Honda Malaysia shows off first locally assembled CKD CR-V model – second-generation from 20 years ago

Honda Malaysia shows off first locally assembled CKD CR-V model – second-generation from 20 years ago

The Honda CR-V is very much a mainstay in the SUV category within the Malaysian market, and the latest iteration, the sixth-generation model has been launched in Malaysia last week.

It has, in fact been two decades since the first locally assembled (CKD) version of the CR-V emerged for this market, with the localised, second-generation CR-V arriving back in 2002, emerging from the Honda Malaysia plant in Melaka.

As shown in these images, the passage of 20 years between the arrival of the second-generation model and that of the latest, sixth-generation SUV shows just how far design has evolved, inside and out.

The intervening years has culminated in a a ‘face’ that now features much slimmer headlamps and a larger grille relative to the second-generation model, along with a visually lower bottom edge for a more car-like appearance, which is helped in the side profile view by a higher belt line and wheel arches.

Its change of appearance is even more apparent when viewed from the rear, where the second-generation model’s tailgate gets an externally mounted spare wheel, here within a body-coloured shell, and which opens sideways.

This is in contrast to the latest model’s adopted norm of a vertically opening tailgate as on the majority of hatchbacks and crossovers today. While the sixth-gen model’s tail lamps also serve to visually widen the rear of the vehicle, as at the front, it retains upright elements recalling those of the early model – perhaps with a bit of a Swedish twist.

Available technology in the cabin of each model also serve to highlight the progress made in 20 years, though similarities also appear when a broader view is taken.

An implied straight line spans the width of the dashboard in the second-generation model, and this is made more apparent in the latest iteration, while the layout of selected components appear to be shared.

The infotainment screen on the sixth-gen model resides atop the dashboard with the air-conditioning vents situated below, just as the double-DIN unit in its ancestor is located. A key difference is the transmission selector – while the older car has its gearlever on the dashboard, the control on the new model assumes a now-more-common place on the centre tunnel, bridging the centre console and the dash fascia.

Similarly, the game moves on in terms of accommodation in the rear quarters. Occupants in the second row of the first CKD CR-V benefit from a tall glasshouse, and while the new car may appear to be more cosy thanks to its higher window line, it counters by being even more spacious.

The upholstery in each model also offers a contrast as a sign of the times, so to speak, with distinct fabric in the second-gen car compared with full leather in the latest model.

For progress in terms of raw numbers, one area where this is likely most apparent is in the powertrain. Where the second-generation CR-V employed a 2.0 litre K20A naturally aspirated inline-four cylinder petrol engine that produced 156 PS, the latest model brings turbocharging into the mix, offsetting its smaller 1.5 litre swept capacity with higher outputs of 190 PS and 243 Nm.

The Honda CR-V is a clear favourite in the SUV category for Malaysia, with more than 130,000 units sold as of November this year. Dear readers who have owned, and currently own a CR-V, what have been your favourites aspects of ownership? Let us know in the comments.

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.



  • M50B25 on Dec 20, 2023 at 5:37 pm

    I rather have the K20A engine

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1
    • Amran on Dec 20, 2023 at 6:54 pm

      Missed those days the brand is under Oriental Honda. before quality went south when that terribly incompetent madey kroni Drb took over, everything just nosedived ..tgt wiv proton

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5
  • Curious on Dec 20, 2023 at 6:33 pm

    What about CRV first generation debut in year 2000 by Kah Motor Co. Sdn Bhd which built in Johor plant? Was that also considered CKD?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
  • Ur moms car on Dec 20, 2023 at 7:01 pm

    Prefer an old one cause it feels like a real suv

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1
  • I still remember that weird handbrake camouflaging as a handle on the dashboard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • I own the 2017 CRV, bought it new. It was a very refreshing design and a lot of new features back then. The current model however seems to be lacking in tht ingenuity. Design is very evolution with not much new features incorporated, a possible 190K price tag for a hybrid, seems to be very streep. An addition of 40K or 50K, will get you into the continental territory.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4
    • meladam on Dec 21, 2023 at 10:21 am

      2017 crv full of flaws. steering rack problem, gear lever shift easily detached, very poor insulation, EPB fault at 3rd year ownership, not to mention the spoiled VSC module that need rm14k to replace

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0
  • I’m using HRV RS 2023, 360 camera, side mirror auto fold and blind spot is the major minus, it is important nowadays, I have to ask someone to monitor front side when park the car as I’m using SUV for the first time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • ROTI CANAI on Dec 21, 2023 at 9:54 am

    20 years of bad quality

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
  • Squid on Dec 21, 2023 at 10:43 am

    The old one seems to have more functionality than the new ones.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Ringgit Lausai on Dec 21, 2023 at 11:48 am

    CKD lower cost

    Before PH RM10 == 100BAHT

    PH rule RM14 == 100BAHT

    Ringgit drops 40% agsaint BAHT

    Honda == Ex-Proton Kuli

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3
    • Noob pm on Dec 24, 2023 at 1:10 pm

      Replace chinese PM, can manage the currency then rm no longer lausai

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2
  • hazri on Dec 21, 2023 at 7:46 pm

    my neighbour in bukit antarabangsa trade in her old cr-v and buy new mazda cx-5. 4 years later she buy honda city hatchback.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1
  • mechanicnextdoor on Dec 21, 2023 at 8:32 pm

    From practicality to shiticality

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1
  • I love crv 2011 on Dec 21, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    I would better use my 2nd facelift, seems immortal to me

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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