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Honda moves smarts to steering wheel

The 6th generation of the CR-V has taken tech to where the driver needs it most, writes SHERYL GOLDSTUCK.

My biggest frustration with in-car technology is not whether it works or not, but whether I can get it to when I need it most. Like flipping the driving mode when dodging those drivers with lucky packet licences.

The 6th generation of Honda’s most popular SUV, the Honda CR-V, has taken this frustration to heart, and packed the tech into the steering wheel.

The Flagship Exclusive grade of the new CR-V is equipped with a 10.2‑inch Interactive all-digital LCD instrument cluster, but most of its functions can be controlled from the steering wheel, which allows the driver to scroll through music playlists, navigation directions, and Honda Sensing functions.

And, of course, to answer phone calls.

 The LCD screen can be customised on the left and right side of the display., with the left dedicated to audio and telephone information, and the right side to navigation and driving information like activating or deactivating various Honda Sensing functions.

The full 6th generation CR-V range comes standard with advanced active and passive safety technology, underpinned by improved Honda Sensing driver-assistance and a new front sensor camera and radar system. It also includes what it calls next-gen front airbags, and new front knee airbags standard.  

The key technology features include:

  • Standard digital instrumentation
  • Available HD 9-inch color touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
  • Qi-compatible wireless charging
  • New driver heads-up display

Honda provided the following additional information on the technology build into the new CR-V range:

Standard Digital Instrumentation

Intuitive and intelligent technology also has been smartly integrated into the CR-V cabin. The 2024 CR-V Executive grade features instrumentation with a new 7-inch color TFT display. The digital tachometer and numerical speedometer occupy the left and center, with a physical speedometer on the right. 

The Flagship Exclusive grade is equipped with a 10.2‑inch Interactive All-Digital LCD Instrument Cluster, from which the driver can seamlessly scroll through Music Playlists, Navigation directions, Honda Sensing™ functions as well as answer phone calls – All from the Steering wheel. The LCD screen is used to convey information to the driver with customizable areas on the left and right side of the display. The left side of the screen is dedicated to audio and telephone information, which the driver can select using the left-side steering wheel controls. The right side is dedicated to driving-related information such as activating or deactivating various Honda Sensing™ functions, or navigation system information, which the driver selects using the right-side steering wheel controls.

New 9-inch Touchscreen Audio System

Both CR-V grades now employ a 9-inch color touchscreen audio system designed to be very easy to use. This system, which debuted on the 2022 Civic to rave reviews for its ease-of-use, features a physical volume knob, physical buttons for Home and Back functions, and large and easy-to-recognize icons. It’s powered by a faster processor for lag-free performance, and a simplified navigation structure with fewer embedded menus. Other mode selections are at the bottom of the touchscreen. 

The 9-inch system also comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, along with Qi-compatible wireless charging. The 9-inch screen also features a finger rest to make it easier to use the touchscreen while the vehicle is in motion. 

Designed with simplicity in mind, the 9-inch system features user-defined shortcuts at the bottom of the screen, with CR-V offering six easily programmable shortcuts. It also uses Smart Shortcuts, an automatic assistant function that enables the user to execute frequently used actions more quickly and with fewer steps. The system uses machine learning to predict user behavior and suggest applications for audio, phone and navigation functions. 

For the first time on CR-V, the Exclusive grade gains a new head-up display that is projected directly onto the windscreen, allowing drivers to see a broader range of speed, driver assist and navigation information in a clearer resolution.

Responsive Steering

The CR-V uses a dual-pinion electronic power steering (EPS) system which features a honed steering column bearing to reduce steering friction and improve steering feel. In addition, the EPS has been tuned to provide excellent feedback and improved straight-line stability. A new electric motor control unit also enables more accurate and linear steering, while the variable gear ratio improves low speed turning and high-speed stability feel by changing gear ratios at low and high speeds.

The stiffer new aluminium subframe also positions the variable-ratio steering rack below the rear propeller shaft instead of above it as before. Moving the rack 32 mm lower, along with a low-friction column bearing and rack, significantly improves CR-V’s steering system rigidity and consequently, steering feel and accuracy. 

Key Safety and Driver Assistive Features

  • Standard Honda Sensing system with new front sensor camera and radar
  • Updated Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
  • Next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE™) body structure optimized for oblique collisions
  • Next-gen driver and passenger airbags designed to cradle the head and help control rotation
  • New standard front knee airbags 

Improved Honda Sensing

A new Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistive systems integrates a new front sensor camera and millimeter-wave radar. The new camera features a 90-degree field of view, up from 50 degrees on the previous generation. The radar is now mounted directly behind the Honda logo on the grille, which helps to increase its field of view to 120-degrees from the 50 degrees on the previous generation.

