The production model of CR-V, Honda’s first in-house designed SUV, was launched in Japan in 2005. In the beginning, Honda is not very keen to publicize its CR-V as they thought that the car didn’t have enough potential to compete with the Honda Passport so as to become the Honda’s first entry-level SUV. The CR-V made its first appearance in the United States at Chicago Auto Show in 1996. After its release, the CR-V showed remarkable sales in comparison to the rival Toyota RAV4 as a result of which the model was brought to United States in February 1997. The CR-V introduced well at same time as the Subaru Forester. Two years after the launch of CR-V, Nissan launched its JDM Nissan Rasheen.
Since 1995, Honda Motors has been involved in manufacturing compact crossover SUV in the form of Honda CR-V. The CR-V is in fact a derivation version of the Honda Civic so as to fulfill the demands of the customers to have a sport utility vehicle. The name CR-V has always been remained ambiguous for many as the company quotes different meanings in different markets. However, the most common meaning cited for CR-V is ‘Civic Recreation Vehicle’ for the fact it is based on Civic platform. There are certain other references as well regarding the name CR-V. In the United Kingdom, it is often referred to as ‘Compact Recreational Vehicle’. There certain Honda references as that of official Honda Fact Book and Honda Worldwide, which quote CR-V as ‘Comfortable Runabout Vehicle’.
The CR-V is available in both front wheel drive and all-wheel drive. However, availability of both the versions in a market is conditional. For instance, only front-wheel drive is presented in both Australia and United Kingdom.
The company started the production of CR-Vs in the local as well as UK market. Later in 2007, the production of CR-Vs began in East Liberty, Ohio. The Dongfeng Honda Automobile Company, a joint venture with Donfeng Motor Corporation prepares the CR-Vs in its Wuhan plant particularly for the Chinese market.
With the increasing demand of the CR-Vs, the production of North American CR-Vs started in Jalisco, Mexico in 2007. The CR-V is in fact the Honda’s smallest sport utility vehicle after Element that was sold in Canada and US markets and the HR-V that was sold in Europe. Size-wise the CR-V stands between the Element and Pilot. However, the Honda ceased the production of Element after the release of its 2011 model, hence paving the way for CR-V to hold the place for Honda’s entry-level sport utility vehicle.
The world has already seen the three generation of Honda CR-V. The period form 1995-2001 is associated with the first generation CR-V. The second generation CR-V remained in the market from 2002 to 2006. The third generation CR-V that is still making its way to the market all around the world stands from 2007 till present.