Honda Updates 2015 CR-V With a New Powertrain and Subtle Restyling
Top-Level Touring Trim Joins Lineup as Well
The CR-V has struggled a bit to stay competitive in recent years, with new competition from Mazda, Toyota, Nissan, and even Jeep encroaching on the CR-V’s space as the crossover of choice for teenage girls and empty nesters. However, Honda is calling the 2015 CR-V the most extensive refresh in the model’s history, so perhaps the changes will recapture some of the CR-V’s lost luster and secure its spot at the top of the sales charts.
Headlining the changes are a totally new engine and transmission. Although the 2015’s Earth Dreams engine shares its 2.4L displacement and I-4 layout with the old motor, it’s been thoroughly updated with direct injection and variable timing control. The i-VTEC motor is also lighter than the outgoing lump, bumping fuel efficiency in both the front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive CR-V by 3 mpg combined. The icing on the Earth Dreams cake is that the new motor also makes 11 percent more torque.
The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which replaces the current five-speed traditional automatic transmission. That CVT no doubt helps the CR-V make the most of its power while still optimizing efficiency, and current Honda CVTs feel much more like regular transmissions than they used to. Most owners won’t notice that the transmission isn’t a conventional automatic.
What they will notice is the new styling inside and out. The 2015 CR-V comes with updated front and rear styling, including a new grille that looks a bit like the one on the Accord Plug-In. As usual with midlife updates, the 2015 CR-V also gets some new wheels. The new design incorporates more sound insulation as well, and the restyled interior now comes standard with a center console armrest and rear-seat HVAC ducts. Finally, Honda’s top-level Touring trim comes to the CR-V for 2015, which adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, a power rear tailgate, and other standard features.
The 2015 CR-V will be arriving at dealers October 1.