2015 Honda CR-V | Road Test
* Significantly more spacious than its rivals.
* Brilliant visibility and a good driving position.
* Lacks a navigation system.
* Blind spot monitoring system installed to only the right side of the vehicle.
Introduction & Summary
Unless you’re a die-hard fan of the Honda CR-V, you’ve probably never sat down and pondered what the badge on its boot is an acronym for. Safe to assume, you also haven’t realized that with the 2015 CR-V, the practical Jap celebrates its twentieth birthday. Don’t feel ashamed for not knowing though, because until we took delivery of our test vehicle, we didn’t either.
According to Honda’s sales literature, CR-V is short for ‘Compact Recreational Vehicle’, a term that sounds like it was coined by a bunch of marketing blokes around a coffee table one afternoon. That said, while the 2015 Honda CR-V flaunts its new makeup, majority of changes have taken place under its skin.
Styling & Design
With Daytime Running Lights extending the contours of the grille and a countenance that has been bedecked with chrome, the 2015 Honda CR-V is flashy without being ostentatious and the tidy styling doesn’t end there. Towards the other end of the Japanese SUV, a chrome strip runs the length of the boot decklid and mirrors the silhouette of the diffuser it sits above. On the whole, it’s a minor facelift from the previous model, but a truly pleasing one.
Inside, patches of soft touch materials work their way into the dashboard and door panels to harmoniously blend with the chrome and wood trim present. However, while being pleasing to the eye, a large part of the cabin still remains composed of hard textured plastics.
Integrated neatly into the dashboard of the CR-V is a large multimedia touchscreen that provides insights on fuel economy, as well as control over the source of the audio playback. A neat and fitting feature for the target market of this compact SUV is the sunglass holder that doubles as an interior mirror – handy to monitor backseat shenanigans.
On the other hand, Honda’s blind spot monitoring system (LaneWatch) finally makes its way to the CR-V, nearly four years after being introduced on the Crosstour. Yet, it continues its strange tradition of being available on just one side of the vehicle. Additionally, the absence of a navigation system despite a sizeable central display screen, is a tad ironic.
Performance, Ride & Handling
Powering the 2015 CR-V is a 2.4 litre 4-cylinder engine that churns out 185 horsepower at 6,400 RPM and 245 Nm of torque at 3,900 RPM. Mated to a CVT transmission that is controlled from the dash-mounted gear lever (yes, very soccer mom-esque), the Japanese SUV directs power to an All Wheel Drive layout.
Brilliant visibility is the outcome of a high seating position and a low beltline. Coupled with the capability to gobble highways effortlessly and return an average of 10.5 litres / 100 kilometres, the CR-V proves to be a practical and comfortable distance cruiser.
Lacking the chassis control and handling wizardry found in the Nissan X-Trail, the CR-V isn’t as technologically advanced as its rival from Yokohama. Unfortunately, it also pales in comparison when challenging the paths less travelled. With an average 8 inches of ground clearance before the front lip begins to scrape rocks, venturing onto even beaches could prove risky.
Comfort & Practicality
Comfort and practicality are both byproducts of the sheer amount of space that the CR-V has to offer. With plenty of headroom as a result of roof lining that caves inwards and a commendable amount of leg space, the Japanese SUV is truly comfortable when accommodating up to five individuals.
From a practicality point of view, the 2015 CR-V welcomes 60/40 split folding rear seats that bow at the tug of a lever located in the boot and allow for an incredible 2,008 litres of cargo to be stored with the rear row folded flat. In comparison to rivals such as the Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Outlander, the CR-V’s capability to accommodate 997 litres with the rear seats in use, is significantly more than the X-Trail’s 550 litres and the Outlander’s pitiful 447 litres.
Price & Verdict
On paper, the 2015 Honda CR-V is an ideal match for rivals such as the Mitsubishi Outlander and the Nissan X-Trail. All three house similar sized power plants, direct their brawn through a CVT transmission, and fall into the same segment of the market. Yet, they all cater to very different crowds.
With a retail price of AED 89,000 the Outlander is the most affordable of the lot (and for good reason), as it’s the least interesting of the bunch. At a higher rung of the ladder, the X-Trail demands AED 94,000 and offers features such as a panoramic roof, cooled cup holders and automatic headlights, features that none of the others do. Crowning the list at AED 123,900, however, is the CR-V – the most powerful, spacious, and practical of the lot. Is it worth the AED 30,000 hike over the better equipped X-Trail though? We don’t seem to think so.
Some more images of the Honda CR-V