Does Honda Have the Engine Choices Wrong for the 2018 Honda CR-V?


Honda first unveiled the CR-V (Compact Recreational Vehicle) back in 1995, you could almost say that it was one of the pioneers of the compact crossover SUV segment. It has gone on to become one of the most popular SUV’s in its segment – selling 357,335 units in 2016.

Sales have increased year-on-year since its introduction aside from 2007 where it had spike in sales and sold more than expected. The fifth-generation of the Honda CR-V sits between the smaller Honda HR-V and the full-sized, three-row Honda Pilot SUV.

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The Honda CR-V was updated for 2017, will the 2018 CR-V be an improvement?


1. Will 2018 model be improvement?
2. Wrong engine choice?
3. Plenty of fitted equipment
4. Inside out
5. Will it be a June debut?

For 2017, Honda completely revamped the CR-V, even going as far as building it on a new platform – the Compact Global platform that was the underpinning for the tenth-generation Honda Civic. They also significantly updated the styling and fitted new equipment, so we aren’t expecting many changes for the 2018 Honda CR-V, although of course they will make it different enough for it to be a new Model Year.

If you’re currently in the market for a CR-V, you should consider getting to your local Honda dealer when they start clearing out the inventory to make way for the 2018 model – there will be discounts offered, and truthfully, aside from a few styling details, there won’t be that much difference.

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Has the 2018 CR-V from Honda got the wrong engine choice?

Under the hood, we will see the existing range of engines – two to be precise. These will be the ‘Earth Dreams’ 2.4 liter inline four-cylinder with 184 horsepower and 181 pounds feet of torque or if you upgrade to the higher trim levels, you’ll get the turbocharged 1.5 liter inline four-cylinder with 190 horsepower and 170 pounds of torque.

And this is where we see a problem – yes, the smaller 1.5 turbo makes more horsepower, but you won’t feel that extra 6 horsepower and it makes less torque. The whole point of vehicles like these is torque – being able to pull a higher gear, or tow more stuff, or fill with more … anything. It needs torque to do that, not horsepower. We think that Honda have dropped the ball with this engine choice. Further, we don’t know if the larger 2.4 liter is available on the higher trims – officially we’re told that the LX trim will have the 2.4, while the EX, EX-L and Touring will have the smaller mill.

Doesn’t sound right to us, but maybe we are missing something?

Whatever the choice of powering the CR-V, it will drive the front-wheels as standard, with an all-wheel drive option. All powertrains will use the Honda Continuously Variable Transmission – the CVT automatic.

Plenty of Fitted Equipment

Safety-wise, the 2018 Honda CR-V will use the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) ratings from the 2017 Model Year, this should mean an overall 5-Star rating for safety.

This is helped enormously by the Honda Sensing system which includes such technology as collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise-control with a low-speed follow function, lane keeping assistant and lane departure warning.

We’ll also see a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alerts and driver attention monitor.

Along with the safety stuff, the 2018 Honda CR-V will have plenty of other toys and features fitted, although we aren’t yet sure what’s going to make it on the base model or will only be available on the higher trim levels.

No doubt we’ll have the rear-view camera across the range, there will also be LED lighting (including the Daytime Running Lights), dual-zone climate control, powered moonroof and powered driver’s seat. There’s also nice touches like a powered liftgate, which can also be activated via a hands-free option – waving your foot under the rear bumper, leather upholstery and of course, an updated touchscreen infotainment system. We’d have to say that you get a surprising amount for your money – even when you’re paying for the fully-loaded flagship Touring version.

The 2018 Honda CR-V will be in a competitive segment, filled with the likes of the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. They’re all very similar vehicles; a slightly different driving position, upholstery or standard equipment, but not entirely dis-similar.

We have also heard a rumor that the 2018 CR-V may get an optional third-row of seating, but we aren’t sure that could happen; yes, the CR-V is slightly bigger than the predecessor, but it isn’t that big – there would be too many compromises for that to happen in our opinion. And that’s the thing about today’s market – you don’t need to drive a compromise when there are just so many great vehicles to choose from.

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Inside Out

We aren’t sure about what detail changes Honda will introduce for the interior, but we can tell you that Honda make some of the best interiors (for the segement) on the market. We would imagine that for the 2018 CR-V, they will try and make it better still – improving sound insulation would a first pick (not that the current CR-V suffers from being noisy), next up would be slightly redesigned seating and then just an overall trim fit & finish – when you compare the inside of the Honda to the Kia for example, they look to be in different classes.

Will it be a June Debut?

Industry sources have the 2018 Honda CR-V making its debut around June of this year, with a full production roll-out later – around August or September for the U.S. market.

Pricing will be near identical to the current model, so we’ll see prices starting in the region of $24,645 and rising up to $34,295 for the loaded Touring trim level.

What do you think to the 2018 CR-V? Is it something that you’d buy? Or does it need to be funked up a little? Let us know in the comments.

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Editor's rating
4.6 overall
  • Safety4.9
  • Performance4.5
  • Design4.6
  • Features4.6
  • Fuel economy4.4

The whole new generation of successful Honda CR-V crossover will debut in 2018. We expected total redesign and the new engine range.

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