2021 Honda CR-V: Expectations and what we know so far

Updated Mar 07, 2022

User's: 5.0/5
It has more features and more power.

In this review...

  1. Overview
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Onboard Technology
  5. Safety Review
  6. Engine & Performance
  7. Conclusion

1. 2021 Honda CR-V Expectations: What we know about its latest version

Introduced first for the American market, the facelifted 2021 Honda CR-V eventually made its way to Asia just a couple of months ago. Currently, it is already available in Thailand after making its debut at the 2020 Bangkok International Motor Show.

With its release in Thailand, we’re certain that the latest version of the CR-V 2021 will eventually make it to Philippine shores. So what do we know about the Honda CR-V 2021, and what can we expect from it?

Honda CR-V 2021 Philippines Facelift First Look: Spicing up the working recipe

2. 2021 Honda CR-V: Exterior Review

As with most facelifted models, the Honda CR-V doesn’t veer away that much from the older version. However, there are some notable changes to the front fascia. For starters, the grille looks “more open” than it was before.

There’s also more black-colored pieces, and there’s now an angular chrome strip crossing the grille, linking together the headlamps.

Below that, Honda also replaced the chrome bar with a black strip bisecting the grille. The lower bumper also comes with a new design and it is mostly colored in black. Meanwhile, straddling the lower bumper are sequential front indicator lights.

Towards the rear, the tailgate gets a glossy black finish, and you can also see that it comes with smoked LED taillights. Rounding up the look of the 2021 Honda CR-V is a set of new 18-inch alloy wheels. The higher variants released in Thailand however, does come with a larger 19-inch set.

2021 Honda CR-V front end.

The facelifted 2021 Honda CR-V has a less busy, but more elegant front end

With regards to dimensions, the facelifted Honda CR-V 2021 now measures 4,622 mm long. That’s 51 mm longer compared to the older model. The new crossover is also taller at 1,686 mm. It does however retain the same width at 1,855 mm.

Overall wheelbase length also remains at 2,660 mm, and its ground clearance is still at 208 mm for the all-wheel-drive variants, and 198 mm for the front-wheel-drive variants.

While its size didn’t change much, some variants of the 2021 Honda CR-V sold in the US and Australia will have differences in terms of weight. Take for example the CR-V Touring FWD. On the old version, its curb weight is 1,618 kg. The 2021 CR-V Touring FWD, on the other hand, is a bit lighter at 1,565 kg.

The difference in weight can be attributed to the new 1.5-liter turbocharged engine found on the American-spec and Australian-spec CR-V. More on that later. As for the Thai-spec CR-Vs, their curb weight didn’t change at all.

A picture of the rear of the 2021 Honda CR-V.

The facelifted CR-V's handsfree tailgate will definitely come in handy for a lot of people

As for exterior features that will be retained, we’re expecting the new CR-V’s top-spec variant will also have rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps. For the Thai-spec mid-range ES and EL variants, however, Honda has given these the aforementioned features.

3. 2021 Honda CR-V: Interior Review

Just like the current current Honda CR-V, we’re expecting the facelifted version to provide spacious and comfortable space for its occupants. We’re also certain that it will still have the same amount of space with all the seats folded down.

And talking about cargo, we’d also rather like the future Honda CRV 2021 Philippines to come with a power/hands-free tailgate, which is now available in other markets. Other features found on the Thai-spec CR-V that many Filipinos might want is the memory function for the driver’s seat adjustment.

A picture of the interior of the 2021 Honda CR-V.

The luxurious interior of the 2021 Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V 2021 also has five-seater variants and seven-seater variants. For the Thai market, however, note that each variant has a five-seater and a seven-seater version.

As a side note, the center storage space on the new CR-V has also been redesigned a bit. As such, the new CR-V has a more optimized interior space regardless of its seating configuration.

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4. 2021 Honda CR-V: Onboard Technology

When it comes to onboard tech, the current top-spec CR-V SX available in the Philippines already comes with a lot of features. The new 2021 CR-V released in Thailand however, is definitely more high-tech. For starters, its seven-inch touchscreen already has Apple CarPlay plus Siri voice control.

Couple that with the Qi wireless smartphone charger and what you get is a better hands-free driving experience involving fewer wires. Other markets however do get Android Auto, so we’re hoping that Honda will add that feature once it gets to the Philippines.

A Picture of the 2021 CR-V wireless charger.

The 2021 Honda CR-V's wireless charger

>>> Related: List of Honda CR-V for sale by reliable sellers

5. 2021 Honda CR-V: Safety Review

Regarding safety features, the facelifted 2021 Honda CR-V still retains the Honda Sensing safety suite. It’s still available on the top variant, and it will still have automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection, and many other features.

A picture of Honda Sensing's CMBS.

The 2021 CR-V's collision mitigation braking system

>>> Related: Honda CR-V vs Toyota RAV4: Two handsome old-timers battle it out!

6. 2021 Honda CR-V: Engine and Performance

The Thai-spec CR-V gets two engine options. The first one is a naturally aspirated, 2.4-liter inline-4 gasoline engine. This mill can make up to 170 horsepower and 224 Nm of torque, and it uses a continuously variable transmission sending power to the front wheels, or all four wheels. All variants save the top-of-the-line variant uses this engine.

The second engine is the 1.6-liter inline-4 turbodiesel. It has a maximum output of 157 horsepower and 350 Nm of torque. Note that this engine’s max torque can be reached at a very low 2,000 rpm.

Another interesting point about this top variant is it uses a nine-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Unlike the other variants, the top-spec Thai version of the 2021 Honda CR-V is only available with an all-wheel-drive drivetrain.

Thai-spec 2021 Honda CR-V Specs
S 2.4
ES 2.4
E 2.4
EL 2.4
DT-EL 1.6
DOHC, 4 cylinders inline-4 i-VTEC
DOHC i-DTEC Turbodiesel
9-speed AT
170 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
157 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
224 Nm @ 4,000
350 Nm @ 2,000 rpm

>>> Related: Check out the latest Honda CR-V promos

7. 2021 Honda CR-V Review: Conclusion

If you didn’t notice, most of the specs we’ve talked about are for the 2021 Honda CR-V that’s currently available in the Thai market. The reason for that is many of the vehicles sold here in the Philippines are assembled and imported from Thailand.

As such, we aren’t expecting to get the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid that’s currently available in North America. Also, it wouldn’t make sense for Honda PH to do so since none of the CR-V’s local competitors have a hybrid version as of this writing. 

A picture of a man with the 2021 Honda CR-V.

Hopefully, Honda PH will introduce more AWD CR-V variants. Currently, we only have one.

Apart from that, we’re hoping that Honda PH will also follow the neat variant selection from the Thai market. Streamlining the variant lineup of a model might be advantageous to a car company in the long run after all. That said, we’re really hoping that the 2.4-liter and the new 1.6-liter turbo for the CR-V 2021 enter the Philippine market.

For more car reviews, car news, and car maintenance tips, keep reading here on Philkotse.com.

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar G.B. Miguel


Cesar Guiderone B. Miguel was born and raised in Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte. He graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts in English degree from Mindanao State University - Iligan Institute of Technology. He previously worked as a freelance writer for various websites, as a member of the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction Management's training staff, and as a medical sales representative.

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