You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2015 Honda CR-V Touring AWD Long-Term Update 2

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/6/2015 Zach Gale, Brian Brantley

My morning-commute driving style has changed since I got behind the wheel of the long-term 2015 Honda CR-V. Thanks to a few features that work well together in our $33,775 all-wheel-drive Touring tester, I've begun driving a little slower, letting faster-moving SoCal drivers zoom by. The new-for-2015 active safety tech plays a role here, though I already know what I'd like to see from the Honda Sensing suite of safety tech on the next-gen CR-V.

With an increasing number of cars offering adaptive cruise control (using sensors, the vehicle accelerates to your desired speed or decreases speed when traffic ahead slows), I've learned how useful the tech can be -- and not just on long road trips. After miles of stop-and-go traffic, my morning commute opens up with mostly clear highway-speed driving. After I turn on this system at about the same point every day, the temptation to drive at higher speeds disappears. What really makes this work is a bit of info accessible on the CR-V's 7-inch center-stack touchscreen that tracks fuel economy since you last hit the red engine-start button. Easy. So making my morning commute like a game -- while still driving safely and keeping right when I'm the slower traffic -- has kept my speed within reason.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image What I wish the system, which is only offered on the CR-V's Touring trim, could handle is stop-and-go traffic. Many adaptive cruise control systems don't work in stop-and-go traffic. (My last long-termer, the 2015 Kia K900, is an exception.) In the Honda CR-V's case, the system will turn off when your speed drops below 22 mph. I'd also like to see the system, which uses a camera mounted at the top of the front windshield and a radar sensor in the front grille, accelerate more aggressively and adapt quicker when a vehicle ahead has left my lane. Even with the mileage-increasing ECON mode off, the CR-V with the adaptive cruise control engaged is too slow for my tastes when it comes to speeding up to pass a slower-moving car. I've started to plan these lane changes further in advance than should be necessary, or I just do what drivers have done since forever and use my right foot on the accelerator pedal, an easier but mileage-sapping move.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image Honda Sensing also includes lane keeping assist, which nudges you back into your lane if the crossover starts veering without signaling. As long as you don't consider this a replacement for keeping your hands on the steering wheel, this can be a helpful aid, but I find it more dispensable than the collision mitigation braking system, which can slow down the crossover to minimize the impact of what the system believes is an unavoidable collision. One day, this could save you from a minor fender-bender, and I do appreciate that. So far, though, it's only applied the brakes once when a car that was signaling and slowing down started drifting over in a curb-side lane to make a right turn. I planned to maintain most of my speed or briefly move partially into an empty adjacent lane, but as digital director Chris Clonts found in his long-term 2014 Infiniti Q50S 3.7, there's no way for the system to know your intentions, showing the limits of the useful tech. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety front crash prevention tests, the CR-V avoided a collision in a 12 mph test and slowed itself down by 21 mph in a 25 mph test.

When it comes to safety ratings, the 2015 Honda CR-V is near the top of its class. With the Touring's Honda Sensing equipment, the CR-V is an IIHS Top Safety Pick + as this is written, only matched by similar-in-price crossovers including the Mazda CX-5, Mitsubishi Outlander (the bigger one), and the Subaru Forester. Among those crossovers, the 2015 CR-V and 2016 CX-5 have an overall safety rating of four stars (out of a possible five) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, curiously one star lower than the previous model year for both. The 2016 Outlander is rated four stars overall in front-drive form and five stars with all-wheel drive, and the 2016 Subaru Forester is a five-star-rated crossover.

MotorTend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTend Image Overall, I'm glad to have the Honda Sensing active safety tech on our long-term CR-V Touring, and I look forward to the technology trickling down to lower trim levels, like the Subaru Forester and in Honda's own lineup, the new-for-2016 Pilot.

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

2015 Honda CR-V Touring AWD Long-Term Update 2

2015-Honda-CR-V-Touring-AWD-front-three-quarter-in-motion-031© Provided by MotorTrend 2015-Honda-CR-V-Touring-AWD-front-three-quarter-in-motion-031

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Motor Trend

Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon