Does Honda Need More Sportier Options for the CR-V?

The Honda CR-V was fully redesigned for the 2017 model year and with it came a host of new technologies, a new look, a new engine, and since then, a hybrid variant. And while Honda’s compact crossover seemingly has the secret formula to sales success, given its practicality and fuel-efficiency, could a sportier variant make it even more of a winner?

Honda Performance Development could modify the Honda CR-V

We just spent a week with the Toyota RAV4 TRD Off Road, which was sporty and rugged enough for some light off-road duty, thanks to its beefed-up suspension and all-terrain tires. But it made us wonder if other crossovers in the segment could benefit from the same type of treatment. And while Toyota does have its race division, which is aptly named “Toyota Racing Development,” Honda has something similar called “Honda Performance Development.”

The HPD department facilitates engine design and product development when it comes to Honda amateur and professional race teams, however, they have had a hand in developing performance parts for some of the brand’s streetcars. For example, there was a supercharged available for the CR-Z hybrid car, once upon a time. In any case, they could likely develop parts for the CR-V as well and make it a more potent performer.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid driving on city street
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid | Honda

But do we really need a performance version of the CR-V?

While we likely won’t ever see a production-made supercharged CR-V, we can at least keep our fingers crossed that there could be suspension upgrades in the future. Although, there might not be too much a demand for it. When most consumers look at the CR-V, they likely think that it’s a “mom car” or a family vehicle that will never tread on any other terrain aside from a nicely paved road. However, we think that there could be a case for a “CR-V HPD” as the vehicle is available with an all-wheel-drive system and it has 8.2 inches of ground clearance, which is on par with the Toyota RAV4. A supercharger kit would just be a massive added plus.

2016 Honda CR-Z
2016 Honda CR-Z | Honda

The Honda CR-V is one of the brand’s best-selling models

Whether or not Honda ever comes out with a sportier model, it probably doesn’t really matter considering how many units they sell each year. For example, Honda sold 384,168 CR-Vs in 2019 alone and over 379,000 the year before that. Even if Honda added a sportier trim level for the CR-V, it’s more-than-likely that the take rate of that trim level would only account for a small percentage of the overall sales. That’s probably why they released a hybrid instead.

a red honda CR-V sport
2020 Honda CR-V Sport | Honda

Frustrating Honda CR-V Complaints Need to Know

A Honda CR-V Sport does exist

A “Sport” trim does exist for the Honda CR-V, however, only in Canada. And on top of that, it’s basically the same thing as all of the other trim levels aside from a set of darker wheels, front grille, and trim pieces. But that’s not what we want. We want a 300 horsepower, semi-lifted off-road hauler that can take some sweet jumps and bumps on the weekends and deliver the kids at school on the weekdays. But we’re pretty sure that Honda won’t listen to us.