The refreshed Honda CR-V has already been on sale for quite some time now, in North America, that is. Those in North America have been enjoying the updated model as early as September 2019. It saw a host of subtle design updates inside and out, along together with a new hybrid-powertrain under the hood.
But nearly a year after its initial debut, one of Honda's most popular crossovers has yet to make it across the Pacific to the Philippines. Fortunately, the wait might be almost over as Honda Cars Thailand just launched the 2021 CR-V. This could mean that it won't be long before the updated CR-V finally makes its way to the Philippine market. After all, Thailand has been a barometer for the Philippines for quite some time now.
As reported back in February, the updated CR-V launched in Thailand looks very much like its North American counterpart. The changes are very subtle, to say the least. Upfront, the most visible change is the new bumper which features more black cladding, giving the crossover a bolder look. It is complemented by a new black grille. Though hard to tell, the headlights do appear to have been updated as well.
The changes are even less obvious over at the back. The ones that pop out are the dark-tinted LED taillights, chrome trim on the tailgate, and more chrome bits on the bumper. New 17- and 18-inch wheels (depending on trim level), and a new color – Cosmic Blue – round up the exterior changes made to the 2021 CR-V. Depending on the variant, it can also come with a panoramic sunroof.
Inside, the cabin has been mostly carried over from the pre-facelift model with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system front and center. In Thailand (and even in the Philippines) it will be still available in both 5- and 7- seat layout. Honda has added auto-dimming rearview mirrors and a wireless charger. To give the cabin a more premium feel, the seats are now upholstered in black leather. Piano black trim with wood grain material further enhances the more upscale interior.
Possibly the most helpful upgrades on 2021 CR-V are the new safety features. Honda Sensing is now available on the updated model, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, and collision mitigation braking system to name a few. Honda Connect has also been integrated into the updated model. Hopefully, these safety features make it over to the Philippines.
Under the hood, the engines have been carried over. Unfortunately, the hybrid-powertrain offered in the North American market will not be available in the South East Asian market. Instead, Honda Thailand only offers the 1.6-liter i-DTEC inline-four turbo-diesel engine and a 2.4-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder gasoline engine.
The diesel motor produces 160 PS with 350 Nm torque, is paired to a nine-speed automatic transmission, and is available only in 4WD. Meanwhile, the 2.4-liter gasoline engine has a max output of 173 PS and 224 Nm of torque and can come in both 2WD and 4WD. As for the PH-spec engines, we won't be surprised if the HCPI decides to carry-over the 120 PS/320 Nm version of the 1.6-liter turbo-diesel and the 2.0-liter gasoline inline-four. Of course, it would be nice if we got the uprated 1.6-liter turbodiesel.
With the 2021 CR-V launched in Thailand, we now have a glimpse of what we will be getting in the Philippines. We might not have to wait too long before Honda Cars Philippines digitally launches the popular crossover in the country.