2021 Honda CR-V SX Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated Nov 22, 2022

Editor's: 4.1/5
Diesel-powered, seven seats – a one-two punch combo for Filipinos.
2021 Honda CR-V SX Review | Philkotse Philippines

In this review...

  1. Introduction
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Tech & Safety
  5. Engine & Performance
  6. Fuel Efficiency
  7. Verdict
  8. Variants & Price
  9. Color Options
  10. Specs

2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel: Combining two qualities Filipinos are fond of

Seven seats. Diesel engine. These two are among the top priorities of most Filipino car buyers. As such, many car brands in the Philippines are particular in having a seven-seater vehicle with a diesel engine in its model lineup.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel front shot

2021 Honda CR-V

Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. is one of the car brands that realized the Filipinos love affair with diesel-powered seven-seater vehicles is as strong as Hercules, and is far from calling it quits. As such, Honda PH introduced the diesel-powered CR-V in 2017 that aims to win the hearts of the local market. Then in 2020, the facelifted Honda CR-V was introduced in the Philippines.

We previously reviewed the gasoline version of the Honda CR-V, which is somehow similar to the main star of this review except for the engine, number of seats, and several other in-cabin features. That said, what can the Honda CR-V diesel offer to you aside from its power unit and the seven seats? Here is the full review of the 2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel.


Honda CR-V 2021 Review

How we do our reviews
  • aesthetics

    Overall exterior & Interior design, build quality, form vs function

  • Safety & Technology

    Number of safety & tech features, consistency during usage

  • Performance

    Power delivery, acceleration, transmission, suspension, handling

  • Comfort & Practicality

    Overall Ride Comfort, Space, Storage Areas

  • Value for Money

    Sticker price vs overall package

2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel Exterior Review: Same same, but slightly different

The exterior of the Honda CR-V Diesel is almost identical to the gasoline version. It has the same front-end styling that looks sleeker compared to the older model. The 2021 Honda CR-V now also shares similar design cues to the US-spec model.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel front shot

The CR-V now comes with a sleeker front end

The Honda CR-V Diesel’s grille comes with a glossy black trim, which is one of the design details that I like. I’m not much of a fan of the old CR-V’s chrome grille since it makes the front end too loud design-wise. The bumper, on the other hand, features a seamless mustache-like silver trim that’s complemented by black cladding.

Since the CR-V SX Diesel is the top-spec variant, it comes with full LEDs for its lights. It has LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, and LED fog lamps. The fog lamp design is what distinguishes the Honda CR-V SX Diesel from the gasoline version. Moreover, the diesel-powered CR-V has sequential signal lights.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel side

Fitted with a stylish set of wheels

The side profile of the Honda CR-V SX Diesel is a carbon copy of what the gasoline version looks like. It has the same character lines, black cladding, and chrome trim. The CR-V Diesel also gets the same set of 18-inch alloy wheels that comes with a flower-like or a clover-like design that could remind you of the Boston Celtics’ logo. For added functionality, this CR-V comes with roof rails, which is sort of a standard in crossover vehicles in the market today.

The difference lies in the dimensions. Speaking of which, the 2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel is 4,623mm long, 1,855mm wide, and 1,668mm. It has a wheelbase of 2,662mm, and a ground clearance of 208mm. The CR-V diesel is 10mm taller, and 2mm higher off the ground as compared to the gasoline version.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel rear

It has smoked LED taillights

The CR-V Diesel’s rear comes with LED taillights integrated with black trims, which give a smoky finish. It also has a silver garnish, a tailgate-mounted spoiler, and a shark-fin antenna. And yes, it looks identical to the CR-V gasoline except for the AWD emblem, which tells you that the diesel version comes with an all-wheel-drive setup.


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2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel Interior Review: Refined cabin with more seats

The interior of the Honda CR-V SX Diesel puts things a notch higher in comparison to the gasoline version. The CR-V Diesel has a more refined cabin that looks more premium, which should be the case since it is the top-spec variant that has a price tag of more than Php 2 million.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel dashboard interior

Wood trims add a premium-like appeal

It has a black interior theme with wood accents, while the dashboard is integrated with a subtle horizontal piano black trim. I like the integration of the wood accents as it gives a nostalgic vibe of the cars during the 90s up to the early 2000s. It also makes the interior look more polished as compared to having silver or piano black trims.

