The new Honda CR-V has apparently exceeded expectations – having just been launched last week, bookings of the latest fifth-generation model have surpassed Honda Malaysia’s monthly sales target of 700 units twice, having already eclipsed 1,400 orders.

A breakdown of the variants being ordered show that the range-topping 1.5 Turbo Premium 2WD model is the most popular, accounting for 40% of bookings, followed by the 1.5 Turbo 2WD at 31%. Of the rest, the base 2.0 i-VTEC 2WD made up 20% of bookings, while the 1.5 Turbo 4WD brought up the rear with 9%. As such, the order books show an 80:20 split between turbocharged and naturally-aspirated models.

Honda Malaysia has also revealed the breakdown in colours ordered, and as expected, Lunar Silver Metallic was the most popular paint option with 30% of owners choosing it, ahead of White Orchid Pearl with 27%. East Malaysia bookings were also detailed – the car was launched in Kuching simultaneously with Kuala Lumpur. There, the 1.5 Turbo Premium 2WD model was again the most popular, making up 38% of orders.

This is the second time a car has been launched in both East and West Malaysia at the same time after the BR-V, and Honda Malaysia says that it has contributed to greater market acceptance. Sabah and Sarawak sales currently stand at over 3,500 units, making up 6.6% of the company’s total sales in the first half of the year. This marks a staggering 48% growth year-on-year.

Redesigned from the ground up, the new CR-V features greater sophistication and increased features, with standard kit including LED headlights, keyless entry with walk-away auto lock, powered front seats, dual-zone auto climate control with rear air vents, a digital instrument cluster and an eight-inch Advanced Display Audio infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and eight speakers.

The range-topping 1.5 Turbo Premium 2WD is the first Honda in Malaysia to come with Honda Sensing, which includes Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW), auto high beam and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low Speed Follow (LSF) function.

Although it is around the same size as before (albeit 35 mm wider and with a 40 mm longer wheelbase), the new CR-V now has a larger 4,100 litre interior; boot space is now 522 litres, or 1,084 litres with the rear seats folded. Unlike in other markets, which have the option of a seven-seat interior, the Malaysian-market CR-V is a five-seater only.

Power comes from a carryover 154 PS/189 Nm R20 naturally-aspirated 2.0 litre i-VTEC engine, or a retuned version of the Civic’s 1.5 litre turbocharged VTEC mill, making 193 PS and 243 Nm. A CVT comes as standard, replacing the previous five-speed automatic gearbox.

Pricing starts at RM142,400 for the base 2.0 i-VTEC 2WD, rising up to RM155,700 for the 1.5 Turbo 2WD and RM161,600 for the 1.5 Turbo 4WD. The top-of-the-line 1.5 Turbo Premium 2WD retails at RM167,700. All prices are on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty.

GALLERY: 2017 Honda CR-V 1.5 Turbo Premium 2WD