Now in its fourth generation, the 2012 Honda CR-V enters the Nigerian market, revving up competition in the sports utility vehicle market
The lavish ceremony recently at the Ocean View Restaurant, Victoria Island, Lagos, could not have been more deserving for the product, neither could it have attracted personalities less than the crème de la crème of the nation’s automobile industry. It was an event at which The Honda Place, THP, franchise owners of Honda automobile products in Nigeria, chose to unveil and introduce into the market the 2012 Honda CR-V, a crossover sports utility vehicle, SUV.
And for Deepak Daryanani, sales and marketing director, THP, the re-launch of the CR-V could not have been low-keyed considering that 16 years after its first debut, this SUV has become a well sought-after vehicle. He disclosed that the main goal of the 2012 Honda CR-V is to be an excellent family vehicle, providing total comfort for its occupants. Though an SUV, the 2012 CR-V drives like a sedan with impressive economical four-cylinder engine spectrum and a remarkable handling, which are rare features that distinguish the CR-V in its class.
Redesigned for 2012, the new Honda CR-V, however, still maintains its previous size, with minimal hardware changes, enough style and feature modification to keep it fully competitive. And like its predecessor, the remodelled CR-V is offered in familiar LX and EX-L trim levels. Leading the change is a more efficient engine design with improved horsepower and torque, along with an all-new real time all-wheel-drive, AWD, with intelligent control system. While the LX comes well equipped, the EX-L has additional convenience and luxury features but without navigation system for the local market. A peep in the hood underscores CR-V’s standard 2.4-litre in-line four cylinder engine with 185 horsepower, hp, and 163 pound-feet of torque, designed to Honda’s fashionable five-speed transmission, just as all models come in the traditional front wheel drive, while for the all-wheel drive, it is optional.
But what exactly are the major attractions of the CR-V? First is the interior, fitted with high-quality materials, comfortable ride, quieter engine, better road handling and remarkable steering high points. Other technical features on the new CR-V focuses on the next generation mini-utilities, which come as standard, like the two information screens, a rear view camera, Bluetooth, and a function that reads incoming text messages from paired phones – provided the phone is a BlackBerry. Also new in the 2012 CR-V standard are features which include an easy fold-down 60/40 split rear seat and a range of standard technology features.
The manufacturer, Honda Motors Corporation, Japan, has also improved on the CR-V’s fuel management system, improving from 21/28 miles per gallon, mpg, either in the city or highway, respectively, to 23/31mpg, while the all-wheel-drive models go from 21/27mpg to 22/30mpg. Safety however remains a strong selling point for the CR-V, even as Daryanani said the CR-V ranks best amongst safety conscious cars in its class. Other standard safety features include stability control, brake assist system, and front-side and head-protecting side curtain airbags.
Compact on the outside and roomy inside, the CR-V represents an ideal balance for size and capability in the entry SUV segment. The all-new five-passenger CR-V offers improved car-like interior comfort, a smoother and quieter ride, and even more innovative features than the previous model. Certainly, the 2012 CR-V is set to change the face of the SUV market and will rev competition at an opening price of N5.4 million.