Diesel-powered Honda CR-V will surely be missed

Diesel engines have always been part of Honda’s CR-V lineup since the second-generation model in 2001. That isn’t always the case in the Philippines, though, as we only got the oil-burner mill in the fifth-generation model that arrived in 2017. As diesel has always been thought to be the more economical fuel type in the country, Filipino CR-V buyers flocked to the model.

So much so that the diesel-powered CR-V had become the dominant choice among buyers. In fact, over 80 percent of CR-Vs bought come with diesel engines. Plus, the outgoing CR-V’s range only had one non-diesel variant speaks to how in demand the powertrain was.

But that won’t be the case with the sixth-generation Honda CR-V. Just revealed this week, the Comfortable Roundabout Vehicle only had three variants at launch: two turbocharged V and VX trim levels with gasoline engines, and one e:HEV RS hybrid model, powered by a gasoline mill paired with an electric motor.

Yes, the sixth-generation CR-V doesn’t have a diesel option, the majority of the outgoing version’s sales.

That said, I requested clarification from Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) about the decision to drop the diesel mill at the press conference during the launch. With a backgrounder that Honda Thailand also stopped offering the diesel option, I asked if HCPI will ever consider returning the diesel CR-V if it gets offered in Thailand (where we source our CR-V).

The answer was a stark “no,” pointing out that the belief that diesels are more economical is a myth, According to HCPI, bringing back the diesel goes against the message that the brand wants to convey: a more environmental-friendly vehicle for the family.

As we know, diesel isn’t exactly the cleanest type of fuel available. It combusts with more harmful by-products, which explains the need for a different type of filter within the vehicle’s mechanicals (and regularly cleaning/replacing them).

That said, moving away from diesel makes total sense. Even more so with the introduction of a hybrid variant, which serves as a bridge for HCPI before it goes fully electric.

As announced at the launch, the company will only sell battery-electric vehicles starting in 2040. That’s a long, long way to go, it only shows the path that HCPI is taking in the years to come. We can also expect more hybrid models to be introduced in the near future.

For most Honda CR-V buyers expecting a diesel compact SUV, I lament your loss, but I think it’s high time to forget that diesels are better than gasoline – they’re not. They’re more costly in the long run, and they’re extremely bad for the environment. If you have the buying power to get a diesel before, you might want to consider buying the e:HEV variant, which isn’t only economical but friendly to the environment, as well.

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