As 2015’s model updates are announced for a variety of popular cars, special attention is often paid to those who win early awards from industry experts. The 2015 Honda CR-V has received the special honor of being named the Motor Trend SUV of the Year.
The CR-V is often pointed to as one of the first compact crossover SUVs. The new class of SUVs were smaller and quieter than their predecessors but they didn’t lose the cargo capacity and comfort of the larger SUVs.
ABC listed the CR-V as the leader in the small SUV category as well as the more general SUV category. Motor Trend awarded the 2015 model with the coveted golden calipers. 300,000 CR-Vs were sold last year, according to ABC, and more than 2 million were sold over the last decade.
According to Karl Brauer, editor at Kelley Blue Book, consumers over the last 18 months have begun to move back towards SUVs from midsize and compact sedans, with a particular focus on the more compact SUVs. In general, Brauer states, compact SUVs intersect a lot of different needs: affordability, fuel economy, cargo space, and safety. These things are important, whether you’re a college student, a new parent, or a retiree.
The 2015 Honda CR-V features a variety of improvements. The interior and exterior of the CR-V got improvements, the drivetrain components got a refresh, and the driver assist technology advanced. Brauer wrote in Forbes that none of the exterior improvements were dramatic but that overall, they gave the car a cleaner, more finished look. The interior upgrades involved improvements in the materials used on the door panels and the seats as well as a new center panel and armrest.
On the mechanical side of things, the 5-speed automatic has been replaced with Honda’s CVT, or continously-variable transmission, which Honda states will substantially boost the fuel economy of the CR-V, putting it at 27/34/29 mpg in the front-wheel drive version.
Honda’s 2015 CR-V also has some of the best storage space in the class, with more than 70 cubic inches of cargo space when the seats are flipped down. The base model starts at just over $24,000 while the Touring model, with many more bells and whistles, starts around $33,000.
In general, reviewers seem to find the 2015 Honda CR-V to be affordable, reliable, and fun to drive. Hondas historically retain higher resale value than almost any other vehicle and are often considered to be more reliable mechanically. It’s very possible that the Motor Trend award will be just the first accolade that the 2015 Honda CR-V can hang from its rear-view mirror.