Launched 20 years ago and in its third generation, Honda’s CR-V remains king of the compact utility vehicle hill. In the first half of 2015, Honda sold more than 160,000 units. The CR-V has earned praise from consumers and automotive publications alike for its ease of driving, great fuel economy and family friendliness.
We here at Best Cars Guide echo most of those sentiments. We were impressed with Honda’s new safety features and improved transmission on the 2015 CR-V Touring model we tested. The refreshed CR-V has good leg, head and shoulder room inside the cabin, both in the front and rear. The somewhat awkward shape of its tail end does have a benefit, too. The wider opening of its tailgate and more squared-off shape — something that has all but become extinct on the smallest of utility vehicles — enables the the Honda CR-V to haul larger, squarer objects.
But, like the VW Tiguan SE we drove shortly before the CR-V made its way into our driveway, the Honda CR-V left us uncomfortable and flustered in the driver’s seat. For taller drivers at least, the front seats are too wide and flat to provide adequate support, leaving our backs achy after even the briefest of drives.
Outside of our complaints about the seats, the new CR-V has an improved design over the outgoing model. We liked the color combination of navy blue with light gray interior, giving the car a more open feel once inside. The sunroof is not a panoramic one, leaving the CR-V a bit behind its competitors, but this is not likely a deal breaker for consumers shopping for a good-value crossover to meet the family’s needs.
- Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
- Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™)
- Power tailgate
- Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)7
- Lane Departure Warning (LDW)8
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
- Larger 18-inch wheels
- Driver’s memory seat
- Side mirror turn signal lights
- HomeLink remote system
- Projector headlights
Fuel economy and functionality for families remain a selling point for Honda’s popular crossover. Our 2015 CR-V got an EPA estimated 26 city/33 highway/28 combined miles per gallon. But for close to $33,000 topped-out, is it really worth it? We’d say so.
The Award-Winning CR-V
Accolades for America’s longest-selling SUV include awards from CR-V owners and automotive media outlets — and that’s just for the 2015 model year:
- Motor Trend SUV of the year
- IIHS Top Safety Pick+
- ALG Residual Value Award
- Kelley Blue Book’s Best Buy for 2015
- Best Cars for Families list by U.S. News & World Report
- AutoPacific’s 2015 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards
Power in the 2015 CR-V is smoothly delivered thanks to Honda’s CVT mated with a four-cylinder V-Tech direct-injection engine.
It has the same familiar gear shift mounted just below the radio in the center stack, leaving more room for storage in between the driver and front passenger.
Overall, the CR-V lives up to its purpose – it is a family-friendly, affordable SUV that obtains above-average fuel economy and safety ratings. The pitfall of its uncomfortable, unsupportive front seats is likely only a problem for pickier car shoppers, but still we felt it an important observation to share.
If deciding whether or not to buy a CR-V, we encourage you to consider the Mazda CX-5, Acura RDX and Toyota Highlander. But hey, if you’re loyal to the Honda brand and this car meets your specific needs, then we say go ahead and go for it.