Arriving in showrooms later this week, the 2015 Honda CR-V boasts an edgier appearance plus numerous significant enhancements that include a new, more efficient powertrain, upgraded comfort/safety features and a range-topping Touring trim that complements the existing LX/EX variants. The most wide-ranging mid-cycle upgrade in the CR-V's history should help Honda's compact crossover maintain its position as the best-selling vehicle in a highly competitive segment. 

Visual changes for the 2015 CR-V begin with changes to the nose and tail of the vehicle to give it a more aggressive look. Up front, there's a new grille treatment and faux skid plate flanked by slimmer head and fog lamps while the rear revamp sets off its more angular contours with a wider chrome accent strip and redesigned lower valance panel that also features a skid plate look. Other tweaks include restyled wheels and mirrors with integrated directional signals on the Touring. Inside, the 2015 CR-V gains trim upgrades plus a new configurable center console, rear console heat/air ventilation ducts and sliding sunvisors as well as a 7.0-inch touchscreen on EX and Touring variants. 

Better economy and vehicle dynamics 

All 2015 CR-Vs benefit from a new powertrain. The current 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder gives way to a same-size but direct-injected unit from Honda's "Earth Dreams" portfolio. While making the same 185 horsepower, it develops 11 percent more torque (181 lb-ft). Also gone is the aging 5-speed automatic transmission, replaced by a new CVT featuring G-design Shift technology that creates virtual ratios for a sportier feel. In addition to giving the new CR-V a bit more off-the-line snap, the combo bumps its EPA figures by 4-mpg in the city and 3 mpg on the highway. Front-drive CR-Vs now net 27/34 mpg ratings while AWD variants earn 26/33 mpg marks. A modest retuning of the CR-V's fully independent suspension also promises to make it more fun to drive.

On the feature front, the 2015 CR-V EX adds a host of new touches, highlighted by a 10-way power driver's seat, heated front seats, Smart Entry/Push Button Start and Honda Lane Watch, all of which are shared by the leather-clad EX-L and EX-L Navi fitted with HondaLink and Honda Satellite-linked Navigation. The new Touring model  adds driver's seat memory, a power tailgate and larger 18-inch alloy wheels as well as the Honda Sensing suite of driver assists that include Collision Mitigation Braking and Lane Keeping Assist - both first applications on a Honda - as well as a CR-V-first Adaptive Cruise Control plus Forward Collision Warning and Honda LaneWatch.

Also: The Class of 2015 -- New Vehicles Ready to Roll

Pricing for the 2015 Honda CR-V will start at $24,150, a modest $200 increase. The 2015 CR-V EX opens at $26,250 with the EX-L and EX-L Navi commanding $28,850 and $30,350, respectively. Opting for a new CR-V Touring ups the ante to $32,350 while Honda's Real Time AWD will raise the price of entry on any CR-V by $1,250. 

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