The Honda CR-V SX Diesel has black leather seats with the driver benefiting from an 8-way power-adjustable seat. The leather steering wheel feels nice to the touch although I wished that Honda used a different material for the mounted controls as it feels too plasticky. To make up for it, Honda did place several soft-touch materials throughout the cabin, and a panoramic sunroof.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel panoramic sunroof

Let there be light

The second-row seats can comfortably accommodate two individuals, offering a generous amount of leg- and elbow-room. It also has rear aircon vents (one behind the center glove box, and one ceiling-mounted). It can also take on up to three passengers on the second row but elbow room would be a bit compromised.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel second row seats

Generous legroom

Of note, the head-room of the Honda CR-V Diesel’s second-row seats are positioned a bit higher as compared to the gasoline version. This is to make way for the seats’ folding mechanism to provide ingress and egress to the third-row seats.

Now onto the elephant in the room, the third-row seats. Compared to its segment rivals in the Philippine market, such as the Isuzu mu-X, the CR-V Diesel’s third-row seats is a bit tight. It can accommodate two average-sized Filipino adults but don’t expect too much when it comes to leg-room.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel third row seats

The CR-V's third row

Individuals standing 5’6” can still be seated in the third row but legroom, and the overall space could be an issue especially during long drives. Good thing though, the second-row seats have a slide function that can help give added space to the people seated on the third row.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel cargo space

Cargo space with the third row seats up

Since it comes with three rows of seats, the default cargo space of the CR-V Diesel is more limited compared to the gasoline version. Although you can still load four to five overnight bags with the third-row seats up. It can also be folded in case you need additional cargo space but, the third-row seats don’t fold flat, which should be of your concern when considering getting the Honda CR-V Diesel.

2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel: Tech & Safety Review

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel Apple CarPlay

Seamless smartphone integration

The Honda CR-V Diesel has several tech features that are essential in the smartphone era. Placed right at the center of the dashboard is a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen that comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I appreciate the integration of the said smartphone connectivity since the default interface of the CR-V’s infotainment looks outdated. The infotainment touchscreen also functions as the monitor of the rearview camera.

This CR-V doesn’t have a conventional gear lever. Instead, it uses an electronic gear selector. Choosing from P to D requires you to simply push the buttons. This adds a modern feel to the interior of the CR-V but it might also dissuade some car buyers due to the lack of familiarity, and prefers the conventional gear lever instead. But, it’s not that complicated to use the electronic gear selector.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel steering wheel

Modern cockpit

The CR-V SX Diesel also comes with a wireless phone charger, which is a plus since most individuals nowadays are using smartphones, right? But, it could be better if Honda also did integrate a wireless Apple CarPlay or smartphone connectivity to better complement the wireless charger.

In terms of safety, this crossover SUV is loaded with features one can expect from a modern car. It has six airbags, an anti-lock braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution, vehicle stability assist, hill start assist, among many others.

But the best highlight of the CR-V SX Diesel’s safety feature is the Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive technologies, which includes the following: Adaptive Cruise Control, Low Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keep Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Auto High Beam, and Lead Car Departure Notification.

2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel: Engine & Performance Review

This Honda CR-V is powered by a 1.6-liter turbocharged DOHC diesel engine that puts out 118 hp and 300 Nm of torque. The engine is connected to a 9-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Power is then sent to all four wheels.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel engine

Powered by a 1.6-liter turbo diesel

The CR-V Diesel has good acceleration, and it delivers the right amount of power to get you through the urban jungle. Compared to the gasoline version, I find the diesel-powered CR-V’s transmission better since it’s not a CVT.

The throttle response is also good even when the CR-V is driven with the Eco mode on. But, the grunt of the diesel engine is somewhat not pleasing as it sounds a bit off and stressed, which can be heard significantly when accelerating from a standstill. This could be attributed to the rather small displacement of the CR-V’s diesel engine.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel front

The Honda CR-V has a confident stance

The steering wheel feels light but it gives enough feedback, resulting in a comfortable driving experience. The ride comfort is also one of the things I appreciate in this car, which is a driving characteristic that has been associated with the CR-V. It absorbs road imperfections well, and the suspension is not too firm nor soft. This gives you a smooth ride while having the confidence to drive through wide turns.

The CR-V Diesel is also stable and planted when driven on the open highway. The light steering wheel gets firm when you start to gain speed, which gives you better control of the vehicle. Overtaking slower vehicles is not a problem, and the diesel engine gives adequate power. But, do take note that I only have one passenger onboard during the highway run.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel rear

Look at that distinctive taillights

This vehicle has a Sport mode in case you want a more performance-oriented drive. It also comes with an all-wheel-drive system, which gives you peace of mind when driving through under a heavy downpour as it gives you better traction.

