15 Best Family Cars of 2015

Last year, the Honda CR-V made it on our list of Best Family Cars, but just barely. We liked its cargo flexibility and passenger space, but the dated controls, interior noise and conservative styling were all called out.

What a difference a year makes.

We suggested that Honda replace the dated navigation system with the new touch-screen interface used in the Civic, and that's exactly what happened. A new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) helps keep things quieter and improves fuel economy, and a few styling tweaks here and there update the appearance without going too far. Put it all together, and you have a strong contender made even stronger.

Best of all, everything we liked about the Honda CR-V remains. There's still the flexible seating, which folds eight ways to Sunday to accommodate huge cargo loads. That's not unusual, but the simple one-tug strap you use to fold the seatbacks while simultaneously flipping the seat bottom forward and collapsing the head restraint remains unique in the class. Conversely, you can leave the rear seats in place, resulting in plenty of room for three, thanks to the flat floor. The driver and front passenger are equally comfortable with nicely contoured seats, easy-to-use controls, and plenty of storage space strewn about the cabin. The new navigation and infotainment system controls are a huge leap forward compared to the pixelated screen and tiny buttons from last year, although we're not going to call it class-leading just yet.

We also like the addition of a new Touring trim to the CR-V, which adds a layer of luxury that wasn't available in the CR-V before. Combine an all-wheel-drive system that gives the CR-V surprisingly good off-road chops with a very reasonable price tag, and it's easy to see why Honda's compact crossover SUV remains a top family car pick.

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Build and price your own 2015 Honda CR-V, read our in-depth review or get a look at all your options by visiting our Compact SUV Buyer's Guide.

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