Honda is expecting the performance of a pacesetting new diesel engine to win back many of the customers it has lost in recent years. The Japanese company believes the high economy and low emissions of the British-built car will also tempt corporate sector motorists to change their hatchbacks and saloons for sports utility models.
Honda believe that making the 1.6 diesel engine available in the CR-V range model will bring SUV motoring a lot closer to people who have always opted for traditional C-sector cars.
Many people aspire to the CR-V but previously have regarded it as too expensive to operate but making the CR-V available as alternative to the hatchback with the 1.6 litre diesel engine will make it cheaper to run.
Business users will account for half the 4,500 registrations Honda hopes to achieve next year with the lighter, front-drive version, which is capable of more than 60mpg. 130g/km cap on emissions. The 1.6-litre range will not be in showrooms until October. Weighing 116kg less than 2.2-litre versions, the front-drive CR-V shares its six-speed manual gearbox with the Civic and uses softer springing for smooth progress with stiffer damping to reduce body roll.
Despite its bulk and voluminous cargo space – up to 1,669 litres with the rear backrests down – the car is reasonably quick off the mark, has a lively response and rarely seems lacking in output. Honda claim it corners well for its height feels secure at speed and cruises quietly in a high top ratio. Pricing is not yet finalised, but the SR is expected to cost about £24,500 – undercutting the 4WD version enough to attract the growing number of D-sector user-chooser drivers seeking versatile transport with lower whole-life costs.