By on October 1, 2014

2015 honda cr-v front left

It’s hard to believe that the CR-V has been on sale for nearly two decades when the 1985 Civic Wagonvan 4WD is still fresh in mind. But Honda has steadily grown the CR-V from a mere 66,000 units in 1997 to over 300,000 units last year. As it stands, the CR-V is the 7th best-selling vehicle in the United States.

2015 honda cr-v rear right

The CR-V gets a typical midlife facelift for 2015, which consists of new headlights (LEDs on all but the low LX trim), a new grille, bumper covers, and taillights. There are also bigger, wheels and a new trim level, dubbed “Touring”. Inside there is an upgraded dashboard with a new infotainment interface, rear seat air vents, and new dynamic safety features. Overall, one really needs to see the 2014 and 2015 CR-V side-by-side to see all the differences.

2015 honda cr-v exterior details

More importantly, Honda made changes that have a greater impact on fuel economy, power, comfort, and safety.

The 2.4L DOHC iVTEC engine now sports direct fuel injection and has a higher compression ratio. This translates to the same 185hp, but an increase in torque from 163 to 181 ft-lbs. Both horsepower and torque now peak at lower engine speeds, and the torque curve is flatter. The five-speed automatic was replaced with a CVT. The fuel economy improves to 27/34/29 mpg on front-wheel-drive models and 26/33/28 mpg on AWD models, both increasing +4/+3/+3 mpg over 2014 models.

Interior improvements consist of more sound insulation for a quieter ride, something that was apparently a frequent source of complaints for customers. There are now air vents for rear passengers but there are no separate controls. The infotainment system is also updated, bringing it in line with current Hondas. It is not a system that I personally love; it has too many options, too many settings, and there is no volume knob, just buttons. A back-up camera is standard.

2015 honda cr-v interior details

Honda has also thrown a slew of active safety features into the 2014 CR-V, all designed to avoid accidents. These include: Forward Collision Warning with Collision Mitigation Braking System (it will stop a car if it sense an accident), Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Honda LaneWatch. The last is a camera mounted in the passenger side mirror which displays everything that is typically in the blind spot on the infotainment system. These new features are only available on the Touring, which also adds a power liftgate and memory seats – if you want the full suite of driver aides, you’ll have to shell out the big bucks.

During my quick highway drive the car did feel quiet, and a sound measure test performed by my friend did confirm that interior noise has been reduced. A full review will arrive once I spend some more time with the car, but so far, my biggest complaint rests with the CVT. I’m not a huge fan of them, for the usual reasons, but I doubt that buyers of the CR-V will know what a CVT is or even care that it uses one.

In 1999 my mother was shopping for a new car. The then new and hot E46 3-series was high on her list, as was the Acura TL. She ended up with a blue ‘99 Honda CR-V EX (CR-V EX is a horrible nomenclature, by the way, Honda) with a 5-speed manual transmission. The CR-V of that era was spacious, efficient, and affordable. There was a picnic table in the trunk and seats that folded into a bed, a pop-up rear window and full-size spare tire mounted in the tailgate. We take the CR-V and its ilk for granted now, dismissing them as just another soulless CUV. At the time, it was revolutionary.

The 2015 CR-V is a much different and much improved vehicle. But along with those changes it lost some of its personality. It seems that Honda is making more attempts at staying competitive rather than being a leader in independent design. Whether that is relevant or not is up for a debate as sales of each model are higher than ever. The truth is that CR-V buyers, new and repeat, will be getting a much improved vehicle which will only contribute to its popularity. The 2015 CR-V starts at $23,320 for a FWD LX model and goes up $32,770 for the new loaded Touring model with AWD. It is on sale as of today.

2015 honda cr-v dash

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92 Comments on “Quick Look: 2015 Honda CR-V...”

  • avatar

    “It seems that Honda is making more attempts at staying competitive rather than being a leader in independent design.”

    I don’t think this is a new thing. They haven’t cared about being independent in design since about 1996.

    • 0 avatar

      Sure but that’s okay; with Toyota morphing into the new GM we needed a new Toyota and Honda is happy to accommodate.

      Look to Mazda for your new Honda.

    • 0 avatar

      What do you call the design of Honda Civic hatchback?

      • 0 avatar
        Dave M.

        Or the CR-V, Ridgeline and Odyssey?

        Sorry, I don’t buy that line. They’ve always been conservative with their sedans. Even the first CR-V was just a tall, blocky Civic wagon. This generation has a funky Euro ass to it. Distinctive.

