Another one in a long line of cars waiting for its newest iteration is the Honda CR-V, the much-loved SUV that has slowly been lagging behind its much newer competitors.
Thankfully, one of our neighbors just got the all-new CR-V which means our shores could be next.
2023 Honda CR-V Thailand Launch
Although the Bangkok International Motors Show (BIMS) is being held thousands of miles away, BIMS is normally an indication of what models we can expect in the Philippines due to Thailand exporting models to our country.
So when Honda Thailand decided to launch the all-new CR-V there we took that as an indication that it’ll be here sooner rather than later, so what does the all-new CR-V have to offer?
Let’s first address the obvious which are the looks, it now features a more updated and sportier look as compared to the current model. In all honesty, unless you look really hard at the all-new CR-V spotting the differences is almost impossible. That’s not a bad thing though because the CR-V was always a looker, improving the design and still keeping it recognizable is an achievement in itself.
The main difference in terms of looks has to be the decision to make the overall design more subtle (just like the Civic).
Step inside the CR-V and be greeted by a very familiar interior layout, which isn’t surprising. It has the same overall dashboard and interior panels as the HR-V and Civic, leading to a classy but simple look. The most notable “new” feature is the absence of the button shifter found in the current model, in its place is the more traditional shifter.
Next up is the new 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, as well as dual-zone climate control with rear vents, a Plasmacluster ionizer, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, wireless phone charging, heads-up display, and a 12-speaker Bose sound system. In terms of safety, the CR-V is no slouch, keeping in time with Honda’s drive to safe driving it comes with the Honda Sensing suite of safety features.
The next thing that needs to be addressed is the engine options, the Thailand market has decided to drop diesel in favor of gasoline and Hybrid power. The two engine options that debuted in Thailand are either a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that puts out 187 Hp and 240 Nm of torque, or the 2.0-liter dual-motor hybrid system (e:HEV) with a combined output of 184 hp and 335 Nm of torque.
For the non-hybrid unit, the transmission option available is a CVT and can either be AWD or FWD. The Hybrid version is only exclusively an AWD system.
Now with the absence of the diesel, what does this mean for us when we eventually get the all-new CR-V? Honda PH has been very conservative when it comes to engine options for our country. The City was launched without the turbo, and the Civic and HR-V are yet to get hybrid engines as well. This is despite the aforementioned vehicles costing much higher than their competitors who feature the same goodies with hybrid power to boot.
With the impending launch of the 2023 CR-V, it would be wise for the brand to bring in the intended global engines such as the hybrid given the nameplates provenance over lower models. With no more Accord to call its halo car, the CR-V needs to step up and take the mantle, diesel and hybrid combo as engine options for PH make sense, an all-diesel lineup would just be another wasted opportunity for the brand.