- - Monday, March 23, 2015

If you are looking for better fuel economy in this class, look no further than the 2015 Honda CR-V, which has been improved for better fuel efficiency as well as a number of additional tweaks like more cargo and passenger space and a more advanced engine. Final answer, this Honda is one of the top picks in the crowded compact SUV market.

Since the Honda CR-V has also had a facelift for 2015, the tweaks and touchups make it a nice change with a more stylish outfit, the revised engine and gas mileage also give this model a nod for those looking for better fuel economy minus the hybrid crossover moniker.

Competition here includes the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, Jeep Cherokee and the Subaru Forester, but Honda still continues to be a vehicle in this SUV market that has a good brand following. Overall, this 2015 offers lots of trims to choose from no matter the needs of the car buyer.

In this five-passenger, you can choose from the LX, EX, EX-L and Touring with the LX starting with 16-inch steel wheels, power accessories, rearview camera, cruise control, height-adjustable driver seat, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split-folding and reclining rear seat and tech goodies like Bluetooth and audio connect and an auxiliary audio jack with an iPod/USB audio interface also being compatible with Pandora Internet.

The EX has 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights with LED running lights, sunroof, fog lights, rear privacy glass, retractable cargo cover, keyless entry and ignition, eight-way power driver seat, heated front seats, blind spot monitoring with a passenger-side blind spot camera and a seven-inch touchscreen with a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system.

On the EX-L there are roof rails, heated side mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery and the Touring has 18-inch wheels, projector beam headlights, power liftgate, adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation system and a lane departure warning system.

Under the hood is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque with a CVT transmission and the choice of front or all-wheel drive.

Safety features that come standard include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side and side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. Depending on the trim you might also have the LaneWatch blind spot monitoring system, the lane departure warning system and a forward collision warning and mitigation system that detects cars versus pedestrians as well as offering an automatic braking intervention when a crash is imminent.

As for the design, it’s a fun interior with no practicality being left out for driver and passenger convenience. Add that to the spacious cabin design in the front and the backseat, and the backseats recline while also offering a child-safety seat latch for added convenience.

In the front seat, there has been a change from years past to the center console with an armrest console bin and several cup holders as well as a small space for electronics and a little holder for additional small miscellaneous items too. The interior feels soft with stitching that gives a classy appearance all around, and the knobs and dials are easy to find and even easier to navigate. I did have a hard time with the radio dials since there are no dials - so - it’s confusing until the layout is figured out and it does take some getting used to as well.

The power liftgate only comes on the high-end trim, but it’s still easy to get into the cargo area no matter. There is 35.2-cubic feet of space behind the back seats and that’s a lot. If you lower the back seats, you then get a whopping 70.9 cubic feet and take note how easy it is to put down the rear seats since the seats are auto folding with a lever and spring.

Behind the wheel of the 2015 Honda CR-V its easy handling, a bit sporty, above board on taking the curves, and a strong ride with excellent suspension allowing for an easy ride over the bumps and less noise getting in so it becomes your home away from home with style.

Should You Need to Know: You can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in a little under eight seconds in the 2015 Honda CR-V.

Miles Per Gallon: The 2015 Honda CR-V AWD TRG that I drove had 26 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

Cost: The 2015 Honda CR-V AWD TRG had a price tag of $33,600

For more auto tips and information follow Rita @RitaCook13.

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