The first generation Honda CR-V made its debut in 1997, and now, nearly two decades later, it continues to evolve, constantly rendering it a considerable progressive improvement over its predecessors. For 2015, Honda has once again taken a successful vehicle and made it better, without losing its familial appeal. The Honda CR-V has been the top-selling SUV in America for the past decade. It received a 2015 Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when equipped with the optional front crash prevention, which includes a top rating of GOOD in five IIHS crash test modes including a GOOD score in the Institute?s small overlap frontal crash test. This designation is awarded to vehicles that also have an available frontal crash prevention system that earns a superior or advanced rating from the Institute, and the 2015 CR-V has earned a superior rating.
The Honda CR-V displays a compact exterior appearance, while providing a roomy interior. It represents a unique balance of size and capability in the entry SUV segment. With car-like interior comfort, smooth, quiet ride, and innovative features, the CR-V is an ideal fit for family transportation or for individuals with an active lifestyle.
The 2015 CR-V evokes?a more rugged, athletic image and represents a smarter vehicle with its all-new powertrain that delivers more torque, better performance and more refinement, plus available new premium features. The compact CRV?s exterior styling exhibits design changes to both the front and rear, the mirrors and wheels. The changes deliver a bold and aggressive look that?s wide, solid and planted, which is emphasized by premium details and features exuding a unique style for Honda. Available exterior features include brilliant LED daytime running lights, LaneWatch? and distinctive 18-inch alloy wheels. Included in the changes is a power tailgate on the new Touring trim, a first for the CR-V.
The bold front fascia?s unified design blends the solid grill and upper air intake with the four-lamp, multi-reflector halogen headlight arrays with an upward sweep. This grill shape is inverted below by an aggressive-looking lower air intake/skid plate design, in contrasting silver, with fog light pods creating a deep, multi-dimensional look. Horizontal lines at the rear and the contrasting silver colored skid plate design are commanding and continue the wide, planted look of the new CR-V. The body retains the aerodynamic efficiencies of the previous version, with numerous design elements such as a long roofline and integrated rear spoiler that assist in producing a low drag coefficient. EX-L and Touring trims are equipped with roof rails that start at the A-pillars and sweep along the roofline toward the rear end of the vehicle providing an attachment point for an accessory rack. The rails are fully functional, with three anchor points per side. The Touring trim receives special badging with black debossing on a chrome background.
A new Touring trim has been added for the 2015 CR-V, and it is the first Honda to apply the new Honda Sensing? suite of safety and driver assistive technologies that can aid in improving drivers’ situational awareness. This includes the first application of two advanced driver-assistive technologies ? Collision Mitigation Braking System? with Forward Collision Warning and Lane Keeping Assist System? to a Honda vehicle, and the first application of Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and LaneWatch? to CR-V. Hill Start Assist is another valuable asset, and the towing capacity is 1,500 pounds. Ground clearance is 6.8-inches.
Key new exterior features include: the newly designed front fascia including grille, headlights, bumper and skid plate; the new rear fascia design with changed license garnish, fascia sides and bumper; available LED daytime running lights and projector beam low beam headlights; two new alloy wheels designs, including a new available 18-inch wheel; an upgraded mirror design with available heater and integrated turn signal; a power tailgate ? available for the first time on CR-V; and available Smart Entry.
New key interior features include: a new center console design with configurable partitions, sliding armrest and rear-facing ventilation ducts; high contrast styling touches utilizing chrome, silver and wood grain treatments; upscale fabric and leather texture treatments; an available 7-inch capacitive touchscreen Display Audio with HondaLink? and Honda Satellite Navigation System; sliding sunvisors; an available two-position memory driver?s seat; and available Push Button Start.
Enhanced interior styling? elements include chrome and bright silver accents highlighting the complimentary lines of the interior, depending upon grade. Chrome plating or chrome trim around such items as the steering wheel-mounted controls, vent knobs and door levers, on EX and above grades, provide a luxurious atmosphere. Bright silver accents around console panels, vents and other surfaces result in a visual contrast and a high-tech look.
