Honda reveals new CR-V; moves production from Mexico to U.S.
Honda revealed an all-new 2017 Honda CR-V in Detroit that is slightly wider and longer than the outgoing model, has a more aggressive design, is more aerodynamic and has more power, all that it hopes will help it retain leadership in the booming compact SUV.
The Japanese automaker is increasing production capacity for its already second-best selling vehicle at its Greensburg, Indiana, plant and has stopped making the CR-V in at its plant in El Salto, Jalisco, in central Mexico.
The CR-V competes against other popular vehicles such as Toyota RAV4, Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Jeep Cherokee, Subaru Forester and Chevrolet Equinox.
This year, Honda is on track to sell more than 365,000 CR-V’s in the U.S. Next year, the CR-V could become Honda’s top-selling car or truck, outpacing Accord.
The new CR-V has crisper lines on the front end, a longer, more muscular hood and wide, muscular fenders. According to Honda, an all-new body and chassis gives the new model more agile and confident handling, greater refinement, additional ground clearance.
The EX and higher trim levels of the CR-V will be equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine that generates 190 horsepower. The engine will be more powerful than the outgoing version by five horsepower while also getting the best fuel economy among compact SUVs. The fancier LX version of the CR-V will be powered by a 2.4-liter engine with 184 horsepower.
The automaker declined to reveal the price and said that will be announced closer to when it goes on sale in December.
Honda has sold nearly 4 million CR-Vs since its U.S. launch in 1997, making CR-V the best-selling sport-utility vehicle in America over the past two decades. Honda introduced the fourth-generation CR-V in 2011 and launched an updated version in 2014.
To meet rising demand, the Japanese automaker will make the 2017 CR-V at three plants in North America.
Honda was already making the CR-V in East Liberty, Ohio and Alliston, Ontario. Now, Honda is investing US$ 52 million to upgrade its plant in Greensburg, Indiana, and will hire about 100 new employees. Honda will begin making the CR-V in Greensburg early next year.
The company has produced the Civic in Greensburg since the plant opened in 2008 and will continue making the sedan there.
Honda previously produced a small number of CR-V’s at it’s plant in Guadalajara, Mexico. The automaker said the investment in Greensburg will give much more production capacity than the automaker had in Mexico.