The new 2018 Honda CR-V range is now on sale in Australia, bringing turbo power and, for the first time, seven-seat versatility to the company's popular medium SUV line-up.
Starting from $30,690 (all prices before on-road costs), the price of entry raises by $900 over the previous fourth-generation model, though Honda argues that the new version brings between $2600 and $4350 in added value, depending on variant.
A four-tier line-up will be offered; VTi, VTi-S, VTi-L and VTi-LX - mirroring that of the smaller Civic hatchback and sedan.
Unlike the Civic, however, the CR-V gets the company's 140kW/240Nm 1.5-litre VTEC turbocharged petrol engine across the range, mated exclusively to a continuously-variable transmission (CVT). Drive is sent to either the front or all four wheels depending on variant.
Standard kit in the front-wheel-drive entry-level VTi ($30,690) includes keyless entry with push-button start, active noise control, dual-zone climate control, rear-view camera, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and eight speakers.
There's also an electric park brake, LED daytime-running lights, front fog-lights, 17-inch alloy wheels with a full-size alloy spare wheel (a rarity these days), driver attention monitor, tyre pressure monitor and trailer stability assist.
Next up is the VTi-S, which comes in both front-wheel drive ($33,290) and all-wheel drive ($35,490), and adds extra features like 18-inch alloy wheels, an electric tailgate, in-built satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors, and LaneWatch mirror-mounted camera technology.
Third in the range is the VTi-L ($38,990), and is the only variant to offer seven seats. Over the VTi-S, the VTi-L also adds a panoramic sunroof, leather-appointed seat trim, heated front seats, powered driver's seat (eight-way with lumbar and memory), along with automatic wipers. It's also front-wheel drive only.
Serving as the flagship variant is the VTi-LX, which is all-wheel drive only and starts from $44,290. Extra features include the Honda Sensing driver assistance technology suite - which includes systems like lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with forward collision warning.
The VTi-LX also features four-way powered front passenger seat, full-LED headlights with active cornering lights, LED front fog-lights, DAB+ digital radio, privacy glass, and an automatically-dimming rear-view mirror.
Unfortunately, Honda has once again reserved its advanced safety systems for the top-spec model, much like the Civic, despite an increasing number of competitors like the Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail and Volkswagen Tiguan offering some form of AEB as standard across their respective ranges.
Honda claims the fifth-generation CR-V offers more direct steering, more dynamic handling and stronger braking performance.
Cargo space is slightly reduced in this new-gen CR-V, compared to the outgoing model. The five-seater lists 522 litres with the rear seats upright and 1084 litres when laid flat, while the outgoing model listed 556 and 1120 litres respectively.
The seven-seater, a new configuration for the CR-V, lists 150 litres with the third row upright, and 967 litres with both rear rows laid flat.
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2017 Honda CR-V pricing
2018 CR-V VTi (five seat) - $30,690 (+$900)
2018 CR-V VTi-S (five seat) - $33,290 (2WD, +$1000)/$35,490 (AWD, +200)
2018 CR-V VTi-L (seven seat) - $38,990 (-$300)
2018 CR-V VTi-LX (five seat) - $44,290 (-$1500)
All prices exclude on-road costs.
UPDATE: The new CR-V is now on sale in Australia. Watch for CarAdvice's Australian launch review soon.
Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss the Honda CR-V below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.