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Honda India have scrapped the diesel CR-V

It appears Honda did not see a future where the diesel variant of the CR-V would bring in sales, because of which they have scrapped it.

The Honda CR-V has been around in India since 2003, when its second generation model landed on our shores. Being a Honda, which was fun to drive, and had quite a generous amount of space, the CR-V even became the highest selling SUV in the country. However, then the big behemoths, Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour joined the race, and since then the CR-V has begun to fade away.

The CR-V received a facelift in 2018, and this lead to the exteriors and interiors being upgraded, and even the powertrain (not so much if I am to be honest). The 5th generation CR-V is quite the looker, unlike the truck like the 2 truck like SUVs, the CR-V retained a more crossover like look, which made it look refined yet stunning. The tall wheel arches and the all LED headlamps further amped up the CR-V in the looks department.

On entering the vehicle, you would be greeted with the all black dashboard with wood inserts and right away you would realise that this was quite the luxurious cabin. Suffice to say, the CR-V and the Skoda Kodiaq at this point, have the best interiors in their segment. Like I said before, the looks of the CR-V were the strong suit of the vehicle, however, when you start talking about its power train, that is when things begin to seem lackluster.

The 5th generation CR-V diesel all wheel drive was launched at Rs 32.84 lakhs ex-showroom, at this price point you expect a big strong engine, not just because of the price point alone, but also because the CR-V is a heavy SUV (weighing almost 1.7 tonnes). To pull a vehicle of this weight without any hesitation, you need a strong engine and what did Honda give us, a 1.6 litre diesel engine producing a puny 118 ps. The only good thing in my opinion about this diesel variant was the gearbox, which was a 9 speed automatic transmission. Let me compare the CR-V against its rivals to give you an idea of how under powered it is.

A vehicle much like the CR-V is the Hyundai Tucson, thereby being a fair comparison, and the Tucson is brought to life by a fun to drive 2.0 CRDI diesel engine, which makes a generous 185ps, which is 67 horsepower more than that of the CR-V. It’s not like the Tucson is doing any good either and a major reason for that is the Harrier. The Tata Harrier is a great offering if you want something bigger than the Creta/Seltos but, do not want to spend as much. The only downside is that there is no AWD in the Harrier. But, we wouldn’t suggest the AWD CR-V for your off-road requirements either because the Compass comes into play here. ANd if you know Jeep, you know their off-road abilities. The Jeep is cheaper too.

The more expensive and currently discontinued Skoda Kodiaq utilised a 2.0 litre diesel engine which churned up 148 horsepower, making it more powerful than the CR-V. Comparing the Fortuner and Endeavour would not be fair, as these 2 are a different kind of an SUV, but suffice to say they are also significantly more powerful than the CR-V. The CR-V is also the smallest 7 seater SUV amongst the Skoda Kodiaq, Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour (would not count the Tucson here as it is a 5 seater), and that further makes things difficult for the CR-V. Where the CR-V gains is its enormous lists of features, the styling, and safety. But then, what makes things truly worse for the CR-V is its pricing. As I said before, the CR-V diesel AWD is priced at Rs 32.84 lakhs, and in this price range you have the Toyota Fortuner whose diesel 4×4 automatic top end costs Rs 33.95 lakhs and the 4×4 automatic Ford Endeavour which is priced at Rs 33.25 lakhs (all prices being ex-showroom).

In fact, you can have a much better range of SUVs than the CRV at almost half the price with the Creta, Seltos, Harrier or even the HExa (if you want a 7-seater). Naturally most of the sales are snatched by the 2 body on frame SUVs and it was only time before which the diesel CR-V would cease to exist. More importantly, Honda clearly realised that there was no point in upgrading an already failing BS4 diesel variant to BS6. However, Honda will continue to run the 2.0 litre petrol CR-V which makes 152 ps while being coupled with a CVT transmission.

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Siddharth Kapila

22 year old guy whose passion for cars has been ever present. I also read and find peace in sketching. (does not mean I sketch well)

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