The 2015 Honda CR-V has taken a bold step forward to stand out among the growing body of competitors in the entry-level SUV market – not only with the significant upgrades and additions to the vehicle – but also the addition of the premium level Touring model to the line.
We had our first opportunity to drive the new 2015 Honda CR-V just a few weeks after its arrival in dealerships, when Honda entered their all new CR-V Touring Level AWD in the CUV category of the annual Texas Auto Writers Truck Rodeo last October. As we reported then, it quickly drew the attention of the media judges not only for its significant changes in powertrain and other upgrades, but also for the enhanced styling, premium materials, convenience features, amenities and cargo space that made it a pleasure to drive.
At the end of the weekend, it was judged the best in the field of five entries – being named the 2015 CUV of Texas by the Texas Auto Writers.
2015 Honda CR-V Touring AWD
Honda sent a CR-V Touring AWD to us for a week of follow up driving in and around Central Texas – using it for local errands and weekend recreation – as any owner and family might do. We can tell you that our original single day impression and resulting vote for it as the 2015 CUV of Texas was solidly confirmed.
Our drive test CR-V Touring AWD came in Mountain Air Metallic with a nicely matching Beige interior. It was equipped with the only powertrain available – the all-new 2.4-liter direct-injected DOHC i-VTEC inline 4-cylinder engine mated to a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a 33-percent wider overall ratio spread than the 5-speed automatic transmission it replaces.
There are three drive modes available. The D mode for normal driving situations and S mode for performance-oriented driving with more aggressive transmission mapping to keep engine rpm higher for greater acceleration and response. A L mode is for lower speeds and provides additional engine braking. And ECON mode is available through the ECON button on the instrument panel which makes further adjustments, when desired to further enhance fuel economy.
The power train in our test CR-V included the Real Time AWD with intelligent Control system and delivered 185 horsepower with 181 lb.-ft. of torque to the road via the (exclusive to the Touring model) 18-inch alloy wheels shod with P225/60R18 All-Season tires. Fuel economy for the AWD version is 26/33 mpg City/Highway with a combined average 28 mpg.
Features new for 2015 and/or unique to the all-new Touring model included LED Daytime Running Lamps, Collision Mitigation Braking, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, Projector-Beam Halogen Headlights with Auto-On/Off, Heated Power Side Mirrors with Integrated Turn Indicators, Dual Zone Automatic Climate Control, Adaptive Cruise Control and Leather Trimmed and Heated Front Seating with 10-way Driver Power Adjust.
Other features of note include a new design Center Console and Armrest, Rear Console Air Ducts, Power Tailgate, Display Audio, Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel with Controls, Smart Entry with Push Button Start, Power Moonroof with Tilt Feature, Roof Rack and the Honda LaneWatch system which gives the driver a display view of the right side of the vehicle when the turn signal is activated.
The Touring includes a 328-Watt AM/FM/CD Audio System with 7-Speakers including Subwoofer. The 7-inch Display Audio includes Satellite-Linked Navigation with Voice Recognition, Turn-By-Turn Directions and Honda HD Digital Traffic – all accessible through the High Resolution WVGA Electrostatic Touchscreen. The system includes HD Radio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and Next Generation HondaLink. Speed Sensitive Volume Control maintains the appropriate sound level in the (remarkably quiet) cabin area.
There were no accessories or options added. None were needed as – priced at $33,600 delivered – this 2014 Honda CR-V Touring AWD had all the goodies needed to be a top selection in its segment.
We found the new CR-V Touring AWD to be more than adequately powered by the new engine and integrated well with the new CVT. It handled well in the city and on the highway with more than sufficient power for situational response driving as needed. We, as you would expect, preferred to drive it in the S Mode finding the throttle and gearing changes added to performance curve.
The sound system with its automatic speed sensitive adjustment delivered exceptional sound throughout the cabin – due in part to an even more improved cabin noise reduction from the prior year model.
The interior room of the 2015 CR-V and its convenience for drivers, passengers and cargo was a high point. The front row cabin and seating has been engineered to provide plenty of seat, shoulder and head room for both driver and passenger. Second Row seating also provides more than adequate people space. We found the cargo space behind the second row (35.3 cubic feet) and with the single pull easy fold second row down, the space doubles to 70.9 cubic feet. The wide body shape and low lift-in height makes loading and unloading very easy.
2015 CR-V Industry Recognition
Shortly after its arrival in the fall of 2014, the 2015 Honda CR-V was awarded the prestigious Motor Trend Magazine 2015 Sport/Utility of the Year honor and at about the same time, the Texas Auto Writers named it their 2015 Compact CUV of Texas at their annual Texas Truck Rodeo.
Since then, a number of other honors have come its way, including being recognized in July with the AutoPacific 2015 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for its segment. The annual award is based on owner surveys completed in the first quarter of the year by owners of new vehicles purchased in the period October to December the year prior.
Lastly the 2015 Honda CR-V has been recognized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) with its Top Safety Pick+ with a Superior rating in Front Crash Prevention.