These wide angles improve collision prevention performance to recognise attributes of objects such as a vehicle or pedestrian, as well as white lines, road boundaries such as curbs, cyclists and motorcycles. The wide angle also enables expanded control range for CR-V at intersections. 

The camera detects feature points of a target and also recognises attributes of objects such as vehicles or pedestrians. With the use of an exceptionally fast processor, the system measures distance and the lateral position of objects based on the change in the size of the target object, how long it took for the change to occur and speed of the vehicle. This enables the camera to recognize the various objects described above.

 Honda Sensing™ functions include:

  • Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS): New camera system and more advanced software enables the use of CMBS in more situations, including the detection of pedestrians and cyclists. If no corrective action is taken when FCW signals an alert, CMBS can apply different levels of automatic emergency braking action to help reduce vehicle speed and eventual collision forces, and therefore to help reduce the severity of a collision.
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW, integrated with CMBS): When the system determines a collision is possible with a detected vehicle, visual and audible alerts from the FCW system prompt the driver to take corrective actions.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC): New camera system improves Adaptive Cruise Control with more natural brake feel and quicker reactions to changes in traffic. It also responds more quickly when changing into an open lane from behind a slower car and better maintains a constant vehicle speed in downhill situations.
  • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS): LKAS reduces the need for steering correction movements and driving effort. For the 2024 CR-V, LKAS has been improved with more linear and natural feeling steering assist, better line tracing, and improved resistance to crosswinds.
  • Road Departure Mitigation System (RDM): Can identify solid or dashed painted lane lines to find the edge of the road and uses steering force to keep the vehicle from departing the lane or roadway altogether. The detection range is expanded up to road shoulders and curbs because of the wide-angle detection sensor.
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW): Integrated with RDM, LDW operates at speeds from approximately 65 to 145 km/h and is designed to alert the driver if the vehicle is leaving a detected lane without the turn signal being activated. 

Additional Safety and Driver Assistive Technologies

The 6th-generation CR-V also features additional safety and driver assistive technologies. 

CR-V features a Driver Attention Monitor, which continually monitors and assesses driver behavior behind the wheel to help determine if the driver is becoming inattentive. If it detects fatigue, the driver is alerted by a coffee cup icon and a 4-level bar graph on the dash. As the driver’s attention drops, fewer and fewer bars are illuminated, and when it drops to two, the system displays a message inviting the driver to take a break. If the driver continues driving and the graph drops to the lowest level of one bar, a beeper sounds and the steering wheel vibrates, prompting the driver to pay closer attention or take a rest break.

A new Rear Seat Reminder is also standard for all three rows. A reminder appears on the driver information interface and an alert will sound when the car is turned off and notifies drivers to check the rear seating area for children, pets or other precious cargo when exiting the car.

Advanced Airbag and Seatbelt Technologies

CR-V uses the next-gen Honda front driver and passenger airbags first introduced in the 11th-generation Civic. These new airbags are specifically designed to reduce head rotation in a collision, especially an oblique collision. On the driver’s side, the airbag uses a tuck sewing shape for increased rigidity of both sides of the airbag to cradle and hold the head, mitigating rotation and reducing the likelihood of brain injury.  

On the passenger side, a three-chamber airbag design achieves a similar result. The three chambers inflate separately, with the two outer chambers that extend above the main chamber designed to cradle the head and help control rotation. 

CR-V further benefits from additional standard airbag technology, with a total of 8 airbags. Driver and front passenger knee airbags are used in CR-V for the first time, along with side curtain airbags and side impact airbags for both driver and front passenger.

Seatbelt technology has been updated as well, with an outer lap belt pretensioner used on front seatbelts, with a load limiter used on the driver’s side to help prevent chest injuries. In the rear, pretensioners are used in both outboard positions, along with load limiters, and CR-V now features a rear seatbelt reminder, which informs the driver if a rear seat occupant is detected as not properly buckled up. 

Warranty and Pricing

Service Plan: 5-year / 90,000km

Service Intervals: 1-year / 10,000km

Warranty:  5-year / 200,000km

Roadside Assistance: 3-year AA roadside assistance


1.5T Exclusive FWD R1 039 900  

1.5T Executive FWD R   959 900

The All-New CR-V will go on sale locally on 9 February 2024 

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