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#1

in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $23,320 - $32,770
Invoice: $21,905 - $30,751
MPG: 27 City / 34 Hwy
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Honda CR-V Performance

Test drivers write that the CR-V’s engine delivers adequate power, and that its new transmission operates smoothly. The CR-V receives suspension and steering updates for 2015, and reviewers say that its handles with more poise than the 2014 model. However, they also note that some competitors are more athletic.

  • "Sure, it lacks the agility of the CX-5, or cabin refinement of a Ford Escape; but the engine, chassis and suspension are dialed in to velvet-smooth satisfaction." -- Yahoo Autos
  • "Whether your trip is planned for across the town or across the country, the 2015 CR-V will make it a pleasant and comfortable ride." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “… most drivers won't complain about the CR-V's abilities. Its acceleration is adequate and its handling is typically Honda - benign and easy to manage. Steering weight is relatively light but presents predictable and intuitive feedback." -- Edmunds
  • “Compared to the 2014 model, this new CR-V feels less flimsy than before -- screwed down, tightened up, and well-put together -- what Honda does best." -- AutoWeek

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Honda CR-V comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 185 horsepower. For 2015, a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) replaces the five-speed automatic transmission that came with the 2014 model. EPA-estimated fuel economy for the 2015 CR-V is 27/34 mpg city/highway, which is one of the best estimates in the class. 

Some reviewers say the CR-V’s engine delivers enough power for adequate acceleration, but others say it’s slow from a stop and does not feel as strong as some rivals’ engines. While most note that the new CVT is smoother than the five-speed automatic on outgoing models, they complain that it can be noisy and doesn’t make the most of the engine’s power.

  • "The direct-injected 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and its continuously-variable transmission (CVT) deliver welcome response, enhanced performance, quiet smoothness and, in the bargain, significantly better fuel economy than last year's model." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Anyone looking for maximum engine entertainment in a small SUV should probably look elsewhere: The competition's multispeed automatics-they range from six to nine forward ratios-are a better choice. Few owners are likely to keep the CR-V's gas pedal floored for long, though. Driven gently as it usually will be, the CR-V snaps forward in stop-and-go and around-town traffic slightly better than last year-credit the newfound torque." -- Car and Driver
  • "In years past, the engine was mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, but the crossover is singing a new tune with the introduction of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is lighter and more compact than the automatic gearbox it replaces. It addition to offering unsurpassed smoothness, it has a 33-percent wider overall ratio spread than the outgoing five-speed to improve efficiency and drivability." -- Autoblog

Handling and Braking

The CR-V comes standard with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel drive is available on all models. Updates for 2015 include revised suspension and steering systems. Although automotive writers agree that the 2015 CR-V’s handling isn’t as sporty as that of rivals like the Mazda CX-5, they are generally pleased with its improved maneuverability and composed handling. They’re also impressed with its updated steering system, which they say is responsive and accurate. However, a few test drivers report that the CR-V’s ride quality can be a bit rough at times.

  • "… although the ride quality is generally OK, it could be better." -- AutoTrader
  • "Handling is secure and predictable. The CR-V doesn't drive as sportily as the Mazda CX-5, but it comports itself with a carlike and mature manner." -- Car and Driver
  • "Suspension refinements give the CR-V a combination of ride quality and handling precision comfortable for the long haul, on roads smooth or rough, and predictable and sure in the corners. Feedback through the steering, the most basic element of handling, is direct and linear." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • “The CR-V goes down the road with much more poise than before, thanks to its significantly quieter interior, tighter and more responsive steering, and composed body motions that provide a confidence-inspiring feel from behind the wheel." -- Automobile Magazine
Review Last Updated: 10/17/14

Next Steps: Honda CR-V