder petrol engines: a 2.0-litre from $27,490 and a 2.4-litre from $32,790.
The CR-V will become just the second diesel-powered model for Honda Australia, following the introduction of the Civic DTi-S hatch in April from $26,990.
Unlike the Civic, which is powered by a 1.6-litre engine, the CR-V diesel will feature a 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel that produces 110kW of power and 350Nm of torque.
Honda says the six-speed manual variant will be the most efficient, claiming combined cycle fuel consumption of 5.8 litres per 100km. A five-speed automatic will be available as an option.
The CR-V diesel will be offered exclusively in four-wheel drive in Australia, suggesting a likely starting price of $35,000-$40,000, depending on the specification offered in our market.
Diesel-powered CR-Vs will be sourced from the UK, unlike their petrol siblings, which are made in Thailand.
The Honda CR-V is the last remaining mainstream mid-sized SUV not to offer a diesel engine option in Australia. Fellow Japanese brand Toyota finally added a diesel engine to its local RAV4 range when it launched the new-generation model in February. The RAV4 GX 4x4 manual is priced from $35,490.
Honda CR-V sales have almost quadrupled in Australia this year following the launch of the new-generation model, up 273 per cent to the end of September from 2668 units in 2012 to 9962 units this year.
Pricing and specifications of the Honda CR-V diesel will be released closer to its January launch.