After three years of the CR-V holding steady, Honda made a number of changes to its big-selling compact crossover SUV for 2015. Key among these is a new continuously variable transmission. It not only helps the 185-hp 2.4-liter engine produce more spirited acceleration when needed, but it also improves the EPA-estimated fuel economy—and efficiency was already a strong point with the CR-V. The drive is as smooth and agile as ever. The CR-V comes with front-wheel drive, but there's the option of all-wheel drive if you need greater traction. Choices are limited elsewhere: The 2.4-liter is the only engine choice, for example, and options are minimal.
The lineup starts with a well-equipped LX entry-level model, which features full power accessories, a rearview camera, air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth® connectivity, and a 60/40-split folding rear seat. Indeed, the LX only lacks alloy wheels. Jump to the EX for those, and you'll also gain LED running lights, a sunroof, rear privacy glass, heated front seats, and a blind-spot monitoring system. The EX-L adds a touch of luxury with leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, and satellite radio. The Touring is the new top-of-the-line trim level and features a navigation system with HD radio, as well as a suite of driver aids including forward collision mitigation and a lane departure warning system. Overall, the 2015 refresh adds to the well-rounded appeal of the capable, spacious CR-V.