There are good reasons Honda sells a lot of CR-Vs: The compact SUV category is white hot, and the popular CR-V checks the main boxes most buyers are looking for in terms of affordability and functionality. Compact dimensions and responsive handling keep it maneuverable, easy to park, and not intimidating to drive. Plus, rear-seat room and cargo space are generous.
A mid-cycle freshening for 2015 brought the usual styling detail updates to front and rear fascias, along with new wheels. But the makeover also includes a raft of new electronic safety features, added equipment, and most significantly -- a new 185-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine matched with the CR-V's first continuously variable transmission (CVT).
The CR-V's fuel economy has been falling behind, particularly when compared to the top-rated Subaru Forester's 26 mpg overall. Adding direct fuel injection and the CVT has brought an improvement of 1 mpg over pre-2015 models with the five-speed automatic. We measured 24 mpg overall.