        I really like the improvements – the two things that knocked the CR-V out of my Final Four last year haven been addressed – projector headlights (sharper definition at night) and blind spot monitoring.

        I can’t imagine a family of four or less needing anything bigger than this…

        • 0 avatar

          The first gen also had front double wishbones. Never forget that. Many, many, many of those first gens are still on the road, esp. in Canada.

          I hate what they did with it. It’s a nice car but it’s morphed into a ‘me-too’ appliance. The Honda that tickles my fancy these days is the TLX (primarly for the four wheel steering system), and the Accord Hybrid, primarily for it’s Hybrid system.

          Not sure what’s so ‘better’ about this CR-V versus the first gen. Yes, it’s got the Earthdreams DI motor. Most likely also has better fuel economy. And it’s quieter because it has more sound insulation. But that front suspension?

          I suppose I can take my used 2001 CR-V manual, replace all the bushings, upgrade the brakes, shove some sound insulation, and stuff a K24 into it. I guarantee it’ll be better than this 2015 CR-V.

          • 0 avatar

            I’m seriously on the search right now for a 1st gen to replace my 3rd gen. And I may or may not leave the B20 stock for a week or two. As for what has improved, just about ‘everything’ that a Honda enthusiast doesn’t care about has been improved over the years+ interior and trunk space, even if the outer dimensions are almost exactly the same.
            Here in Norway nice 147hp 1st gens are still advertised from $5K and up…and half are automatics…

        • 0 avatar

          and you might throw in the fit and its upcoming cuv derivative. An honest and innovative small car.

  • avatar

    And for all you people who are against wood trim, think of how much nicer this interior would look if it had some. THIS IS WHAT YOU GET WITHOUT WOOD. A sea of dark grey.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d take 1995 Hyundai bright-orange fake wood over a sensory deprivation chamber like this.

      • 0 avatar

        Right, because feeling your ears throb from the lack of soundproofing
        and feeling your optic nerve twitching from garish colors are such privileges that have now been taken away from us by all the horrible modern car designers.

        Those of us regularly exposed to loud noises as part of their livelihood appreciate a cabin that isolates you from the world.

        I have no strong feelings one way or the other regarding wood trim, though.

        • 0 avatar

          Nobody mentioned garish!

        • 0 avatar

          If you are regularly exposed to loud noises, probably every cars seems quiet.

          Honda STILL has a noise issue. My friend who just replaced an ’08 Accord with a Fusion Titanium actually liked the current Accord, except he found it only a little quieter than his current one, and he always hated the noise in that car!

          • 0 avatar

            By far my biggest complaint about my 2011 Accord is the road noise. . Probably need new tires, but it wasnt quiet when new

          • 0 avatar

            Likewise, my 2012 Civic is quite noisy on certain paved surfaces. But how else could they have made such a roomy car so light? (2640 lb)

          • 0 avatar

            Hmm. I thought I replied to this last night. Maybe I did and it didn’t get through. Maybe I only thought I did. No matter–it wasn’t all that important anyway.

        • 0 avatar

          It’s not the designers who took colors out of interiors, it’s the bean counters who gave us all-black/gray/tan. About all you can do is install colorful seat covers to avoid the sensory deprivation, a fate worse than optical over-stimulation.

    • 0 avatar

      Wood trim in a car looks silly and tacky. I’m buying a machine, not furniture. Would rather have plastic and metal.

      • 0 avatar

        So put metal lawn chairs in it too, or solid plastic ones? You are buying a “furnished” car. By your argument it cannot have leather or a soft headliner made of fabric, as fabric is not for machines. While you’re at it, remove all sound insulation because padding is furniture.

  • avatar

    Wow, that looks like an Acura interior.

    I always did have a soft-spot for the CR-V, especially the first gen. GREAT SUV.

  • avatar
    spreadsheet monkey

    @ CoreyDL, that’s a pretty sweeping statement to say that Honda “hasn’t been independent in design” since 1996. Both the S2000 and Insight were launched after 1996, and were highly innovative in their own ways. I’d also say the FR-V (not sold in America) was independent in design.

    • 0 avatar

      Where are the S2000 (which I love LOVE LOVE, btw) and the Insight now?

      Also, I own a mint ’95 Integra GS-R, where is the replacement for that?

      • 0 avatar

        The 2006 Civic was a revolutionary design, only looking ordinary now because they sold a million and a half of them in the US.

