2024 Honda CR-V 2.0L e:HEV RS: Smooth operator

THE sixth-generation Honda CR-V sports utility vehicle (SUV) has seen strong sales in Malaysia with close to 6,500 bookings and 1,500 units registered in the two months since its local launch in December last year.

This comes as no surprise as the SUV is impressively fitted with a slew of comfort and high-tech features, advanced safety technologies, a roomy cabin as well as powerful yet fuel-efficient powertrains.

There are three 1.5-litre turbocharged CR-V variants starting with the entry-level S variant at RM159,900 (on-the-road without insurance) and followed by the E at RM169,900 and V at RM181,900.

The range-topping 2.0-litre e:HEV RS hybrid variant is priced at RM195,900.

Honda Malaysia says 45% of CR-V registrations consists of the V grade, followed by E (30%), e:HEV RS hybrid (14%) and S grade (11%).

The top three variants (E grade onwards) get more comforts and features such as leather upholstery, 18-inch wheels (instead of 17-inch wheels on the entry-level S grade), front powered seats including an 8-way driver powered seat with two-position memory, hands-free power tailgate with walkaway close, paddle shifters, automatic front wiper, wireless charger (15W), an extra USB-C port for a total of 4 USB ports (entry-level S grade has 2 USB-C ports and 1 USB-A port), 9-inch touchscreen (instead of 7-inch on the S grade), front parking sensors and a LaneWatch Camera system (for detecting vehicles in the leftside rear blind spot).

2024 Honda CR-V 20L eHEV RS (1)

The new CR-V is larger and more spacious than its predecessor, with a longer wheelbase.

It was designed with many improvements for usability and ride comfort, and these include a reduced steering angle for a more sedan-like feel, more rear legroom and greater reclining angle of the rear seats for better relaxation.

The new CR-V also has better control of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) with a quieter cabin and reduced wind noise, as well as improved steering feel and handling.

The new CR-V offers 589 litres of boot space (expandable to 1,072 litres).

Sliding rear seats also result in more rear cargo space when needed.

Premium kit such as electrostatic touch-type LED cabin lights are a nice touch.

2024 Honda CR-V 20L eHEV RS (2)
2024 Honda CR-V 2.0L e:HEV RS: Powerful and responsive

Honda Malaysia recently organised a drive from Kuala Lumpur to Batu Ferringhi, Penang for the motoring media to better experience the top two CR-V variants, namely the 1.5-litre turbocharged (V grade) and 2.0-litre e:HEV RS hybrid.

As expected, both the CR-V variants, fitted with Toyo Proxes R45 tyres sized 235/60 R18, provided for smooth, comfortable long-distance motoring on a mix of smooth highways and backcountry roads where some stretches were rutted and poorly maintained.

Rear occupants who are 1.7-metre tall would have no issues with the headroom, and the rear seats which can recline at eight different angles, were a welcomed benefit when we wanted to catch a short nap.

The flagship e:HEV RS hybrid CR-V has a 2.0-litre Atkinson Cycle engine with 148PS and 190Nm of torque, which is mated to an electric motor system that manages an output of 184PS at 4,500rpm and 335Nm of torque from 0 to 2,000rpm.

Honda says the improved Hybrid Traction Motor enables higher top speed, thus delivering a “dynamic driving sensation”.

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The hybrid drivetrain has an electric CVT or e:CVT with a new framework, which is another first for Honda Malaysia, and offers smooth and quiet acceleration.

The e:HEV RS hybrid variant with two-wheel drive (2WD) is rated as delivering fuel consumption of 5.0 litres per 100km.

The hybrid CR-V also provides EV (electric vehicle) mode driving, if the battery is sufficiently charged, at low speeds when moving from a standstill or de-celerating.

Another feature that is exclusive to the hybrid CR-V is Active Sound Control (ASC) - which works together with Active Noise Control (ANC) that is on all CR-V variants.

On the drive from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh, we noted that cabin is quiet and well insulated from external road and wind noise.

Also, the hybrid CR-V seamlessly switched to electric vehicle (EV) mode occasionally for very brief periods when we drove at smooth, constant speeds on the highway.

The hybrid powertrain provided smooth and responsive acceleration, when we stepped hard on the accelerator pedal.

The suspension is tuned to provide a good balance between firm sportiness and comfort, and when we drove over irregular surfaces on poorly maintained roads, the ride quality was quite comfortable despite minor bounciness.

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The new hybrid CR-V also showed competent handling through corners, with minimal body roll as we tackled road curves at some speed.

The steering feels connected and direct, and provides better feedback than some EPS (electric power steering) systems we have experienced.

We also like the high quality look of the interior with its smooth, polished surfaces and soft touch materials, and dark leather upholstery with sporty red stitching.

The two USB-C ports (rear) and one USB-A port and one USB-C port in front came in handy for the three occupants in the car to charge mobile devices.

Also exclusive to the hybrid CR-V is a 12-speaker Bose sound system which produced clear and crisp audio.

Many Honda owners would be familiar with the LaneWatch Camera that provides a live view (on the centre display screen) of the vehicle’s blind spot (on the left side) when activating the turn signal – using a camera on the left passenger side mirror.

Honda engineers have explained previously that the LaneWatch Camera is fitted here, considering “how motorcycles are used in Malaysia.”

Our brief experience with the hybrid CR-V left us impressed with its compelling blend of a powerful and responsive hybrid powertrain, comfortable ride quality, premium-looking cabin, communicative steering feel and capable handling qualities.

Honda CR-V 2.0L e:HEV RS
Engine: 1,993cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC i-VTEC (Atkinson cycle), direct fuel injection
Maximum power (engine): 148PS at 6,100rpm
Maximum power (motor): 184PS from 5,000 to 8,000rpm
Maximum torque (engine): 190Nm at 4,500rpm
Maximum torque (motor): 335Nm from 0 to 2,000rpm
Transmission: electric Continuous variable transmission (e-CVT)
Kerb weight: 1,735kg
Drive system: Two-wheel drive (2WD)
Fuel economy: 5.0 litres per 100km
Features (differences and extras versus CR-V Turbo V Spec): Active Cornering Lights, rear fog light, roof rail, Active Shutter Grille, key card, head up display (HUD), no paddle shifters, Deceleration Selector Paddle, Sport button, 10.2-inch TFT meter cluster, 12 Bose audio speakers system, Active Sound Control
Safety features: Adaptive Driving Beam (ADB)
Price: RM195,900 on the road without insurance
Warranty: 5 years warranty with unlimited mileage; free labour service up to 5 times within 100,000km or 5 years, 8 years hybrid battery (lithium-ion) warranty with unlimited mileage

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Autos Honda