More of Everything

How do you improve an SUV that’s already a bestseller? That’s the predicament Honda found itself in when it came to updating the popular CR-V small SUV. It may be the top-selling vehicle in its market segment, but every car needs an update eventually.

So Honda kept what made the CR-V great, and gave customers more. The 2015 CR-V is more efficient and more stylish than ever before, and features more technology for added safety and convenience. With these updates, the CR-V remains a bestseller.

Powertrain and Performance

The 2015 Honda CR-V is even more efficient than before, thanks to several key powertrain enhancements.

Like the 2014 CR-V, the 2015 model is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, but it now features direct injection and other enhancements from Honda’s Earth Dreams family of technologies. The result is 181 pound-feet of torque, an 11 percent increase over the previous model’s 163 pound-feet. Horsepower remains unchanged at 185.

Backing the updated engine is a new continuously-variable transmission (CVT), which replaces a five-speed automatic. The CVT helps improve gas mileage, and provides smoother acceleration.

The result is EPA-estimated fuel economy of 29 mpg combined (27 mpg city, 34 mpg highway) with front-wheel drive,* or 28 mpg combined (26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway) with all-wheel drive.* Either way, that’s an improvement of 3 mpg in the combined and city categories, and 4 mpg in the highway category.

Features and Trims

Efficiency isn’t the only area where the 2015 Honda CR-V gets an upgrade. This small SUV also boasts several new features that one would typically expect to see in a vehicle costing much more than the CR-V’s $23,320 starting price.**

At that price, the base LX model comes standard with Bluetooth® HansFreeLink, a multifunction center console storage bin with sliding armrest, and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, among other useful features.

Upgrading to the EX model nets a seven-inch Display Audio center-stack screen, LED daytime running lights, and heated front seats with 10-way power adjustment for the driver. A half step beyond that is the EX-L, which adds leather seats, dual-zone climate control and roof rails, as well as navigation if you specify the EX-L Navi sub-model.

For 2015, the CR-V also gets a new top Touring model with a power tailgate, side-mirror turn signal lights, and 18-inch alloy wheels. It also features several electronic driver aids bundled in the Honda Sensing suite, which is new to the CR-V this year.

Design

You’ll immediately spot a 2015 Honda CR-V thanks to its updated styling. The front end features a new grille and headlights that seem to borrow more than a little from the stylish Fit subcompact and the benchmark Accord. That bold face is accented by new wheel and mirror designs, as well as tall taillights that give the CR-V a distinctive look from behind.

On the inside, the CR-V gains added functionality with a standard multifunction center console, which includes a sliding armrests and rear climate-control vents, while the optional Display Audio screen adds a new level of technology. On the practical side, there’s seating for five with 35.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind them.

Safety

It may be a mid-cycle refresh rather than a full redesign, but the 2015 Honda CR-V features several key safety updates. A refresh typically doesn’t come with significant structural changes, but engineers made over 60 changes to improve rigidity and crashworthiness.

In addition to a strong structure, the 2015 CR-V comes standard with anti-lock brakes, stability and traction controls, and front, side-curtain, and front-side airbags.

For 2015, the CR-V also gets a serious safety tech upgrade with the Honda Sensing suite, available on the Touring model. This package includes electronic aids like forward collision warning, a collision-mitigation system with automatic braking, lane-keeping assist, and lane-departure warning.

Bottom Line

The 2015 Honda CR-V puts a new spin on a familiar product, and the 2015 model improves on its strengths with a more efficient powertrain, stylish exterior, and added technology. With all of that, it remains a top seller, and having been on sale for a few months now, it may be eligible for a number of incentivesContact us at Honda of Denton for a test drive.

*27 city/34 hwy/29 combined mpg rating for 2WD. 26 city/33 highway/28 combined mpg rating for AWD models. Based on 2015 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $880.00 destination charge and options.

Image: Honda (Vehicle shown with optional equipment)