The East Liberty plant is the first in the world to start building the fifth-generation compact SUV.

In the 20 years since it was launched, Honda has sold nearly four million examples of the CR-V SUV in the United States alone. Indeed, the Japanese automaker reckons that figure makes in the best-selling SUV in America over those 20 years.

In that light, it is not surprising that Honda has chosen its East Liberty Assembly Plant (ELP) in Ohio as the first factory to start production of the all-new, fifth-generation CR-V. The first production cars rolled out the doors earlier this week, ahead of the CR-V’s on sale date later this winter.

The 2017 CR-V is new from the ground up, using Honda’s latest global compact car platform, which also underpins the current Civic. The CR-V uses the Civic’s 1.5-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine, as well. Usefully, the motor has been boosted a bit in the CR-V, gaining 16 horsepower (12 kilowatts) and 17 pound-feet (23 Newton meters) of torque, for a total of 190 hp (142 kW) and 179 lb/ft (243 Nm).

All but the most basic CR-V models come with the turbo motor, connected to a continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel-drive. Four-wheel-drive is available as an option. Honda says that 75 percent of CR-V buyers will go for the turbo option.

Improved packaging has realized a more voluminous interior, with two inches of extra legroom for rear seat passengers. A seven-inch touchscreen - also shared with the Civic - controls the infotainment system, and there is large suite of driver assistance aids, as well.

Tim Myers, ELP plant manager, said: “Our Ohio team did an incredible job as the lead plant for the global launch of this new Honda CR-V. We believe the CR-V will continue to set the standard for compact SUVs.”

ELP developed the production process for the CR-V, which will eventually be produced by ten factories around the world. Including Honda’s plants in Ontario, Canada and Greensburg, Indiana. The 1.5-liter turbo engine is built in Anna, Ohio.

 

 

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