2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel: Fuel Efficiency

The Honda CR-V SX Diesel registered 11 km/l while driving at an average of 30 km/h around the city. On the open highway, it posted 22 km/l while driving at an average speed of 90 km/h. Decent numbers for a diesel-powered crossover SUV. But do take note that there was only a maximum of two to three occupants plus light cargo during our fuel economy test. These numbers might differ once the CR-V is fully loaded.

2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel: Verdict

The top-spec 2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel is priced at Php 2,158,000. You may argue that the top-spec 2021 Honda CR-V might be a bit too pricey since there are other midsize SUVs in the market that are available at a relatively same or even lower price tag.

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel front

2021 Honda CR-V Diesel

That argument is valid, but the thing that separates the CR-V from its midsize SUV counterparts is its overall ride comfort. Being a crossover SUV, the Honda CR-V offers a better ride as compared to the larger midsize SUVs that have a pickup truck-based platform. As such, if you’re particular with the overall ride comfort, the Honda CR-V can give that to you.

The Honda CR-V SX also has several reasons why it should be on your list when looking for a brand-new seven-seater car. It is integrated with the necessary and essential features that will make your drives comfortable, safer, and more convenient.

2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel: Variants & Price

Honda CR-V Price & Variants in the Philippines

CR-V 2.0 S CVT

Php 1,678,000

CR-V V Diesel 9AT

Php 1,713,000

CR-V S Diesel 9AT Honda SENSING

Php 1,888,000


Php 2,158,000

2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel: Color Options

2021 Honda CR-V S Color Options

Modern Steel, Cosmic Blue, Ignite Red, Platinum White Pearl

2021 Honda CR-V SX Diesel: Specs





CR-V 2.0 SX Diesel

Body Type

Compact Crossover

Dimensions & Weight


4,623 mm


1,855 mm


1,658 mm


2,662 mm

Ground Clearance

208 mm

Curb Weight

1,732 kg

Seating Capacity


Cargo Capacity (Behind 3rd Row)

150 liters

Engine & Transmission


DOHC i-DTEC Turbo 4-cylinder

Engine Displacement

1,597 cc

Max Power

118 hp @ 4,000 rpm

Max Torque

300 Nm @ 2,000 rpm


9 Speed Automatic with Electronic Gear Selector

Fuel Tank Capacity

57 liters

Emission Rating



Gear Type

Rack & Pinion

Power Steering

Electric Power Steering

Steering Wheel Material

3-Spoke Leather

Steering Wheel Controls

Audio, Multi-Information Display, Hands Free Telephone

Steering Wheel Adjustment

Tilt & Telescopic




Fog Lights


Side Turn Signal Lights

With (Door Mirror Mounted)

Tail Lamp


High-Mount Stop Lamp

With (LED)

Door Handles

Body Color

Door Mirror Color

Body Color


Shark Fin Type

Front Wipers

Variable Intermittent with Washer

Rear Wiper


Bumper Skid Garnish


Roof Rail


High-Mount Stop Lamp

With (LED)


Audio System

7" Touchscreen Audio with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto


Bluetooth, Audio Streaming, and USB



Airconditioning System

Dual Zone Automatic

Rear Aircon Ventilation


Keyless Entry System


Fuel Level


Accesory Socket (12V)


Rear USB Charging Ports

With (2)

Instrument Cluster

Full Color TFT

Interior Trim Finish

Piano Black and 2-Tone Wood

Cargo Area Light


Power Windows


Power Door Locks


Safety & Security

Multi-view Rear Camera

With Dynamic Guidelines


With (Driver & Front Passenger, Side, Side Curtain)

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

With Electronic Brake Force Distribution

Reverse CameraElectronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)


Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA)


Hill Start Assist (HSA)


Emergency Stop Signal (ESS)


Child Safety Lock


Child Seat Anchor (ISOFIX)




Agile Handling Assist (AHA)


Driver Attention Monitor


LaneWatch Camera


Low Tire Pressure Warning




MacPherson Strut





Ventilated Disc



Tires & Wheels

Tire Size

235 / 60 R18 103H

Wheel Size and Type

18-inch Alloy

Spare Tire

Full Size

Honda Sensing

Adaptive Cruise Control, Low Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Keep Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning

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