One of the very first premium SUVs to go on sale in India, the Honda CR-V has been around for a while now. That's four generations to be precise. However, Honda Cars India will soon introduce the fifth generation of the model but this time, the CR-V has changed in a big way. Not only does it now come with a diesel engine but it's also a seven-seater as well. Both those factors are a first for the 2019 CR-V and brings it up to speed with a host of other full-size SUVs. That said, the premium touch and compact proportions still remain its strong suits. With the launch scheduled in the first half of October this year, we take a quick look at where the 2019 Honda CR-V stacks up against its rivals including the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Volkswagen Tiguan, and the Skoda Kodiaq.
Also Read: 2019 Honda CR-V Launch Details Revealed
All the SUVs are actually good looking models and each has a style of its own. The Ford Endeavour is the oldest SUV here, and while it does not look very dated with its sturdy appeal, there is a facelifted version already unveiled overseas. The Toyota Fortuner looks quite futuristic with its styling and does have a sporty and smart appearance in a compelling package. However, it does not match up to the Endeavour's tough nut looks. From the VW family, both the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Skoda Kodiaq offer distinctly urban designs and appear extremely well built. The European SUVs definitely have more angular lines over the American and Japanese rivals and boast of a striking presence too. Coming to the newest offering in this segment, the 2019 Honda CR-V offers a distinctly familiar design wrapped in a futuristic package. The model is now longer than its predecessor, and you now see more prominent lines on the bonnet, wheel arches, as well as the bumper. As we said earlier, you can't go wrong with either of these in terms of styling, and the new CR-V is no different.
The biggest drawback of the Honda CR-V was its five-seater configuration, at least in the Indian market. However, the fifth generation model is a seven-seater making it an extremely practical offering in the segment. On paper, the new CR-V has grown longer and wider than its predecessor, while the wheelbase too is larger. Compared to its rivals, however, the Honda SUV is still smaller than the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and the Skoda Kodiaq. It's about 80 mm longer than the Volkswagen Tiguan. The new CR-V is as wide as the Fortuner at 1855 mm, and beats the Kodiaq as well as the Tiguan too. The widest SUV here though is the Endeavour at 1862 mm. With a ground clearance at about 208 mm, the CR-V can tackle rough roads with ease, which is higher than the VW and Skoda models, but lower than the brawny Fortuner and Endeavour. Barring the Tiguan, which is a strict five-seater, all other SUVs come with seven seating options.
The fifth generation Honda CR-V will use a 2.0-litre petrol engine under the hood that's tuned to produce about 154 bhp and 192 Nm of peak torque. The petrol version will be offered with only a continuously variable transmission (CVT) sending power to the front wheels. The model will miss out on All-Wheel Drive as well as a manual gearbox. The talking point, however, is the new 1.6-litre diesel engine making its India debut with the 2019 CR-V. The i-DTEC engine will be turbocharged unit tuned for 120 bhp and 300 Nm of peak torque and will come paired with a 9-speed automatic transmission with AWD to be offered on the top-spec version.
Now, the power figures aren't exactly fantastic on the Honda CR-V. The SUVs in this space offer a lot more power with the diesel engines. The Skoda Kodiaq makes 147 bhp and 240 Nm of peak torque from a 2.0-litre diesel, while the Tiguan churns out 141 bhp and 340 Nm of peak torque. The brawny Toyota Fortuner uses a 2.8-litre diesel with 174 bhp and 450 Nm of peak torque on the automatic version (420 Nm on manual). The Ford Endeavour though makes the most power here with the 2.2-litre diesel belting out 158 bhp and peak torque of 385 Nm. There's also the more powerful 3.2-litre engine on sale with 197 bhp and 470 Nm of torque. The Kodiaq and Tiguan get AWD as standard, which is optional on the Fortuner and Endeavour. Barring the CR-V, there's also a terrain response system on each of the SUVs that allows you to select the driving mode depending on sand, snow, gravel and more.
Honda always commanded a premium for the CR-V and the model for the longest time has been a full import in the country. Interestingly, the Fortuner and Endeavour are made in India, while the Tiguan and Kodiaq arrive in the country via the CKD route. With the fifth generation model, Honda will be locally assebling the CR-V for the first time in India, which shows that the automaker is expecting the SUV to be volume friendly product. We do not expect the high pricing strategy to change with the new model either with prices for the new CR-V expected to start around ₹ 30 lakh (ex-showroom). Prices for the Ford Endeavour start at ₹ 26.32 lakh going up to ₹ 32 lakh, while the Toyota Fortuner is priced between ₹ 26.20-32 lakh. The Volkswagen Tiguan is priced between ₹ 27.49-30.87 lakh, while it is the Skoda Kodiaq that is the most expensive here priced at ₹ 34.83 lakh (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi) and is offered in a single variant.