Japanese domination of the world?s largest vehicle market continues and this time for a change it is not Toyota leading the charge. The Ford Explorer has for many been the top selling SUV in the USA but as we all know, the tide is changing and big is no longer best.
Honda recently upgraded their CR-V crossover SUV for 2007 and the result is very similar to Toyota?s upgrade of the Corolla. Gone is the bland, boxy ugly duckling and in its place is an attractive, smart and stylish SUV for the new millennium?.and Americans like it.
Sales of the CRV in the states have skyrocketed by 42% with dealers screaming for more stock to keep up with demand. In fact Honda are now exporting some of their home-land allocation to keep the Americans happy.
In the meantime, sales of the Explorer (it?s a mid-size SUV in the states but we would consider it large in Australia) have dropped mirroring a 23% decline in the ?mid-size? SUV segment. This is forcing Ford to rethink their antiquated body on chassis design, so expect an all new Explorer sooner rather than later.
The new 2007 Honda CRV is currently available in Australia and features a 2.4-litre DOHC i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with 125kw @ 5800rpm and 218nm @ 4200rpm. The engine is Euro 4 compliant and according to Honda you can expect combined city/highway economy of 10.0 litres per 100km.
There is the option of a 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic gearbox and three equipment levels to choose from including CR-V, CR-V Sport and CR-V Luxury.
? $31,990* CR-V 6-speed manual
? $33,990* CR-V 5-speed automatic
? $37,490* CR-V Sport 6-speed manual
? $39,490* CR-V Sport 5-speed automatic
? $39,990* CR-V Luxury 6-speed manual
? $41,990* CR-V Luxury 5-speed automatic
*(Plus dealer delivery and statutory charges)
? 2.4-litre i-VTEC engine
? Real Time 4WD?
? Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)
? Front & front side airbags
As per CR-V, plus:
? Curtain airbags
? Alloy wheels
? Dual-deck cargo
As per CR-V Sport, plus:
? Leather? trim
? Power driver's seat
? Heated front seats
? Reverse parking sensors