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2015 Honda CR-V Touring AWD Long-Term Update 3

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 9/12/2015 Manufacturer, Zach Gale, Motor Trend Staff

CR-V or HR-V? It's a question Honda buyers might start asking themselves with the new HR-V providing a cheaper crossover alternative to the CR-V, which remains the best-selling crossover in the U.S. Just because the CR-V is popular, though, doesn't mean it's the crossover for you. So take a look at HR-V and CR-V First Test reviews and then keep reading for more on which two-row Honda crossover might make more sense.
Seating Position—CR-V: Crossovers allow buyers to enjoy a higher seating position than they'd experience in a similarly priced sedan, but the HR-V and CR-V aren't equally capable here. Although the HR-V offers plenty of utility, the CR-V provides a better view of the road while still not really being so high that running boards are necessary for most drivers. (Honda makes available two styles of running boards on the CR-V.)

Gee-Whiz Feature You Didn't Think You Needed—HR-V: The HR-V is equipped with an electronic parking brake and a very useful auto-brake hold feature, neither offered on the CR-V at any price. Aside from the convenience of electronic parking brakes, I'm a fan of the convenience of the auto-brake hold feature, which can automatically hold the brakes for you at an especially long red light. As soon as you touch the accelerator pedal, the vehicle releases the parking brake. It's something I use all the time when I'm in a new car that has this functionality.
Then there's the CR-V Touring's power liftgate. I'm starting to appreciate this feature in the same way I began to notice the value of HID headlights about 10 years ago—it might actually be worth paying for on cars that offer it. For the CR-V Touring's power liftgate, there's no hands-free functionality like on the 2016 Hyundai Tucson, which will open the liftgate if you stand behind the crossover for a few seconds, but the feature on the CR-V is still useful even if you can only get it on the most expensive trim.

"It's one of those features you don't think you'll appreciate but really do when you have your arms full of 40 pounds of ice for a party and you don't have to fumble to manually open the liftgate," associate online editor Austin Lott said.
I agree, but I'd like to see more automakers add a Close-and-Lock button beside the one that simply closes the liftgate.
Acceleration—CR-V: One of the CR-V's biggest advantages over the HR-V is how quick it is. No one will confuse the CR-V's acceleration for that of a Porsche Macan, but its usable power subjectively feels like it's in a completely different league from the slow HR-V. In Motor Trendtesting, our long-term CR-V—an AWD Touring model—accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 8.9 seconds, with 45-65 mph passing done in 4.3 seconds. Compare that to an automatic-transmission HR-V AWD we tested: 60 in 9.5 seconds and 45-65 mph passing in 4.8 seconds. Trust me that the difference in the real world feels greater than the numbers suggest.

Styling—CR-V: I actually like the design of both Honda crossovers from the side, but the HR-V loses me from the front. It's the way the front grille fades away awkwardly when the compact crossover is painted in a dark color. So although the HR-V has standard 17-inch alloys on every trim and those neat semi-hidden rear door handles, from a design standpoint, the CR-V and the way the side windows come to a point at the rear take the win.
Fuel Economy—HR-V: How efficiently do you drive behind the wheel of a vehicle that doesn't have much power? If you're constantly slamming down the accelerator pedal to the floor, the HR-V's fuel economy advantage might not amount to much. The EPA rates the all-wheel-drive CR-V at 26/33/28 mpg city/highway/combined and the all-wheel-drive HR-V at 27/32/29 mpg. That's not the full story, though. On our Real MPG loop, the HR-V achieved 27.7/32.7 R-MPG to our loaded CR-V's 23.0/28.8 R-MPG. So the HR-V will probably have an advantage in the real world, but, not surprisingly, it's going to depend on how you drive.

Cargo Space—CR-V: The CR-V has more interior and cargo space, but the HR-V is actually decently spacious for a vehicle of its class and price range. Although the CR-V has more cargo space with the second-row seats in place (10.9-12.0 cubic feet more) and with them folded down (12.1-15.0 cubic feet), the HR-V might be all the crossover/wagon/hatchback you need.
So If acceleration, cargo space, and a high seating position are your top priorities, consider sticking with the CR-V. However, if you simply want some just-in-case extra cargo space and don't have a lead foot and if you don't mind that front grille you could save some money on a trip to the Honda dealership with the HR-V.
More on our long-term 2015 Honda CR-V:

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2015 Honda CR-V Touring AWD Long-Term Update 3

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