Nearly 39,000 Honda CR-V compact crossovers found Canadian homes in 2015. Sure, that’s 3,285 units behind the Toyota RAV4 and 8,765 shy of the Ford Escape, but in the big picture, the Alliston Ontario-built CR-V is a sales powerhouse.
Pricing starts at $26,290 for the CR-V LX 2WD that gets 16-inch steel wheels, heated front seats and back-up camera. This is the only front-drive model for Canada.
Traditionally, the volume seller has been the all-wheel-drive $32,290 EX that rolls on 17-inch alloys and includes HondaLink Next Generation smartphone integration with Emergency Response System, LaneWatch right-side blind spot camera, dual-zone climate control, 10-way driver’s seat, six-speaker audio, proximity key with push-button start, guidelines for the rear-view camera, heated/powered door mirrors, fog lights, auto halogen headlamps and wiper de-icer.
Our tester comes to us as the all-singing, all-dancing (and sometimes self-driving) $37,090 Touring that includes perforated leather, moonroof, LaneWatch, navigation, auto-dimming interior mirror, 10-way driver’s seat with memory, 328-watt seven-speaker audio, projector-beam headlights, rain-sensing wipers, dual zone climate control and power tailgate. The Touring’s safety suite includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and forward collision auto braking. You’ll spot the Touring by its five-blade 18-inch alloys, roof rails and chrome door handles.
As of late, we Canadians are liking our Honda crossovers loaded. So far this year the top-rung Touring is the bestselling CR-V, followed very closely by the EX.
Whichever 2016 Honda CR-V you choose, power comes from a 185 hp, 181 lb-ft 2.4L direct-injection four-cylinder mated to a CVT (continuously variable transmission). This pair was part and parcel of a makeover the CR-V underwent for the 2015 model year that also included a restyled snout and some interior trim upgrades.
The CR-V is all about functionality and ease of use. The doors open wide for easy ingress and egress, and once inside there is plenty of space for four adults and their luggage. The back seats recline, and should a fifth want to ride along, there’s no intrusive driveshaft tunnel to straddle. Head room is generous and outward visibility is good. Opening the liftgate reveals another treat – one of the biggest cargo areas in the segment with a low load floor.
City runabout: 2016 Honda HR-V Test Drive
The 60/40 split second row is spring-loaded and quickly folds flat with the flick of a lever or tug on a strap if operating from the trunk. Dead easy, and no fiddling with headrests. This Touring swallowed a whole whack of musical gear with room to spare.
“Easy” describes the driving part as well. The 2.4L might not have the shove of some turbo-charged competitors, but it’s a smooth and efficient engine in true Honda fashion. No complaints with the CVT either – it is one of the better behaved units on the market, and it certainly contributes to the CR-V’s reluctance to chug fuel.