2015 Honda CR-V

We saw the first official photo of the 2015 Honda CR-V facelift last week, and now comes the full unveiling. There are two different versions: one for American markets – where the CR-V is claimed to be the best-selling SUV for the past decade – and the other for Europe. Each gets its own set of under-the-hood updates.

The US model receives a new Earth Dreams Technology 2.4 litre direct-injection i-VTEC engine with 185 hp and 245 Nm of torque. That’s the same power as the previous non-direct-injection engine, but with 24 Nm more. To compare, the Malaysian-spec CR-V 2.4 (also without direct-injection) makes 190 hp and 222 Nm.

Also new is the transmission the engine is paired to. A CVT gearbox with seamless G-design Shift takes over from the old five-speed auto, contributing to improved efficiency claims across the board. The new combined fuel economy ratings are 12.3 km/l (FWD) and 11.9 km/l (AWD), both up by 1.3 km/l (all US EPA ratings, not comparable to Europe’s NEDC consumption figures).

For the European markets, however, the CR-V will have a different machine altogether. Diesel is the name of the game there, and there will be an uprated Earth Dreams Technology 1.6 litre i-DTEC engine with 160 PS and 350 Nm taking place of the 150 PS/350 Nm 2.2 litre i-DTEC unit of old.

All new is the transmission, this time a nine-speed automatic gearbox that is sourced from ZF – previously introduced on the 2015 Acura TLX. The updated engine and transmission combo emits just 135 g/km, 20% better than before. Front-wheel drive versions make do with the existing 120 PS/300 Nm 1.6 i-DTEC engine and six-speed manual transmission.

On the outside, there isn’t a big change over the outgoing model. The front headlights gain fancy new LED DRLs, while the split-level grille now conforms to Honda’s latest “Solid Wing Face” design trend. Round the back, the lights have new graphics, with a prominent chrome bar running across the tailgate. New wheels and redesigned front and rear bumpers complete the update.

The US and European models look very similar, though the latter is still branded as a prototype at the Paris Motor Show where it will be displayed. Compared to the American model, the red European show car has a different front bumper underguard, bigger wing mirrors and wheels, a shark-fin antennae and LED taillamps.

Inside, the 2015 Honda CR-V gains a centre console armrest, sliding sunvisors and rear air con vents, with 10-way power adjustable front seats, a HondaLink-compatible 7.0-inch touchscreen head unit and a powered tailgate available as optional extras. Sound insulation is said to have been thoroughly improved too.

A updated suspension design with revised shock absorber tuning and improved Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) help deliver a more refined driving feel too, says Honda.

2015 Honda CR-V

A new suite of safety systems, all housed under the Honda Sensing package, can be had in the USA too. This includes Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Honda LaneWatch.

The Honda Sensing pack is only standard in the Touring, a brand new range-topping trim line that also adds large 18-inch wheels and special badging. In the USA, the home-built (in the East Liberty Auto Plant in Ohio) 2015 Honda CR-V facelift is covered by a three-year/58,000 km warranty and a five-year/96,000 km powertrain limited warranty.

European Honda CR-V ‘Prototype’

US-market 2015 Honda CR-V facelift