Standard on all trims is the newly designed configurable center console that adds storage versatility and added comfort and convenience with its broad, sliding armrest. On EX and above grades, the inclusion of the intuitive 7-inch Display Audio adds technological sophistication.
Standard safety equipment on all Honda models include Vehicle Stability Assist? electronic stability control system, Anti-lock Braking System with Brake Assist, frontal airbags, side airbags, side-curtain airbags and a front seat design that can help reduce the severity of neck injury in the event of a rear collision. Boldly Restyled and Significantly Enhanced 2015 Honda CR-V Gets New Powertrain, Advanced Features and New Premium Touring Trim.
Power for the new CR-V lineup is delivered by a 2.4-liter DOHC, 16-valve i-VTEC Earth Dreams technology inline 4-cylinder engine with Direct Injection, drive-by-wire throttle and Eco-Assist with ECON mode. It makes 185 horsepower at 6,400 rpm along with 163 pound feet of torque at 3,900 rpm. Motive force is routed from the transversely mounted front engine through a Continuously Variable Transmission with a Sport mode to the Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System.
Trim levels offered for the 2015 model year include a total of 10 possible variants: LX, EX, EX-L, EX-L, EX-L NAVI and EX-L Touring. All trims are available in either FWD or AWD. Pricing ranges from $23,445 to $32,895. Add $880 for Destination charges for all models.
My test 2015 Honda CR-V 5-door SUV came in the new Touring trim in an AWD configuration. The base price was set at $32,770 while Destination and Delivery charges bumped the final total to $33,600. The exterior was sprayed Copper Sunset Pearl, while the interior was executed in beige, with charcoal trim accents.
SUMMARY: Honda refers to this latest example CR-V as the best example yet exhibiting a greater overall visual appeal with its enhanced streamlining, which also resulted in improved aerodynamics, and character lines showcasing gentler curves and smoother surfaces.
In the performance department, the focus is primarily on economy, and the engine when prodded in a spirited manner is noticeably vocal ? not a bad thing really, but a turbocharged engine wouldn?t have to work as hard while producing greater power levels.
The cabin provides a sophisticated and refined ambience with lots of useable space, featuring a high level of functionality and versatility.
Safety features and equipment abound throughout this latest Honda CR-V, which is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile new-car limited warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and Honda Roadside Assistance, which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance during the 3-year/36,000 mil new vehicle warranty term, which should add significantly to the buyer?s peace of mind.
The 2015 CR-V is manufactured exclusively for the North American market at Honda plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico using domestic and globally sourced parts.Bottom-line, the Honda CR-V for 2015 represents a positive evolution rendering it a considerable improvement over that first generation CR-V Honda has once again taken a successful vehicle and made it better, without losing any of its iconic DMA or visual appeal.
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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Honda CR-V 5-Dr AWD Touring [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:||$33,600.|
|Engine Type and Size:||2.4-liter DOHC, 16-valve i-VTEC Earth Dreams with Direct Injection, drive-by-wire throttle and Eco-Assist with ECON mode.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||185 @ 6,400 rpm|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||163 @ 3,900 rpm|
|Transmission:||Continuously Variable (CVT) with Sport mode.|
|Drive Train:||Transversely mounted front engine / Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System.|
Front -MacPherson strut with 20 mm stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link with 18 mm stabilizer bar.
|Brakes:||Power-assisted Four-wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD, BA and VSA with Traction Control.|
|Tires:||Dunlop Grandtrek AT20 P225/60 R18 99H mounted on 5 stylized split – spoke alloy wheels with machine face and Black background.|
|Length Overall:||179.4 inches|
|Curb Weight:||3,624 lbs.|
|Fuel Capacity:||15.3 gallons|
|EPA Mileage Estimates:||26 mpg city / 33 mpg highway|
|Drag Coefficient:||Not listed.|
|0 – 60 mph:||Not tested.|
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.