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SUV of the Year: 2015 Honda CR-V AWD Detailed Review on Everyman Driver with Dave Erickson

2015 Honda CR-V AWD Detailed Review on Everyman Driver Dave Erickson

The 2015 Honda CR-V is the 2015 Motor Trend SUV of the Year.  Pretty sweet if you ask me. 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, fog lights, 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 lift gate, 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.

Every 2015 Honda CR-V comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. A CVT is the only available transmission. Buyers can choose between front- and all-wheel drive on all trims.

The EPA’s estimated fuel economy on 2015 CR-Vs with front-wheel drive is 29 mpg combined (27 city/34 highway), a superb showing for this segment. The all-wheel-drive CR-V, at 28 mpg combined (26 city/33 highway), is right behind.

The 2015 Honda CR-V comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. The LaneWatch blind spot monitoring system (featuring a camera of its own that displays passenger-side blind spot activity on the 7-inch touchscreen) is standard on all but the LX. The Touring boasts a lane departure warning system and a forward collision warning and mitigation system that’s able to distinguish between vehicles and pedestrians (and warn the driver accordingly) as well as apply automatic braking intervention to reduce the severity of a collision.

The 2015 CR-V benefits from a handful of interior enhancements, starting with a sliding center console armrest that flips up to reveal cavernous internal storage (the old flip-down seat armrests and console bin have been discontinued). Overall, this remains one of the most practical cabins in the segment, providing plenty of nooks and crannies for just about any personal items you might have. The seats are a strength, too, with firm, well-shaped support in front and generous head- and legroom (or child-seat room) in back courtesy of the reclining rear bench. Rear climate vents in the back of the center console are a nice touch at this price point.

Honda has also added soft-touch dashboard inserts with simulated stitching to give the CR-V a more premium vibe, but these we find less successful. The current-generation CR-V has utilized subpar plastics in various cabin locations from the get-go, and most of them have stuck around for 2015. Numerous rivals look and feel more upscale inside. Happily, the controls are logically laid out and easy to learn, including the widely available 7-inch touchscreen (EX and above) with its large, user-friendly icons.

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