2010 Honda CR-V: U.S. Model Receives Mild Styling Tweaks and More Powerful Engine

Time's up for Honda to introduce the U.S. spec version of its gently refreshed 2010 CR-V that gains mild refinements and upgrades to the exterior and interior as well as a more powerful engine under the hood. On the outside, the CR-V features a mildly reworked fascia with a new grille and bumper design, a re-sculpted hood, and a restyled rear bumper shape plus new alloy wheel designs.

Upgrades to the interior focus on new features and added functionality with the Bluetooth HandsFreeLink now included on models equipped with the available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System while auto on/off headlights are now standard on the EX-L grade and finally, the front seats have wider center armrests on all models.

Changes under the bonnet of the 2010 model year CR-V, however, are more important as upgrades to the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that is linked to a an electronically controlled 5-speed automatic transmission, result in an improved output of 180HP, up from 166 horsepower of the outgoing 2009MY CR-V.

Despite the power boost, Honda claims that city/highway EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings have been improved to 21/28 mpg on 2WD models and 21/27 mpg on models equipped with 4WD, an increase of 1 mpg in both city and highway driving on all models.

The 2010 CR-V is on sale now at Honda's U.S. dealerships with prices ranging from $22,545 for the entry-level LX 2WD to $30,455 for the top-grade EX-L 4WD with Navi (see photo above for detailed pricing).

European 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe Facelift gets New 197HP Diesel and 6-Speed Transmissions

Hyundai is giving its Santa Fe a new lease of life in Europe thanks to new powertrains and a lightly refreshed interior and exterior. As with the Korean market model, the European Santa Fe gets a new three-slatted body-colored grille, restyled bumper, tweaked headlamps and fog lights up front, while new tail lamp crystals, a revised bumper and twin exhausts sum up the changes at the rear. The 2010 model also features new alloy wheel designs, and redesigned side sills and roof rails.

Revisions to the interior are even more subtle and are limited to what Hyundai describes as "a new Supervision instrument gauge cluster", a built-in navigation system, an optional rear view camera and refreshed trim.

The most important upgrades are hidden under the bonnet as the 2010 model year benefits from the introduction of a new 2.2-liter turbo diesel engine, which produces an output of 197 horsepower and peak torque of 422Nm (311 lb-ft) between 1,800 and 2,500 rpm.

Matted to a six-speed manual transmission, the new 2.2 CRDi engine launches the Santa Fe from zero to 100 km/h (62mph) in 9.5 seconds, an improvement of 1.8 sec over the outgoing 155HP diesel model, and on to a top speed of 190 km/h (118mph) while returning 6.6 lt /100km (35.6 mpg US) in the combined cycle with CO2 emissions of 174g/km.

The new entry-level petrol engine is Hyundai's 2.4-liter four-cylinder Theta-II unit that makes 174 horsepower. Acceleration from standstill to 100 km/h comes in 10.7 seconds while the Santa Fe 2.4 achieves a top speed of 190 km/h (118mph) with an average fuel consumption of 8.5 lt /100km (27.7 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 203g/km.

Both engines are offered with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and optionally, with Hyundai's new six-speed automatic transmission.

Already introduced in South Korea, the refreshed 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe will make its European debut at next week's Frankfurt motorshow and go on sale in most markets towards the end of the year.