        • 0 avatar

          I would agree. The 2006 Civic made everything else look so bland and pedestrian.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          There were a lot of complaints that the 2006 Civic was styled like a starship instead of a car. Huge difference from the 02-05 Civic, which was basically a dejellybeaned and decontented ’90s Civic.

          • 0 avatar

            The only starship-esque thing about the previous-gen Civic that I didn’t like was the two-spoke steering wheel…which got replaced by a three-spoke for, if I remember correctly, MY2009.

          • 0 avatar

            For me it was the double layered dash/instrumentation. I get why they did it, but it was a bit ridiculous looking.

          • 0 avatar

            I had a 2006 Civic EX, stick, on lease (very long story as to why). The two-layer instrumentation was absolutely seamless in use once I was used to it.

            My only real complaint about the car, other than things like insufficient power and road noise that are expected about a Civic, was that the digital fuel gauge didn’t give me enough resolution. I have the same complaint about my current Forester XT. It was an excellent car overall.

          • 0 avatar

            @danio: I agree, the dash is so enormous it’s downright silly. You could put a child seat on there.

          • 0 avatar

            Until I started driving mine, I too thought the length of the dash, and the two tiered insturments were downright weird. But after the first 2 minutes, you completely forget about the oddity. Now I actually prefer having a digital readout right in my near-periphery, and that long dash is also very low and creates a lot of air space in front of the driver, adding to the sensation of roominess.

  • avatar

    Must every new CUV look like this? Rav4/CR-V/Escape, et al? CAFE wins, I guess…

    Now that I got that off my chest, I’m sure buyers will flock to it. I wonder if they’re as reliable as the older, made-in-Japan models were?

    Our 2002 is doing quite well at 115K miles. Just needed new calipers up front last spring – the only major repair thus far.

  • avatar

    “In 1999 my mother was shopping for a . . .‘99 Honda CR-V EX … with a 5-speed manual transmission.”

    I’d love to shop for a 2015 CR-V with a manual transmission. Too bad they don’t make them.

  • avatar

    Do all engines “sport” something, or maybe some of them “have” something? Another overused cliche, particularly dumbfounding because there is nothing Sporting about a CRV.

  • avatar

    That’s because I didn’t get paid for writing this.

  • avatar

    Is that a power tailgate button? On a CR-V, how times have changed.

  • avatar

    Significantly better mileage, a meaningful (and badly needed) torque bump, and a nicer interior address the CR-V’s key shortcomings in the segment. Still not sexy, but enough to fend off the competition in Honda’s key demo.

    One can only imagine how giddy dealers and American Honda are about the Touring trim level. A ridiculously easy way to shake an extra few grand out of buyers and retain some others from defecting.

  • avatar

    That’s much better. It looks far more up-to-date and captivating, where the pre-facelift CR-V got by with its promise of practicality and durability. It still isn’t “pretty” in the way that a CX-5 or Forester is, but I like it…a lot. Also, I’d previously thought that Lanewatch was stupid compared to a standard blind-spot monitoring system, but I borrowed a 2014 Accord which featured it and found it to be quite handy, especially when parallel parking…so I’m glad it’s moved over to the CR-V.

    • 0 avatar
      This Is Dawg

      Whoa. I had to look up “Lanewatch,” but now I want it! That’s pretty cool, though it might be annoying if I’m fiddling with music controls. Any idea how conflict is handled?

      • 0 avatar

        I’m pretty sure LW is only activated in 2 ways: 1) your right hand turn signal is engaged. 2) You push a button when you want to spot-check your blind spot but aren’t planning to change lanes.

      • 0 avatar

        On the current Accord, any vehicle equipped with Lanewatch, I believe, will also be equipped with the dual-screen setup…so you’d still have the bottom, touch-enabled infotainment screen to see your audio information. You can also put Lanewatch into a manual mode, in which it only activates the camera when a button is pressed, instead of automatically activating the camera whenever the right turn indicator is enabled. The Civic and CR-V, however, don’t have that extra infotainment screen, so I’d think you would just be locked out of your audio controls at that moment. But if you leave Lanewatch in manual mode, you’ll never be interrupted by the camera automatically activating…as you can choose when and when not to display it.

      • 0 avatar

        Yea, there is a conflict with audio display at the time, but for those twenty seconds or less, you’re free!!… err, I mean you have to use your steering wheel controls.

    • 0 avatar

      I drive around the city and it found it very helpful when looking for bicyclists before making a right turn.

