Revamped Honda CR-V plays the safety card

Leow Ju Len

A facelift for the Honda CR-V gives it new features, adding worthwhile safety kit while updating it for 2020’s connected era

SINGAPORE — There’s a new Honda CR-V in town, and it plays things safe. A mid-life revamp for the fifth-generation version of Honda’s “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle” gives it slightly sharper looks and a long list of new safety features.

The facelifted car rolls into town three years after Honda importer Kah Motor introduced five and seven-seat versions of the current CR-V.

Kah Motor put the seven-seat variant on sale in Singapore this week for S$156,999 with Certificate Of Entitlement, with the five-seat CR-V set to join the lineup “at a later date”, the company said.

In the meantime here’s a handy dandy gif we put together to remind you of the seven-seater’s basic versatility:

As before, there’s a 193 horsepower, 1.5-litre turbo engine doing the work here. It’s similar to the Civic Turbo’s engine, but has a larger turbocharger with a more efficient turbine. If you’re into engine porn, it looks like this naked:

Oh yeah, baby…

Both CR-V variants are front wheel-drive and have a Continuously Variable Transmission.

As for what’s new, here’s a closer look…

“Facelift?” In car company lingo that means new lamps and bumpers, right?
Yes, actually. But with the CR-V you don’t have to squint to find what’s new. Gone is the mostly chrome front grille, and in its place is a mostly gloss black one. And you can’t miss the resculpted bumpers.

facelifted Honda CR-V Singapore price

The lamps are now an LED fest: full LED headlights, full LED taillights, LED daytime running lights and LED turn signals.

Those tail lamps have a smoked lens cover now, and exhaust gases no longer emerge through circular pipes but a trapezoidal exit.

The seven-seater gets new 18-inch wheels, and an “accentuated body line”. Hmm… gonna have to get back to you on that one.

Honda says the facelift for the CR-V “emphasises its sporty, luxurious, and robust look in every dimension”, which might be overstating things a bit, but if you ask us the car does look sharper. As Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) go, the CR-V is more lithe than the class norm, anyway.

Anything new inside?
Before this facelift the CR-V had modern touches like a touchscreen infotainment system and virtual instruments.

With those in place, the 2020 edition is about new features: the 7-inch Advanced Touch system now works with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (though there’s native satnav, too). Both are essential in this connectivity-obsessed day and age.

The powered tailgate now has hands-free operation, and you can apparently set the opening height by remote control.

What about all the talk about safety?
Meet Honda Sensing, a suite of driver assistance features that either make life behind the wheel more relaxing, or less dangerous.

Honda Sensing brings these to the new CR-V:

Collision Mitigation Braking System

The car keeps a lookout for obstacles and brakes for you if it senses an impending crash

Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow

A radar sensor and windshield camera let the Honda lock on to the car in front and follow it at a distance that you set. It works in start-stop traffic, so your feet can rest when there’s a jam.

Lane Keeping Assist System

Need help staying in between those pesky lane markings? Some drivers do. The CR-V can gently feed in steering assistance if the driver can’t keep to his lane.

Road Departure Mitigation System with Lane Departure Warning

Similarly, the CR-V can see if you’re about to stray out of lane (or off the road and into a ditch) and warn you, then intervene with auto steering if you don’t respond

Like before, the CR-V comes with LaneWatch, a camera-based blindspot display system. There’s also a system to detect driver fatigue and recommend breaks accordingly.

The mid-life changes might not be radical, but they sharpen the Honda’s ability to meet the sort of brief that SUVs are designed for: practicality, convenience and comfort.

“I believe that the new CR-V will be the ideal lifestyle car that fits family and professional needs alike,” Nicholas Wong, General Manager of Kah Motor, said in a statement. His belief in the car is genuine; when this model generation appeared in 2017, Mr Wong was the first person in the country to book one.

2020 Honda CR-V singapore

The new CR-V enters an increasingly crowded market for seven-seat SUVs, with new models from Kia (with the Sorento) and Mazda (the CX-8) in similar price territory. For roughly S$30,000 more, the Mercedes-Benz GLB 200 offers the same layout of car but with the lure of a prestige badge.

The intense competition makes a facelift for the CR-V all the more timely, while the addition of Honda Sensing features should catch the eye of family-oriented buyers. Its launch makes buying a Honda a safe decision in more ways than one.

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About the Author

Leow Ju Len

CarBuyer Singapore's original originator, Ju-Len in person is exactly how he is on the written word and behind the wheel. Meaning that he darts all over the place and just when you thought he's lost the plot, you realise that it's just you not keeping up with his incredible rate of speed and thought.

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