The Honda CR-V is almost unchanged for 2014. It is still the 5-passenger SUV in the segment that can accommodate taller passengers at the back as easily as in front. The very spacious and capable cargo area remains impressive too. But it faces tight competition with the likes of Forester and CX-5 which offer standard all-wheel drive and better fuel economy, respectively.
UNDER THE HOOD
A 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine produces 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque for the 2014 Honda CR-V. It can be had with front-wheel or all-wheel drive but a 5-speed automatic transmission is standard.
The EPA fuel economy of the new CR-V is rated at 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway/26 mpg combined with front-wheel drive. The all-wheel drive system reduces these figures by one point each.
ON THE ROAD
The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine under the CR-V’s hood is competitive for the segment. But it still feels strained on the hills. This is when you’d wish there’s a turbocharged or V6 engine option like what other SUVs are offering.
In the same way, the 5-speed automatic, which is the only transmission available, is dated compared to the dual-clutch transmission offerings of the CR-V’s rivals. It is responsive, though, and gear shifts are smooth.
Overall, the CR-V’s steering is precise and handling is steady. The ride is quiet and smooth in most road conditions. Although other small crossovers are more fun to drive, the CR-V is one of the most refined.
INSIDE THE 2014 CR-V
With 8 beverage holders, large and small storage bins, and a very spacious cargo area, the 2014 CR-V is unquestionably one of the most practical small SUVs you can find. The cargo area offers 37.2 cubic feet with the rear seats up. With them down, your stuff can occupy up to nearly 71 cubic feet of space.
The layout of the controls on the dash is logical and therefore easy to use. But the interior design is not impressive and actually looks dated. The CR-V’s rivals, such as the Santa Fe, Equinox and CX-5, offer better-looking, more stylish and more inviting interiors.
But each trim level equips the CR-V well. The base gives the Honda crossover remote entry, Pandora compatibility, cruise control, rear center armrest and a rearview camera. Some of these standard features are offered as options by many competing automakers.
The CR-V LX comes standard with Eco Assist system, hill start assist, 16-inch steel wheels, daytime running lights, remote entry, i-MID with 5-inch LCD screen, rearview camera, Bluetooth, cruise control, tilt/telescopic steering column, 8 beverage holders, rear center armrest, 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, 4-sepaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA audio system, Pandora compatibility, USB port, and auxiliary audio jack.
The EX model adds 17-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, security system, fog lights, automatic headlights, rear privacy glass, 6-speaker audio system, and heated power side mirrors.
The most expensive model, the CR-V EX-L gets dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shifter, 10-way power driver seat with lumbar support, leather seats, heated front seats, and 7-speaker audio system.
Some of the available features are DVD rear entertainment system and voice-activated navigation system.
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