2015 Honda CR-V

What's new for 2015? The 2015 CR-V switches to the Accord's direct-injected four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT). It also receives refreshed exterior styling and richer feature content, including a front console armrest, rear climate vents, a 7-inch touchscreen linked to the LaneWatch blind spot monitoring system (EX and above) and a high-end Touring trim level with additional safety technologies.

As it happens, the CR-V has been refreshed for 2015, offering more mpg, fresh features and even a few styling tweaks. The headline this year is the CR-V's revised 2.4-liter engine that's paired with a CVT (essentially, the engine/transmission combo you get in the Accord). The result is a little more torque and a lot more fuel efficiency. With an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, the 2015 CR-V is 3 mpg better than last year's model and among the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid crossovers on the market. On the outside, Honda has added LED running lights and new front and rear fascias, while the interior benefits from extended touchscreen availability, mildly improved materials and a more traditional center console design. There's also a top-of-the-line Touring trim, which comes with extra luxuries and advanced safety systems.

Still, this Honda's appeal lies largely in what was already there. The CR-V practically invented the genre with its high driving position and carlike handling, and the current model adds a particularly spacious backseat and cargo hold to the mix, the latter enhanced by a nifty spring-loaded mechanism that folds each rear seat at the pull of a lever. Low ownership costs and high resale value further bolster the CR-V's credentials

Exterior Highlights
Five-passenger crossover available in LX, EX, EX-L and Touring trim levels

The 2015 Honda CR-V is a five-passenger crossover SUV offered in LX, EX, EX-L and Touring trim levels.

The LX comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, full power accessories, a rearview camera, cruise control, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding and reclining rear seat with trunk-mounted release handles, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, an iPod/USB audio interface and Pandora Internet radio compatibility.

The EX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights with LED running lights, a sunroof, foglights, rear privacy glass, a retractable cargo cover, keyless entry and ignition, an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way power lumbar), heated front seats, a blind spot monitoring system with a camera that shows your passenger-side blind spot (Honda's LaneWatch), a 7-inch touchscreen, dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with an extra USB port.

The EX-L adds roof rails, heated side mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, satellite radio and a seven-speaker sound system.

The Touring tacks on 18-inch wheels, projector beam headlights, a power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, a forward collision mitigation system, a lane departure warning system, driver seat memory settings, a navigation system and HD radio. The navigation system (with HD radio) is optional on the EX-L trim, but there are otherwise no factory options on any CR-V.

Practical cabin, abundance of space for rear passengers, child safety seat LATCH anchor points, rearview camera, Bluetooth and Pandora compatibility

Overall, the 2015 CR-V continues to possess one of the most practical cabins in the segment. There is an abundance of space for rear passengers, and those seats recline and have child safety seat LATCH anchor points in all three seating positions. Space up front is good, too, especially with the added adjustability that comes with the available power driver seat, providing superior visibility and a sense of openness.

There have been changes, though. The front cabin's center console has adopted a more traditional design, ditching last year's seat-mounted, van-style armrests and the long, deep bin that could swallow a purse. There is now a console-mounted, armrest-covered bin with just enough space for a few items inside, along with two accompanying cupholders, a small card-sized cubby and a longer one with a grippy surface for holding smartphones.

Aside from that touchscreen, notable tech features include a rearview camera, Bluetooth (phone and audio), a text-message reader with a digitized voice and Pandora compatibility. Those are all standard on the base LX, by the way; they'll run you extra on many competitors, if they're offered at all.

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