Honda CR-V
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hondaOverall
Honda’s perennial compact tall wagon receives a number of mid-life interior/exterior updates plus a touch more power.

Drivetrain
A revised 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine makes the same 185 horsepower, but torque increases 11 percent; new continuously variable transmission becomes standard; all-wheel-drive available on all trim levels.

The CR-V has established itself as a can-do wagon that combines smart looks, lively performance and impressive fuel economy. For its mid-cycle refresh, the CR-V receives a new front fascia (grille, bumper and headlight pods), taillights and wheel designs. Inside, there’s a redesigned dash and floor console layout with more soft-touch materials for the door panels. Mechanically, an upgrade to direct injection (fuel sprayed under high pressure directly into the cylinders instead of through the intake manifold) for the CR-V’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine yields a torque increase to 181 pound-feet from the previous 163 pound-feet. Horsepower remains at 185. In addition, a continuously variable transmission replaces the previous five-speed automatic. As a result, fuel economy improves to 27 mpg in the city and 34 highway (previously 23/31) for front-wheel-drive models. Collectively, these changes should help keep the CR-V at the top of a category collective that encompasses the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue. Undoubtedly, the CR-V’s passenger comfort and generous cargo capacity will also help maintain the CR-V at the forefront, as will the fold-down backseat that operates by flipping a pair of levers located just inside the liftgate. Access through the rear makes it easy to load large/bulky items onto a flat load floor that can be extended to more than five feet in length. In base LX trim, the CR-V comes with a significant amount of standard equipment, including a center console armrest, sliding sun visors and rear console ventilation ducts. The EX adds a power moonroof, fog lights and a few other niceties. Popping for the EX-L adds leather seat covers, 10-way heated driver’s seat, up-level audio system and access to the optional navigation system. For 2015, Honda has added a top-line CR-V Touring trim level that comes with leading-edge safety aids including Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision and lane-departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist. A navigation system and a power tailgate are also part of the Touring package.