Launched globally in 1997, the Honda CR-V made its way into the Indian market with its second-gen in 2003. Once the best-selling luxury SUV in the country, its sales started to see a downward trend amidst rising fuel prices and the advent of diesel SUVs from the competitors. In the hopes of replicating the same success, Honda launched the third-gen of the CR-V in the Indian market which started well but met with the same fate, while the fourth-gen launched in 2013 failed miserably because of lack of diesel engines and bland rear styling. Moreover, the pricing of the car too failed to infuse any interest into the buyers.
In 2019, D-Segment SUVs have started to amass all the rage and following. People like these offerings for their brawny looks and much practical approach. What hasn’t changed is that we still love them in Diesel avatars. Honda, in its fourth attempt, launched the CRV in the Indian market with a host of updates to take on the well-established competition. The biggest addition was the option of a Diesel engine to cater to its fine-catered audience. A Petrol engine is on offer too, and the CR-V can be had in a seven-seater version as well.
While the crossover looks might be against the market sentiments, the CR-V comes across as a car that is easy to manoeuvre and being a Honda, reliability is taken care of. The monocoque construction further takes care of driving dynamics and spacious cabin. Honda CR-V takes on the mighty Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and the Mahindra Alturas G4. Should the Honda CR-V be your pick in the sea of butch, body-on-frame SUV?
The current generation of CR-V went on sale in India in 2018 and carries more or less the same changes in 2020. A major addition comes in the form of rear parking sensors as standard, in light of BNVSAP norms.
The CR-V can be had in three variants, namely Petrol 2WD, Diesel 2WD and Diesel AWD. Prices start at Rs. 28.33 lakhs for the base petrol variant and goes all the way till Rs. 32.83 lakhs for the top-spec Diesel AWD. While the Diesel models come with seven seats, the Petrol can be had with five seats only. This sort of step-motherly treatment to the Petrol variant is inexplicable on Honda’s part. Furthermore, there is no manual transmission on offer for either of the engines. Again, this is something that goes against Honda’s thinking!
2-WD Petrol AT
2-WD Diesel AT
AWD Diesel AT
Rs. 28.33 lakhs
Rs. 30.73 lakhs
Rs. 32.83 lakhs
|Full LED Headlights with Auto On-Off||Includes features of 2WD Petrol CVT||Includes Features of 2WD Diesel AT|
|Panoramic Sunroof||3rd Row 50:50 Recline||All Wheel Drive Torque Indicator in MID|
|Diamond-Cut Alloy Wheels||Sliding second-row seats|
Shark Fin Antenna
|Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control||Third Row Bottle Holders|
|6-airbags, VSA, HSA, EPB, Brake Hold Assist|
|Lane Watch camera|
|Digital Multi-colour TFT|
|8-speaker sound setup|
|7-inch Touchscreen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple car Play|
|8-Way Power-Adjustable Driver Seat|
|2nd Row 60:40 Split with Recline|
All the trims are closely packed in terms of pricing and thus it helps a prospective buyer to change his decision at the last moment without any financial restraints. This also makes things easier as compared to the competition which comes with a minimum of five variants.
Keeping in mind the features and cost, the Diesel 2WD is the best variant to buy in 2020 Honda CR-V. It offers the practicality of seven seats, good fuel economy, and the brilliant ZF Automatic Transmission. The AWD isn’t recommended, purely because taking a soft-roader off the tarmac doesn’t add up in terms of value unless you’re looking for some bragging rights!
Honda CR-V (Diesel)
1.6 4WD 9 AT
Honda CR-V (Diesel)
1.6 2WD 9AT
The 2020 Honda CR-V comes with two engine options. The Petrol is the tried and tested 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Now, this is the very same engine that was available with the previous-gen CR-V in India. However, the brilliant 2.4-litre engine has been given a miss, for reasons best known to Honda.
This is the largest engine in Honda India’s lineup, and one expects some good performance from it. Power and torque figures are modest, at 152 bhp and 188 Nm respectively. The good bit about this engine is its refinement, it is super-refined. Performance is just about adequate, and enthusiasts will be left wanting for more from this engine. Despite its compact dimensions, the CR-V is a big car for this engine, and it shows! Acceleration is brisk but slow. Low-end power delivery is good, but being an i-VTEC, it shows its potential at the top-end. This engine is mated to a CVT gearbox, sending power to the front wheels. Again, this gearbox offers convenience and isn’t meant for those seeking performance. The car will feel at home in the city, due to its good drivability, and out on the highway, the engine doesn’t feel subdued and can cruise at triple-digit speeds all day long. So, it's a win-win.
