Six generations of Honda CR-V interiors, which is your favourite?
Honda is set to unveil its new 2023 CR-V, but this week decided to give us a look inside the sixth-generation SUV ahead of the upcoming full info dump on July 12.
The single image released by Honda shows the entire dashboard of the new CR-V seen from between the two front seats. And it looks… awfully familiar. The reason is that it borrows heavily from cars like the 2022 Civic, which isn’t a bad thing in our opinion.
But how does the latest CR-V’s dashboard design and layout compare to its predecessors? Obviously, we can’t expect the interior of a 1997 car to be as sophisticated as one made almost 30 years later or to have the same technology, but take a look at these pictures and say tell us which generation of CR-V got the cockpit calculations right, and which got it wrong.
Honda CR-V Generation 1 (1997-2001)
Related: 2023 Honda CR-V appears in China, likely previewing sixth-generation US and European SUV
The original CR-V was part of a new generation of soft-roaders that included the hugely popular Toyota RAV4. Interior-wise, it clearly took the edge over cars like the sixth-generation Civic it was based on, and for good reason: the CR-V was meant to look, feel and drive like a car, not like an agricultural machine.
The automatics got a shifter instead of the floor-shifting job of the manual, and there was more velvet than at a senior citizen jog meeting. Our favorite feature? These beautifully clear analog dials. Least favorite? The “potentially deadly” Takata airbag.
Honda CR-V Generation 2 (2002-2006)
The second-generation CR-Vs were bigger, boxier, and more practical. But while they seemed more sane on the outside, things were more creative on the inside. The automatic version’s gear lever now came out of the dash, not the steering column, and the double-DIN radio unit was mounted higher, leaving room for a cooler below.
A small shelf above the glove box showed that Honda had thought more about how people use their CR-Vs, as did the original handbrake, which was designed to look like the grab handle on the opposite side of the center console. It looked weird, but worked brilliantly because you didn’t have to bend down to grab it. Interior in summary: well thought out, but damn it’s ugly!
Honda CR-V Generation 3 (2007-2011)
There was a definite shift from pure practicality to luxury with the third generation CR-V. The plastic surfaces looked more sophisticated, as did the instrument cluster, which had cool blue backlighting and the kind of LCD screen between the tachometer and the speedo that Audi had been installing on cars for years already. .
Whichever transmission you chose, the lever was located on a small ledge just below the vent controls, and that useful passenger-side shelf we mentioned on the Mk2 got better with the addition of a sliding cover.
Honda CR-V Generation 4 (2012-2016)
Honda kept the same basic design themes for the interior of the Mk4 CR-V, but moving the central air vents from above the infotainment screen to the side helped make the 2012 car look wider, while freeing up space on top of the dash for a separate digital display.
Passengers lost the storage compartment above the glove box, and in the instrument cluster the speedometer increased, causing the tachometer to shrink. The number of buttons on the steering wheel also increased, which were now laid out like a gamer’s console joypad.
Honda CR-V Generation 5 (2017-2022)
It might have looked similar on the outside, but the fifth-generation CR-V brought big changes, including hybrid and seven-passenger options in some markets. As for the dashboard design, it was more about refining what you know works.
Related: Here’s Everything We Know About Honda’s 2023 CR-V
So the gear lever kept its position in the middle of the dash, but the infotainment screen changed to a modern tablet design, there was a button underneath to operate the new electric parking brake, more a wireless phone charging tray below that on some 2020-on facelift models.
Honda CR-V Generation 6 (2023)
For the 2023 model year, the CR-V comes full circle. Okay, it doesn’t come down to a radio-cassette player, 1990s velor upholstery and faux-elephant hard dash plastics, but Honda really wants this interior to look like a car interior. ordinary.
And it even has three rotating vent dials and two equally sized instrument gauges, just like the ’97 original, only this time there’s multi-zone climate and those gauges are digital affairs that can be set to show all kinds of information.
Which CR-V do you think made the best dashboard? Leave a comment and let us know.