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2015 Honda CR-V Touring AWD Long-Term Update 1

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/30/2015 Zach Gale, Motor Trend Staff

The 2015 Honda CR-V is nearly untouchable when it comes to fuel efficiency — or so you'd think by its respectable 26/33 mpg city/highway EPA figures with AWD. Those EPA figures provide a good starting point to understand the CR-V’s efficiency, but what happens when you use ECON mode? If your tires are underinflated, how does that affect mileage? To find out, we tested the Honda CR-V in a way only Motor Trend could.

First off, Real MPG test results on our all-wheel-drive 2015 Honda CR-V Touring fell short of the crossover's 26/33 mpg EPA ratings. At 23.0/28.8 RMPG city/highway, our loaded-with-content long-term CR-V Touring was about 12-13 percent short of EPA ratings. That 23.0 RMPG figure is still better than a pre-refresh AWD CR-V's 20.5 RMPG in the city, though that model effectively tied the 2015 CR-V AWD in RMPG on the highway. I've come to appreciate the smooth driving characteristics of the new-for-2015 CVT in city and highway driving, but I do wish the highway mileage were a little improved.

The latest Honda CR-V starts at $23,445. Find out more on MSN Autos

Still, the same could be said about the Nissan Rogue, which comes close in swiping the crossover fuel efficiency crown. Most recently, we tested a 2015 Nissan Rogue SL AWD with EPA ratings of 25/32 mpg that got almost the same RMPG as our long-term CR-V AWD, at 22.6/28.9 RMPG.

2015 Honda CR V Touring AWD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Honda CR V Touring AWD

Real MPG With ECON Mode On

If you want to get the most mpg out of a CR-V, keep on ECON mode and make sure tires are properly inflated. The CR-V's ECON button is the type of fuel-efficiency mode efficiency-minded owners can set and forget. Press the green button, and the ECON mode relaxes throttle response, allows for greater variations in the HVAC system's set speed and temperature, and adjusts the cruise control system. Although the CR-V is a bit livelier with ECON turned off, the crossover doesn't feel like a slug with ECON on — ECON makes sense when you're not in a hurry. And as a bonus, in instrumented Real MPG tests, we found the long-term CR-V improved from 23.0/28.8 RMPG with ECON off to 24.5/30.7 RMPG with ECON on, or an improvement of about 7 percent in city driving and on the highway. We've also run the long-term CR-V with the tires underinflated by about 7 psi and found that fuel efficiency decreased about 3.8 percent overall, or about 0.5 percent per psi below the recommended tire pressure figures.

Bottom Line on MPGs : I'm somewhat but not completely satisfied with 23.0-24.5/28.8-30.7 RMPG for our loaded all-wheel-drive crossover. It's important to keep in mind that from any automaker, loaded vehicles won't get the same mileage as base models, nor will AWD models be as efficient as FWD models.

2015-Honda-CR-V-Touring-AWD-front-three-quarter-in-motion-05.jpg 2015 Honda CR-V Touring AWD Long-Term Update 1

2015 Honda CR V Touring AWD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Honda CR V Touring AWD

Vibration at Idle?

With the CVT and direct-injection engine technology new to the 2015 CR-V, some owners have reported experiencing a vibration through the driver's seat, and unfortunately I’m among them. The subtle vibration is intermittent, but when it happens, it does so while the crossover is idling. In an April 2015 video, Honda noted that it's performing vehicle testing to research the potential issue. I'll ask about this at the CR-V's first service, at which point a "product improvement" or recall might be available.

More on our long-term 2015 Honda CR-V:

2015 Honda CR V Touring AWD© Provided by MotorTrend 2015 Honda CR V Touring AWD
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