The other engine on the offer is 1.6-litre Earth Dreams four-cylinder Diesel engine. This engine is tuned for 118 bhp of power and 300 Nm of torque. Internationally, this engine is available with a twin-turbo configuration, producing 180 bhp of power. Sadly, we get the lower state of tune. The numbers are quite underwhelming for the segment, where rivals boast of power north of 180 bhp.
Mahindra Alturas G4
2.0-litre i-VTEC four-Cylinder
2.7-litre VVTi four-cylinder
118 bhp @4000 RPM
164 bhp @5200 RPM
189 Nm @4300 RPM
245 Nm @4000 RPM
This 1.6 Diesel shares its block with the 1.5-litre engine, which does duty in cars like Jazz, Amaze and City and this engine is infamous for its notorious NVH levels. Thankfully, the larger engine doesn’t have that and is pretty refined for a Diesel. Just like the petrol engine, this engine is very underwhelming for a car of this size. Low-end power delivery is good, and progress throughout the rev-range is brisk. The biggest talking point of this engine the gearbox – a nine-speed ZF sourced AT. While a lot of cars deserve better gearboxes, this car is an exception – this gearbox deserves a better or a bigger engine. An interesting trivia about this engine, the ninth gear is engaged only after 135 kmph, which implies you won’t be using that gear very often.
|Models||Honda CR-V||Toyota Fortuner||Ford Endeavour|
Mahindra Alturas G4
|Engine (Diesel)||1.6-litre iDtec four-cylinder||2.8-litre four-cylinder||2.2-litre four-cylinder||3.2-litre five-cylinder||2.2-litre four-cylinder|
|Power||118 bhp @4000rpm||175 bhp @3400rpm||158 bhp @3200rpm||197 bhp @3000rpm||178 bhp @4000rpm|
|Torque||300 Nm @2000rpm||420 Nm @1400rpm||385 Nm @1600rpm||470 Nm @1750rpm||420 Nm @1600rpm|
9-Speed ZF AT
|6-Speed AT||6-Speed MT||6-Speed AT||6-Speed MT||7-Speed AT|
Honda is, definitely late to the party, and with the pricing, they’ve left the CR-V to compete with the likes of Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and Mahindra Alturas. The rivals are miles ahead to the CR-V, in terms of engine size and performance.
While the power figures for the CR-V look disappointing, in a real-life scenario, the car performs fairly well, if not the best in the segment. The CR-V is fastest of the ton when we compare its petrol variant with the competition. The 0-100 kmph figures for the Diesel CR-V are not available, however, we expect it to be slower than the competition, due to the underwhelming on-paper specs.
It is not the thriller which was expected from Honda, but the performance is not half bad as you will not be in a situation to struggle for overtakes or sleek upshifts. All is not lost with the CR-V and we still get to enjoy that peppy SUV from Honda, if not to the full extent, but a fragment of that essence.
Mahindra Alturas G4
0-100 kmph (seconds)
0-100 kmph (seconds)
~ 10.72 secs
The light curb weight of the CR-V does give it an advantage over the Toyota Fortuner when we put the petrol variants of both the cars head to head. Apart from the CR-V, all other vehicles in this segment are body on frame SUVs. This not only makes them heavy and slow but also takes a toll on their overall performance. To conclude, the CR-V, even with its lightweight can't take on the big daddies of the segment because of the puny engines.
Unlike the traditional body-on-frame SUVs, the CR-V has none of the excessive side-to-side movement, thanks to its monocoque construction. The CR-V is equipped with McPherson struts at the front and a multilink setup at the rear. Despite the large 18-inch wheels, ride quality is not very stiff and the suspension is well-tuned to offer the perfect balance of handling and comfort. The tyre size stands at 235/60/18 which helps in added comfort as the sidewall is big enough to absorb even the large bumps on the road. Overall, the suspension is biased for ride quality.
The suspension does its job silently and sitting inside, one car barely hear the suspension thud over large potholes. Moreover, the CR-V feels planted on the road even at triple-digit speeds and does not lose its composure when going over road undulations. At the corners too, this Honda feels better than its competition. There is body roll felt inside the cabin, however, it is not very significant.
The EPS has a steering rack with a variable ratio that keeps it light at city speeds and weights up nicely at the higher speeds. The EPS, however, lacks any feedback and is strictly average. The turning radius stands at 5.5 meters which is not too much considering the segment standards. The ground clearance for the AWD variant is 198 mm which is sufficient to tackle almost all the road conditions in the country. The AWD is a soft-roader and one must not expect it to perform well in hard-core off-roading conditions.
