Hondas may be fast, efficient, and practical, but they’re hardly marketed as being rugged and ready for the trails. Philippine releases are especially notorious for having a clause that specifically prohibits them from being used as public utility vehicles, so there’s that.
In the U.S. market, the carmaker is a bit less timid in convincing buyers that its model range can go the distance, not just on the tarmac. There’s the Ridgeline midsize pickup for instance, whose second-generation guise has recently been updated with a more ripped aesthetic to complement its already formidable capabilities. The ongoing quest to capture more of a market that places a premium on ruggedness has driven Honda to introduce the TrailSport grade for its SUV and light truck offerings.
“TrailSport represents the next chapter in our rugged direction and will bring exclusive styling to our existing light trucks that will appeal to buyers seeking adventure,” according to American Honda Executive Vice President of National Operations Dave Gardner. “Our U.S. engineering team is leveraging more than 20 years of experience creating highly capable light trucks to develop this new series of adventure-ready vehicles.”
The Honda Passport could be one of the models to receive the new trim
Specific models will come with the new trim as the top dog in their respective lineups. The changes will start with the exterior, bringing more aggressive styling for the front and rear ends, along with robust body cladding for the profile. Meanwhile, high-contrast upholstery stitching as well as all-weather floor mats will be standard for the cabin.
The changes are not just limited to looks, however. Planned future upgrades for specific nameplates will include more rugged tires with full-size spares, higher ground clearance, underbody shielding, suspension systems tuned for off-road use, and an expanded repertoire of functions for Honda’s all-wheel-drive system.
A Honda CR-V TrailSport variant sounds like a good idea
It looks like Honda is taking shots at Stateside rivals such as Jeep’s Trailhawk line, itself an off-road trim level offered on four of the American carmaker's crossovers. The enhanced grade boasts improved articulation, traction, ground clearance, and water-fording capabilities over standard models, with designated variants distinguished by the Trail Rated 4x4 badge.
One local model that can greatly benefit from having a TrailSport variant is the CR-V, going well with its diesel power and generous seating. Do you think that Honda’s current Philippine releases deserve a TrailSport edition?
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Know more about Honda CR-V 2021
The CR-V is a compact crossover current sold by Japanese automaker Honda Philippines Inc. Now in its fifth generation, the model has been in existence since the 1990s.
Currently, the CR-V has two engine options. The first one is a 1.6-liter diesel, which can make up to 118 horsepower and 300 Nm of torque. All variants with this engine uses a nine-speed automatic transmission. The top-spec trim has an all-wheel-drive drivetrain, while the rest of the trims are front-wheel-drive. The second engine for the CR-V is a 2.0-liter inline-4 gasoline mill capable of producing up top 152 horsepower and 189 Nm of torque. This engine is only available on the entry-level S variant where it is paired with a continous variable transmission.
Of note, the top-spec CR-V for the Philippine market is equipped with several driver-assist features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, among others.
The entry-level CR-V S and the CR-V S diesel variant can fit up to five occupants. The CR-V V and the top-spec SX can seat up to seven occupants.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo