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Honda CR-V

Honda’s super frugal new 1.6 diesel delivers 62.8mpg in the CR-V making it the most economical SUV in its class

HONDA’S engineers have slotted the company’s super frugal, low emission 1.6 diesel engine from the Civic under the bonnet of the Honda CR-V.

They’ve also whipped off the car’s four-wheel drive, lightened it up, and delivered a low-tax version of the popular SUV.

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CO2 emissions of the new front-wheel drive 120PS Honda CR-V 1.6 diesel are 119g/km, putting it in the 18% company car tax band for 2013/14.

Fuel economy is 62.8mpg, the CR-V beating its closest economy rival, the 61.4mpg Mazda CX-5 two-wheel drive diesel.

Final prices have yet to be cast in stone, but Lee Wheeler, Honda’s corporate sales manager, said he expected the Honda CR-V 1.6 diesel range to start at £23,000.

There will be three grades available – S, SE and SR. However, there will not be a top-spec ES model with the 1.6; that’s only available with the larger and less tax-efficient 2.2 diesel engine.

Lee confirmed that all three grades would have alloy wheels as standard, electric windows, DAB digital radio and six-speed manual gearbox. However, the top spec SR model will have CO2 emissions above 119g/km, a penalty for the bigger wheels.

Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC ranges details are:

  • Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC S – 17 inch alloys, sat nav optional, 119g/km
  • Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC SE – 17 inch alloys, sat nav optional, 119g/km
  • Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC SR – 18 inch alloys, standard sat nav, leather optional, TBAg/km

Lee said he expected the Honda CR-V 1.6 diesel to open up the CR-V’s appeal to larger corporates – “many don’t allow four-wheel drive or have a cap at 120g/km CO2 emissions” – but also to SMEs and small fleets with its low running costs.

“We don’t have final whole life costings yet,” said Lee, “but we will have a competitive business car lease offer from Honda Contract Hire when it launches. I also think small items, like the £30 road fund licence for such a large car, will appeal to small businesses with an eye on costs.”

Honda says there are no plans to produce an automatic version of the 1.6 diesel CR-V or a four-wheel drive version.

“All the engineering focus has gone into reducing weight and honing the ride and car’s balance. Reintroducing weight – with an auto box or four-wheel drive – would go against this,” commented Lee.

The new Honda CR-V 1.6 diesel, which is built at Honda’s Swindon plant, goes on sale in October