The CR-V gets an all-wheel disc brake setup which helps the driver stop the car well within the desired distance. The pedals offer good feedback and the brakes are applied progressively, depending upon the pressure applied on the pedals. Under hard braking, the car stops in a straight line without any drama. In terms of safety, the CR-V gets ABS with EBD, vehicle stability assists, agile handling assist, and hill start assist along with auto brake hold.
Overall, the brakes perform well, and even under full load, you will feel safe driving it at triple-digit speeds. Lower kerb weight figures also run in favour of the CR-V as it puts less stress on the brakes to bring the vehicle to halt.
Mahindra Alturas G4
With the lightest curb weight in the segment, the CR-V not only offers the best braking performance but also feels the most stable of all the other cars of the segment. the driver surely will feel safe while driving the CR-V.
CR-V is not a small SUV, however, the small but efficient engines surely deliver some segment-leading fuel efficiency figures. The ARAI fuel economy for the Diesel is rated at 18.3 kmpl, which is best in its class. The Petrol’s ARAI efficiency is rated at 14.3 kmpl, which again, is best in class. With a fuel tank capacity of 57 litres, a Diesel-powered CR-V can cover around 1043 km on a single tank of fuel.
The mediocre performance from both engines have this hefty positive point for the CR-V in its mileage. The relaxed engine helps you extract a formidable range which will surely make the common conservative person happy. Honda has scored well here.
Mahindra Alturas G4
Fuel Tank Capacity(L)
Comparing it with its rivals, the CR-V delivers second-highest travel range in a single tank of fuel. The small engine and lighter curb weight of the CR-V help the owner prevent heavy fuel expenses. The Mahindra Alturas G4 has the shortest range as it just comes with a 70-litre fuel tank.
The Honda CR-V in its current-gen received some prominent updates when it comes to the styling and engine option options. The new car is longer and wider than the outgoing model, and it evident from every angle. While the bumpers and alloy wheels give it a sportier appeal, it gets a macho and a bold stance. Unlike the older models of the CR-V, this one looks sharper which will appeal to a larger section of the buyers. Sleek headlamps along with a strong shoulder line and higher ground clearance help it have that much required SUV character.
Weighing in at 1.7 tonnes for the diesel AWD variant, the CR-V is the lightest of all other SUVs amongst its rivals. Its petrol CVT variant weighs in at almost 1.5 tonnes, which is somewhat okay for a car of this size. Overall, with all the designing cues from Honda's new design language, the CR-V looks sporty, aggressive and sharp. A prominent crease starts from the front bumper and runs along the sides, all the way to the rear, which adds to the overall aggressive design of the car.
Mahindra Alturas G4
Considering the segment rivals, the CR-V is the smallest of all but yet gives a good competition to the SUVs it competes against. While the Endeavour has the old school design language, the Fortuner, on the other hand, is based upon the modern designs which are also seen on other Toyota cars. Overall, the CR-V may not have a massive road presence but it still manages to attract some eyeballs.
Sit inside and you will be greeted by very premium looking dual-tone black and beige interiors with piano black gloss and wooden inserts all around the dashboard. At the front, there is sufficient headroom, legroom and shoulder room along with narrow door sills which make ingress and egress a very simple affair. Higher seating not only helps to see what is ahead more clearly but also helps to increase the overall visibility from the cabin. The driver's seat is 12-way electrically adjustable which helps the driver find a comfortable seating position. With that being said, the other seats in the cabin offer a comfortable seating position too and out on those long highway journeys, every passenger will come out without feeling fatigued. Rear visibility is poor because of the thick D pillars at the rear.
The interiors are a big step up from the outgoing CR-V in terms of quality and practicality. The plush leather along with good cushioning all around the seats makes it a good place to be in. At the rear, the floor is nearly flat, making it easier for the middle passenger to rest his/her legs and a 90-degree door aperture makes it easy to come in and out of the car. The middle row gets dedicated AC vents along with 12V charging sockets. on the negative side though, the headroom in the last two rows is at a premium and taller passengers may find it an issue. In the 3rd row, we do get seatbelts, ISOFIX mounts and dedicated AC blowers along with SRS curtain airbags.
Mahindra Alturas G4
The car is wide enough to comfortably seat three passengers in the middle row. The last row, however, should be reserved for kids or adults with shorter heights because space is limited in the rear. Overall, 5 adults and 2 children can comfortably sit inside the cabin for those long highway journeys. As said earlier, the car's suspension is tuned towards a plusher ride quality and sitting inside this cabin, one will not encounter any unwanted jerks creeping into the cabin.
