Honda’s Earth Dreams 4-cylinder motor is slowly making its way down into every model it can find its way into, and now the CR-V is no exception to this. Some of our loyal readers may remember the time I spent in the long-termer Hyundai Santa Fe 2.0T Sport Limited this past winter, and the absolute ball of a time I had with it. How would the 2015 Honda CR-V stack up? To me, the CR-V has always been that CUV that I knew was likely to be the most efficient, and easy choice in the segment. However, I always found the looks to be lackluster, even with the introduction of the fourth generation model in 2012. New for 2015 is a facelift with a few added bits like cool LED daytime running lights and some other features. I tested a 2015 Honda CR-V Touring AWD with all of the bells and whistles available.
Painted in Honda’s polarizing Kona Coffee Metallic, I found the CR-V to blend nicely into its surroundings without causing any kind of commotion. As unimposing as the CR-V may seem at first glance, after taking a closer look it is easy to see that Honda has spent an incredible amount of time moulding it to be not just another run-of-the-mill compact SUV. The design lines are well thought out, and everything about the CR-V screams functionality. Nothing about the design made it feel ‘concept’ like, but the CR-V’s wide front fascia is something to get used to. The addition of many upscale details in the exterior design, such as the LED DRLs and the subtle additions of chrome trim. The 18-inch machined alloy wheels were very stylish and set a nice contrast between the brown paint.
When the time comes for someone like me to settle down with a family and require something that can be efficient, practical, and reliable, the CR-V is a solid choice that has always been able fit the bill. While it isn’t the most luxurious, and it may not stroke your ego in the same sense that a decked-out Acura TLX might, the CR-V gets the job done with Honda’s proprietary blend of functionality and superior fuel economy. This formula obviously resonates well with many customers, because the CR-V is Honda’s top-selling car not far behind the Civic.
Stepping into the cabin of the CR-V, it more or else feels like every other crossover utility vehicle in the segment, but just a tad nicer and more upscale. My tester was the top of the line all-wheel-drive Touring trim which means it was the most expensive and decked-out CR-V one can buy in Canada. It should be noted that the Touring trim features plush perforated leather-trimmed seats with a leather-wrapped steering wheel, which gave it a sporty feel, something I was really surprised to see in this class. The CR-V also packed plenty of room and storage pockets to ensure that it can haul whatever family life may require you to haul. The interior’s fit and finish was exceptional, although there was a presence of some hard plastic. Japanese automaker interiors have come a long way and I will say that they are starting to be on par with their German counterparts.
Entertainment was definitely not lacking in this Honda. The CR-V Touring comes with a very decent 328-watt 7-speaker AM/FM/CD and SiriusXM satellite radio system that set a beautiful soundstage with crisp highs and powerful lows. There are two USB slots for charging devices or playing music, and the ingenious HDMI port that is featured on other Honda products. The Mazda CX-5 can be had with Bose, and the Mitsubishi Outlander features Rockford Fosgate, but the CR-V’s system still remains proprietary. Though there wasn’t anything lacking in the quality department, I would like to see Honda partner with a reputed audio manufacturer to improve this even more.
Performance wise, all trim levels of the CR-V share the same engine and transmission – there is no 6-cylinder or turbocharged option here. Powered by the 2.4-litre, 16-valve, direct injection, dual overhead cam, i-VTEC 4-cylinder Honda Earth Dreams motor, the CR-V happily pumps out 185 horsepower at 6,400 rpm and 181 lb-ft of torque at 3,900 rpm. The base LX can be had in either front wheel drive or the preferred RealTime all-wheel drive model, and all other trims are AWD-only. Mated to the power plant is a continuously variable transmission (CVT). While I am not a big fan thanks to the noise, and elastic-like features that are found in most CVTs, Honda has once again done a great job here. Much like the 2015 Honda Fit CVT I drove not too long ago, it does a great job of getting you where you need to go with minimal fuss and noise.
Over my week with the CR-V I observed fuel economy numbers of around 7.2L/100km highway and 9.2L/100km city. Now, this is where it gets good – these are seriously impressive numbers from a fully loaded CUV, and virtually identical to what we’ve seen in the Mazda CX-5 with its SKYACTIV powertrain. I averaged about 50/50 highway and city during my test week and I observed a very good 8.4L/100km. The 58L fuel tank can also take regular 87-octane fuel happily, and results in relatively frugal fillups.
Pricing for the CR-V starts at $27,863 for the base LX, and the Touring tested here tops out just over the $38,000 mark. Extras like Honda’s Lane Keep Assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and the great LaneWatch blind spot display system are all great for long road trips, and helps the CR-V stand out in its segment. Thanks to Honda’s reputed resale value, great safety ratings and our observed fuel economy, suddenly the CR-V becomes a more and more enticing choice for me if I were in the market for a crossover.
2015 Honda CR-V Touring Gallery