Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Highlights of the 4G CR-V MMC

The 'refresh' or MMC of the 4th Gen CR-V sort of caught me by surprise as I was carried away with the launch of the 2G NSX as well as the excitement of the coming HR-V launch. Nevertheless, it is a very welcome update to the extremely successful CR-V model which should allow Honda to retain its leadership in this segment. 

Here, I cover very briefly the highlights of the CR-V MMC whilst working on a proper coverage article for for the near future.

Overall, this CR-V MMC can be considered a very straightforward face-lift, with minor changes to the styling of the front and the rear. There are also some minor changes to the cabin. All the main change has been for equipment and accessory, with the 2.4l variant being further enhanced with high-end equipment like Honda's Lane Change system, Bluetooth connectivity, HDMI input and others. 

Specifications and mechanical-wise, Honda Malaysia says the engines and gearbox remains the same as before. The engine choice remains between the 155ps R20A SOHC i-VTEC and the 190ps K20A DOHC i-VTEC. However, neither of these are Earth Dreams technology. Here, the most significant change is the addition of the 2WD option for the 2.0l variant, thus turning the CR-V line-up into a three variants line-up; 2.0l 2WD, 2.0l 4WD, and 2.4l 4WD. 

The CR-V has always been '4WD' since its first generation and this is the first time a 2WD CR-V has come to Malaysia. One disappointment is that all the variants continues to be equipped with the 5AT. The Thai 2.0l CR-V now comes with the CVT, so I was expecting the same for Malaysia as well. When asked during the press conference, the answer to 'why no CVT?' is 'we determined the 5AT to be most suitable for Malaysia'. 

The 2WD variant is supposed added because of continous inquiries from potential customers. This variant is very important because the generally dim economic outlook for most of ASEAN means price point will become more and more important in making or breaking a sale. So the 2WD variant allows Honda Malaysia to significantly lower the entry cost of CR-V ownership.

Exterior colour choices is now with 5 options - Modern Steel Metallic, Taffeta White (solid colour), Twilight Blue Metallic, Alabaster Silver Metallic and Crystal Black Pearl. Interior colour remains only at Black. 

Video of the unveiling ceremony of the 4G CR-V MMC

Honda Malaysia says up to 15% of CR-V buyers in the past have also bought their accessory package especially the bodykit. So this time they offer up to 4 choices of accessories with package prices ranging from as low as RM2,650 to as high as RM6,000.

Warantty is now 5-years of unlimited mileage with service intervals of 10,000km and 6 free labour service if alternated with paid service (i.e. for a total of 100,000km service). 

Prices are 169,800 for the top 2.4l variant, 150,800 for the regular 2.0l 4WD variant and a very attractive 139,800 for the 2.0l 2WD variant. The price point for the 2.0 2WD brings it down to almost Civic 2.0 level and will make it competitive with the new generation of SUVs from Mazda, Peugeot, etc in addition to the traditional Nissan X-Trail. For a change, Toyota actually does not have a viable offering in this segment as their Rush is simply too low-end and the Harrier too high-end. This is good news as with this MMC, the CR-V should continue its winning ways and dominate the market segment.

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