The 2020 Honda CR-V gets a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that comes with a long list of features. The sound system comprises an 8-speaker setup out of which 4 are tweeters. Apart from this, it also gets smartphone connectivity supports such as apple car play and android auto. Honda still can improve upon the overall user experience as the screen feels laggy in responsiveness.
But it is still bundled with all of the latest features that are required to make your travel easier and relaxed. The various features are listed below.
Buyers of this segment are particular about the boot carrying capacity of the car and the CR-V gives tough competition to its rivals in terms of boot capacity. With the third row down, the total boot capacity of the CR-V stands at 472 litres while with all three rows up, it is just 150 litres. If you tumble forward to the middle row, you will get a massive 936 litres of total boot capacity.
The third-row seats fold flat but there is a bump which doesn' give it a flat-folding nature and thus takes away the practicality from this SUV. The spare tyre and toolkit are neatly tucked away in an under cargo space that adds to a clean underbody look, unlike the competition which has the spare tyre hanging from its underbody.
Mahindra Alturas G4
Although the CR-V is the lightest car in the segment, Honda has ensured that the car remains safe. As part of the safety equipment, the CR-V gets 6 airbags, VSA (vehicle stability assist), hill hold assist, auto brake hold, driver attention monitor along with a lane watch camera on the left ORVM. For those who are looking to keep this car for a long period need not worry as Honda cars are generally reliable and do not cost a bomb to maintain in the long run. The excellent after-sales network of the company along with great parts support adds to the overall value of the package. In the Euro NCAP safety rating test, the CR-V scored five out of five stars, which simply describes how safe this car is.
Honda has also added in a bunch of modern driving assist features along with the important bunch of safety features. The various features available in the 2020 CR-V are listed below.
The Toyota Fortuner has been the segment leader for years now and with its recent update in 2016, it is now a fully finished product that caters to everyone's demands. Powered by powerful and reliable engine options, it comes with both Manual and Automatic transmissions, along with an option for all-wheel drive. While the high-speed dynamics can still be improved, this ladder-on-frame SUV is one of the best when it comes to off-road driving and this is one of those vehicles which can take you to places no other SUV can take.
The Honda CR-V gives it a tough competition when it comes to high-speed stability and driving dynamics, ride quality, interiors and features but what it surely misses out on is the lack of bigger engines, a body-on-frame chassis which adds to the overall practicality and robustness of the vehicle and a massive road presence. While the build quality of both of the cars is at par with each other, the Honda CR-V is best suited for those who drive more within the city limits or on well laid out expressways.
The Honda CR-V faces a tough time when we compare it with the Endeavour as the latter is not only powerful and feature-rich, it also has similar ride quality levels and even more plush interiors. The smaller dimensions of the CR-V and the lack of space when compared to the Endeavour also serves as positive points for the mighty Ford. The build quality of the Endeavour is better than that of the CR-V and the interiors feel more luxurious and spacious. On the other hand, the CR-V's smaller dimensions help to drive it in crowded areas and on narrow roads. The CR-V is also much more fuel-efficient than the Endeavour.
Against the newest kid on the block, the CR-V fares extremely well, save for the off-road ability. While the Alturas’ cabin is full of soft-touch materials, the CR-V’s cabin somehow feels plusher and screwed. When it comes to engine options though, the Alturas G4 is miles ahead of the CR-Vs. For those looking for an in-city car, the CR-V is, definitely the better of the two.
Honda has upped the game with the launch of the updated 2020 CR-V with a list of updates that were required to fulfil almost all the checklists of the buyers of this segment. However, with SUVs such as the Fortuner, the Endeavour and the Alturas G4 already competing in the segment, the CR-V failed to make a major impact in the market with its smaller dimensions and smaller engine options. On the plus side, the CR-V gets some segment-first features, refined engine options with great automatic gearboxes, phenomenal ride quality, and a much more sportier design along with the ease of driving it in crowded places. However, at this price point, you can buy much better products the CR-V which are more VFM and mechanically better.
Smaller diesel and petrol engines and lack of some essential features are a big let down for the car. The CR-V is perfect for those who will be driving on good roads and crowded areas and for those who are concerned about the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. In the end, even though the CR-V is a great overall package, the Endeavour feels a much more VFM product and if you are considering buying the CR-V, we suggest you consider the Endeavour as well.