There are a few changes slated for the fifth-gen Honda CR-V, and the overall theme for them is increased sportiness. That’s the new mantra adopted by Honda since leadership changed at the top.

New CEO Takahiro Hachigo wants other models to follow the example of the new Honda Civic.

Apart from offering two turbocharged engines and introducing a plug-in hybrid variant, Honda apparently wants its signature SUV to come with a third row of seats for the first time in 2018.

Word on a three-row CR-V arriving to the US market has bewildered many of us, but it does make sense to consumers in Europe. In the Old Continent, there are no three-row options from Honda, not even the Honda Odyssey minivan.

2016 Honda HR-V

2016 Honda HR-V

In the US, the existence of the Honda Pilot makes it seem unnecessary for the CR-V to adopt a third row and leave a large gap between it and the subcompact HR-V.

However, the latter is believed to have the versatility to attract compact crossover shoppers due to its superior passenger and cargo space, in spite of its size. Perhaps the HR-V would gain in size when its facelifted 2017 model arrives.

Honda’s move to change the CR-V into a seven-seater does make some sense, besides filling in the gap for a three-row SUV in Europe. The US demand for more heftier and more spacious utility vehicles have risen to such an extent that even minivans are regaining popularity.

Staff Reporter

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