Highlights: Honda’s CR-V is driven by the same 4-cylinder engine as the popular Honda Accord. The CR-V posted its best sales ever IN 2013, totaling over 303,000 deliveries in the states.
Test vehicle’s MSRP: $31,275 (Base Model starts at $23,950)
Seating Capacity: 5
Standard Safety Features: airbags (driver, front, side and side curtain); ABS; daytime running lights; electronic brake distribution; a tire pressure monitoring system; a traction control system; and a rear view camera
Standard Equipment: 16-inch tires; a 5-speed transmission; cloth seats; height adjustable manual front driver’s seat; a/c with air filtration system; a conversation mirror with sunglass holder to keep an eye on the kids and occupants in the rear; a rear seat armrest; a manual tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel; cargo area tie down hooks; manual folding side mirrors; an automatic headlight system; a remote keyless entry system
Standard Audio: a 160-watt, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
Powertrain Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles
Bluetooth Compatibility: Yes
Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.4-liter/185-horsepower
Recommended Fuel: Regular
Standard Fuel Mileage: 23-city/31-hwy (front-wheel drive model)
:Other Trim Levels:
iPod and USB ports: available
What’s New: Since a redo is literally around the curve, there are no major changes to the 2014 model.
Pros: The 2014 CR-V contemporary design is available with an all-wheel drive or a front-wheel drive system. In addition to two drivetrain configurations, Honda’s popular entry-level crossover offers a roomy interior, comfortable seating, great visibility, respectable fuel economy and an easy-to-use audio system.
As opposed to spending time behind the wheel of the base LX model, Honda lent us the keys to their high-end CR-V EX-L model. This top of the line model was outfitted with a 7-speaker 328-watt audio system, a subscription to satellite radio, leather seats, a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, a navigation system, a power moonroof, a dual zone climate control system, and 17-inch wheels, which improves the driving characteristics and the overall look of the vehicle.
Cons: While the CR-V is a formidable player in this crowed segment, it’s time for an update, especially as it relates to technological and safety features. The CR-V lacks a forward collision alert braking system, an electronic blind spot lane changing system, a power rear tailgate, a keyless entry system, a keyless push button starter system and a panoramic roof.
We’re counting on a number of these features to be on the next generation CR-V. Moreover, the CR-V is only available with one engine choice. Lastly, this is one of the few vehicles in the segment still being driven by a 5-speed transmission, pun intended. The competitors are being driven by a 6-speed or in the case of the Jeep Cherokee a 9-speed transmission. Our hope is that a spirited 6-speed coupled with a turbo will be added down the road.
The Verdict: Honda’s entry level, no frills low tech crossover has managed to be a competitive player in a crowded field. A fifth generation CR-V will be arriving soon. However, until the high-tech vehicle arrives, buyers will find that the dependable 2014 model should be able to snap-up a great deal. So, for those who can forego some of the safety and high tech features that will more than likely appear on the 2015 model, it’s time to get off the fence and make a move.
Competition: 2015 Subaru Forester Touring AWD, Chevy Equinox LTZ AWD, Ford Escape Titanium 4WD, GMC Terrain SLT AWD, Kia Sportage SX AWD, Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD, Jeep Cherokee Limited 4WD, Toyota RAV4 Limited AWD and VW Tiguen SEL AWD
Jeff Fortson is an auto analyst and editor of a car-buying website for women and minorities. To learn more about his popular car-buying workshop and/or to price a new-vehicle, drive on over to JeffCars.com. Follow him @ Twitter/JeffCars.