The fifth-generation Honda CR-V hit the scene for the 2017 model year, and we all know just how quickly things move in the SUV world. One of our roving spy teams came upon a trio of camo-wrapped CR-V test vehicles roving through the Appalachian mountains in the eastern U.S., and from what we can see a minor facelift is already in store.
Indeed, the changes appear to be very minor. Only one prototype has a full wrap, with the other two hiding small changes front and rear. We’ll start at the back where we can see an updated rear fascia. Trapezoid exhaust tips are hanging down low, and it’s possible the updated bumper cover could affect some changes to the quarter panels as well. Moving forward, we can identify slight changes to the driving lamps at the corners of the front fascia. The grille is tweaked, with the chrome center bar looking a bit larger compared to the current model. That's all our discerning eyes can identify.
Gallery: 2020 Honda CR-V Spy Photos
Will changes be similarly subtle on the inside? Our spy photographer couldn’t get close for an interior peek, but any updates to the CR-V’s greenhouse should be just as basic, if anything is changed at all. Updated tech to Honda’s suite of onboard systems is more likely, with additional features becoming standard equipment. However, at this point it’s pure speculation.
The same holds true under the skin, where we don’t expect to see any changes. That means buyers will have a choice between two four-cylinder engines – a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter or a turbocharged 1.5-liter producing either 184 or 190 horsepower. That power is sent to the front wheels or all four by a gearless CVT box. There is one intriguing powertrain update for the 2020 CR-V in America that could happen, namely the hybrid model that launched last year in Europe.
This is only our first sighting of the updated CR-V, but we expect Honda will peel the rest of the camo off late this year, revealing it as a 2020 model.