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2015 Honda CR-V

Overview
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2015 Honda CR-V Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 9.8

The compact SUV market is crammed full of competitors, but to take first place they’ll have to beat the 2015 Honda CR-V. Against the Nissan Rogue, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and others, the CR-V is the best-selling SUV of the decade and, for 2015, it has even more to like. There’s attractive new styling, appealing features and noteworthy technology, and the 2.4-liter direct-injection engine with continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) delivers more power, performance and fuel economy. The new CR-V is available in multiple trim levels and with front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD). Safety features are class-leading, there’s a new Touring upper trim level and, if that isn’t enough, the new CR-V represents an exceptional value for the money. No wonder owners love it.

You'll Like This Car If...

For young families or empty-nesters the 2015 Honda CR-V represents as good as it gets in the compact SUV segment – nice looks, thoughtful features, great ride and handling, class-leading safety, noteworthy fuel economy, terrific value. Where do you sign?

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you like more stand-out-in-the-crowd styling, look at the Nissan Rogue. For very slightly sportier handling, try the Ford Escape. There are other choices. But 10 years at the top of this segment’s sales chart means a lot of buyers have laid down hard cash for Honda’s CR-V.

What's New for 2015

Major changes to the new CR-V for 2015 include the distinctive styling and direct-injected 2.4-liter engine with CVT. There are significant content upgrades, improved occupant protection and innovative new safety features. We highly recommend the new Touring trim, which includes numerous options and represents extraordinary value for the money.

Driving the CR-V
Driving Impressions

Whatever you may have thought about “compact SUV” as a low-line hauler for baby strollers and potted plants doesn’t apply to the new Honda CR-V, as its...

... driving experience far exceeds common expectations for “utility vehicle.” Enhancements in suspension details, wheels and tires deliver remarkable ride comfort and handling precision. The ride quality is smooth on good surfaces and well-controlled on bad, and the new CR-V takes corners with predictable certainty and direct feedback through the steering, even when driven enthusiastically. Special mention goes to the direct-injected 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and its continuously variable automatic transmission. Many CVTs feel as if the engine is connected to the drive wheels by a big rubber band. But the CR-V’s CVT behaves more like a “normal” automatic, and that’s a compliment. For a drive across the town or the country, Honda’s new CR-V is about as good as a compact SUV gets.

DIRECT-INJECTED 2.4-LITER ENGINE AND CVT
The 2015 CR-V’s 2.4-liter direct-injected engine, paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission, has more power and performance than the previous version and returns quite a bit better fuel economy in the bargain. Smooth, quiet, responsive, plenty strong and economical, this setup is a winner all the way around.

TOURING TRIM LEVEL
Somewhat surprisingly, the highest trim level is the best value for the money. It’s as loaded as can be imagined, includes a multitude of worthwhile technology, convenience and luxury items, plus advanced and commendable safety features. Best of all, its attractive, all-inclusive pricing structure begs the question: “Why not?”

2015 Honda CR-V Details
2015 Honda CR-V photo Interior

Those familiar with the previous model’s interior will find no surprises in the 2015 CR-V, along with a few welcome enhancements. There’s a new audio display, upgrades to some trim and textures, an added center console, and rear A/C vents. The front seats are supportive and properly adjustable, while the rear seats offer plenty of room for adults and easily fold down to sort-of flat for hauling the bigger things of contemporary family life. The new CR-V’s interior strikes us as entirely functional without being boring and completely modern without being weird, and that’s a nice blend, day-in and day-out.

Exterior
2015 Honda CR-V photo

Hondas have typically offered good outward vision through generous windows, and the new CR-V is no exception. Compared to other SUVs in the segment, the CR-V provides a less-obstructed view of the world, which makes it safer on the road and more easily maneuverable in tighter spots. The freshening of the exterior for 2015 has moved it visually upscale, an impression reinforced by more chrome, and it also seems to have a greater presence. The up-level Touring trim rides on 18-inch wheels and tires, which fill out the fender wells more completely and generally enhance the appearance.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A strong value statement, the new CR-V's LX base model includes (inhale): air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping steering column, steering wheel-mounted controls, a multi-function center console, the 2.4-liter engine with CVT, 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, 160-watt 4-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB interface, exterior temperature indicator, Smart Key/Start, rear A/C vents, and sliding sun visors (exhale). Standard safety features include dual-stage front airbags, front side airbags, side-curtain airbags with rollover sensor, Vehicle Stability Assist, Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake Assist and a multi-angle rearview camera – the latter is standard on all Honda vehicles for 2015.

Optional Equipment

The CR-V EX adds speed-sensitive and variable-intermittent wipers, auto-on headlights, fog lights, a security system, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a power moonroof, 6-speaker audio, and a variety of trim items. The EX-L adds leather, dual-zone A/C, automatic climate control, roof rails, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated mirrors, XM radio, and 7-speaker audio. The Touring trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, HomeLink, mirror turn signals, driver memory seat, a power tailgate, and Honda's Collision Mitigation Braking System. The choices of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, or navigation, are built into the trim levels.

Under the Hood

Honda’s new CR-V has a direct-injected, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with a continuously variable automatic transmission with a sport mode. The engine makes 185 horsepower, the same as in 2014 except at a lower engine speed, and 181 lb-ft of torque – good for acceleration – up from 163 lb-ft in the 2014 model and, again, at a lower engine speed. Thus, the latest CR-V has snappier acceleration and superior all-around performance. The CVT acts like a conventional automatic. It will hold a “gear” ratio, which is helpful in mountainous terrain. And the fuel economy is significantly improved: The 2014 CR-V had EPA numbers of 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway for front-wheel drive and 22/30 with all-wheel drive. The 2015 CR-V is rated at 27/34 with FWD and 26/33 with AWD.

2.4-liter inline-4
185 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
181 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/34 mpg (FWD), 26/33 mpg (AWD)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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