A fearless Car and Driver reader in Washington, D.C., snapped this picture of the next-generation Honda CR-V crossover, which will debut this fall. The vehicle looks ready for production, wearing its own sheetmetal (rather than the modified body of an existing Honda model) with the badge buried in tape on the tailgate.
Like other Japanese auto companies, Honda is as tight-lipped as can be about its future products. We’re left to use recent history and this photo to determine that the next CR-V will represent a gentle update to the current car, rather than a radical redo.
Figure on a naturally aspirated four-cylinder being the only engine available. It should displace 2.4 liters like today’s CR-V engine, and we expect it to make between 180 and 200 hp—although the number may be closer to the bottom end of that range. Fuel economy also should improve slightly; in front-drive spec, the current model is rated for 21 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. (All-wheel-drivers are rated for 21/27.)
If there are any major changes to the upcoming CR-V, it could be in the seating layout. Until now, every CR-V has been a strictly five-seat affair. Given the long rear overhang of the car in this photo, however, it looks like there just might be room for a small third row of seats for short-legged passengers. Toyota sells a three-row RAV4, but most others in the segment serve a maximum of five.
Few would call the CR-V in its present form a pulse-raising vehicle, but it’s a staple for Honda, offers good driving dynamics, and is a sensible choice for more than 200,000 Americans per year. Even without concrete details on the next-generation CR-V, we feel confident saying it will maintain the current car’s sales success. We expect the 2012 CR-V to debut at the Los Angeles auto show this November.
Thanks to: Car and Driver