Honda introduced the CR-V in 1995. The crossover was based on the Honda Civic and came with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Built until 2001, the first-gen CR-V came to the United States in 1997 and had a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 126 horsepower. A 1999 facelift saw power increase to 147 ponies, as Honda responded to criticism that the crossover was underpowered. The second-gen model arrived in 2001 with extensive visual and technology upgrades. Three new engines were introduced, including a 2.4-liter inline-four. The CR-V was redesigned yet again for the 2007 model year, when production of the crossover began at the company’s new East Liberty, Ohio plant. The fourth-gen CR-V debuted at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show and went on sale for 2012. In 2014, the vehicle is powered by a 2.4-liter, four-banger producing 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. As we move into 2015, the current CR-V is getting ready to receive a facelift, which will arrive in dealerships for the 2016 model year.
Revised front and rear fascia, an updated interior and an enhanced engine are the main feats surrounding this mid-cycle upgrade.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Honda CR-V.
August 4, 2014 - Facelift Honda CR-V Caught Testing For The First Time
Spotted testing on the road for the very first time, the slightly camouflaged CR-V suggests Honda isn’t changing much of the crossover’s exterior. Only the front and rear fascias are in for an enhancement, and both of them are wrapped in swirly foil. As expected, the Japanese automaker is bringing the CR-V’s design in line with the new Civic and Accord . This means customers will be getting a more aggressive grille and bumper design for a sportier appearance. The headlamps also seem to have been updated, but the pattern is still partly hidden.
Around back, only a reshaped bumper and redesigned taillight graphics add to the crossover’s midlife facelift. Everything else remains unchanged, but we expect a couple of newly designed wheels to be available on the options list. Interior modifications are still a mystery, but we figure the dashboard is in for a makeover, especially in the center stack area.
Although Honda is working on a couple of new small-displacement engines, the U.S.-spec CR-V is likely to keep its current 2.4-liter, inline-four. Now rated at 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque, the four-banger and its five-speed automatic transmission will carry over with minor updates.
Although it has yet to reach the best-selling status of the CR-V, the Mazda CX-5 has become increasingly popular following the introduction of the SkyActiv, 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine. Mazda ’s new KODO design helped as well, turning the CX-5 into one of the most appealing vehicles in the segment. Fancy the Mazda 6 wagon? Well, the CX-5 is essentially a perched-up version of it with all the exterior features accompanying a crossover.
Although it’s a tad smaller than the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape, the CX-5 is equally roomy inside. The cockpit feels premium without overdoing it, while the front seats are sportier than expected. Depending on trim, the back seats come in either 60/40 or 40/20/40 split configuration. Two engines are available for the CX-5. A 2.0-liter inline-four rated at 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, and a more powerful 2.5-liter, four-pot that generates 184 ponies and 185 pound-feet. A six-speed manual is standard on the entry-level, FWD model, while the rest of the lineup is equipped with Mazda’s six-speed autobox. Pricing begins from $21,195 and goes all the way up to $28,870 before options.
Gallery Mazda CX-5
Brand-new for the 2013 model year, the Ford Escaped is nearly 10-percent more aerodynamic than its predecessor and makes use of the company’s active grille shutter system. Although it has yet to switch to Ford’s new global design language, the Escape remains a popular choice among U.S. customers and a strong competitor for both the CR-V and the CX-5. It offers up to 68.1 cubic feet of space with the second row seats folded and is packed with the latest in terms of technology, including Active Park Assist, sensor-based Blind Spot Information or Torque Vectoring Control.
Its engine lineup is the most varied. The entry-level model is powered by a 2.5-liter Duratec with 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet of torque on tap, while the mid-range Escape makes use of a 1.6-liter EcoBoost that generates 178 ponies and 184 pound-feet. Lastly, the range-topping crossover benefits from the 240 horses and 270 pound-feet of twist provided by Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost unit. Pricing for the 2014 model year starts from $22,610.