    • 0 avatar

      Whoa…I have a Forester, I like it a lot, but it is in no way pretty…My CX-5 is better looking, but only like a hippo is better looking than a rhino.

  • avatar

    SUV, CUV, whatever. What, then, would you call the 1990 Jeep Cherokee with its unit body construction and 4 wheel drive?

    • 0 avatar

      My personal definition includes unibody/FWD-based AWD as criteria for a CUV and BOF/RWD-based 4WD as criteria for an SUV, but if the vehicle is unibody, I default to the bias of the AWD/4WD system. So XJ Cherokees, Grand Cherokees, and Durangos are all SUVs, despite being unibody, while the new KL Cherokee is a crossover along with its younger siblings the Patriot and the Compass since they’re all FWD. It’s important to note, though, that the MK and KL platforms are more competent offroad than any other comparable stock CUV, and even better than some SUVs.

  • avatar

    I’ll be damned.

    If a Kia Optima was a CUV, THIS is what it would look like.

    I already miss the buttoned-down Hondas of yesterday.

    Taken straight outta Toyota’s Marketing, “Cause we ain’t got no room for boring”. They are Highlandering this poor, poor CR-V. Guess what we need now are some joyridin’ muppets.

    Boring is predictable. Boring is dependable. Boring is “I’m on time. All the time”. Boring is wise.

    This is “I forget to brush my hair. And teeth. And I don’t give a sh*t”.

    And give Kia their wheels back, Honda.

    But keep the copper-brown amalgamation. That’s just lovely, IMHO.

    BUT!! If they continue to achieve cockroach status like CR-V’s of yore, then so be it. I guess we’ll all be driving predator-faced cars.

  • avatar

    I’m not crazy about how they integrated the red reflectors into the rear bumper cover. The abrupt, harshly rectangular shapes look unrefined and poorly integrated. And that’s the worst thing I can say about the visual tweaks.

  • avatar

    “It seems that Honda is making more attempts at staying competitive rather than being a leader in independent design”

    It seems that Honda is making more attempts at staying in business rather than being a leader in infantile clown-car designs that don’t sell.

    Fixed it for you.

  • avatar

    Phwoar! What a machine!

    The open road beckons, the curvy lames entice, the CVT goes to full-slip mode as 185 mighty horses are unleashed and buckets of thrust sweep the beast forward. Tight S turns are dispatched with contemptuous ease, slower vehicles intimidated by the new chrome snout move over. This is The Presence, all right.

    Cubes and cubes of usable room stretch all around and behind me.

    Uh, this is the thread on the new London bus, right?

  • avatar

    I have a 2013 CRV and from what i can see they havent addressed one of the biggest issues with it. THE GOD AWFUL seats. When i first bought it i thought the seats were fine but after a 3-4 hour drive i realized they have very very limited padding/cushioning. It was like sitting on a church pew. These same ghettotastic seats are carried over in this new CRV and i for one have no interest in renewing my hondaloving b.s.uv until they fix these seats.

    Oh and they got rid of the dual armrests (why?) and the nice center console box which held an ENORMOUS amount of stuff. Instead the cheapy shared padded armrest and this little cut up center console.

    • 0 avatar

      I disagree with you on the seats, but I share your displeasure with the lack of armrests. I love that our CR-V has armrests–reminds me of all the minivans we used to have, plus it makes long drives more tolerable. I couldn’t drive our Kia Sportage comfortably because the center console was about four inches too low.

  • avatar

    I must have been on the same work order as your mother, Kamil, as I still have a dark blue ’99 CR-V EX with a manual transmission. Fifteen years and 175,000 miles it’s still on the road although time has taken a toll on the little CUV (the headlights just quit working today — probably a blown fuse) and the radiator, alternator, hatch struts, oxygen sensors, and clutch master cylinder all have been replaced. But it still has the original clutch, an upgraded audio system from Crutchfield to drown out the road noise, and paint that still shines up pretty well when it’s washed and waxed. The plastic bumpers are pretty faded, though.

    Honda hit a home run with this vehicle and constant refinement over the years have resulted in sales growth that is the envy of the industry. We enthusiasts dismiss it all too readily for minor issues and/or snobbery. It works really well for a family in an urban environment, it works well for college students shuffling from dorm to apartment, and it works for retirees who go on trips to see the Grand Canyon with their grandkids. The CR-V just works, and there is a respect that deserves to be given to it.

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