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The Honda CR-V is one of the most favorable CUV’s when it comes to families. I have always admired this vehicle. In fact, before having children I would envision myself driving my kids to and from school in one. However, once we had children and it was time to upgrade to a bigger vehicle the CR-V started making its way down my list due to the lack of features I wanted in a family vehicle and, unfortunately, the interior reminded me of a minivan.

So when I had the opportunity to go down to Southern California and drive the all-new 2015 Honda CR-V,  I jumped on the opportunity to see how this best selling vehicle in America has changed over the years.

2015 Honda CR-V

Exterior
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Honda made some aggressive and bold design changes in the 2015 CR-V. They updated the front grille and added LED daytime running lights. To me, it makes the CUV look much sleeker and more attractive. A design you would find in a more luxurious vehicle.

When you move to the exterior you notice a wider appearance thanks to the improved tail light and rear garnish.

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As we make our way down to the wheels we just have to pause a moment and admire the 18-inch AL wheels on the Touring trim of the 2015 CR-V.  Seriously, Honda chose right when they designed this sporty and dynamic wheel. This is where luxury meets sport and it’s perfect for both husband and wife.

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Interior
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Rear Cargo Area

A large cargo area is a must for parents. When your children are little you need to store strollers, pack and plays, and diapers; when they are older you then store sporting equipments, backpacks, and anything else they decide they must bring home or to a friend’s house.  With the Honda CR-V being more compact, I was ready to see a smaller, less impressive cargo area but boy was I wrong. The cargo area is huge! Pretty sure the words “whoa” came out of my mouth as it opened. Definitely the perfect size for families of smaller or older children.

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In fact, to show the size, I decided to sit inside. It was deeper than I had expected which really opened up the space inside the cargo area.

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Not only is the cargo area impressive but Honda added a cool feature to the security shade. Normally security shades cover the top of the cargo area, keeping anything underneath safely hidden. Well during my visit with Honda I learned that their security shade does something I have never seen before. Check it out:

Seriously, how cool is that? You can store groceries or your purse even if you have the back seats down. Extra security when you need it as you can’t even tell there’s a security shade up.

Car Seat Friendly

Let’s talk about the car doors. Not something I ever get excited about because, well, a car door is just a car door. However, not anymore. Honda blew my mind when I saw how wide the back doors open in the 2015 CR-V. As a parent who has tried installing car seat after car seat I can tell you what a huge selling point this is for me. No more needing to pivot the car seat just right to fit it into the door and no more straining my back just to carry my child into the car.

My only concern with this design is a child swinging the door open too far and hitting the car beside it. While this does concern me, the positive definitely outweighs the negative and I can see a parent implementing a “no opening the door without me” rule.

Door opening

 Innovative New Design

Say goodbye to the slightly outdated console area because Honda made some serious changes in the interior.

Honda added a 7″ touch screen, improved the texture quality feel, added rear ventilation vents, and added a more stable visual field of view.

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Honda also completely changed the way the center console is designed, which finally sold me. I have been waiting for this redesign since I first stepped foot into a CR-V several years ago. Since I practically live in the car, the center console is my go-to place for everything: drinks, phone, first aid kit, purse, trash, tissues, disinfecting wipes, and more. You name it, I probably have stored it inside my center console.

The center console on the 2015 CR-V is deigned to help even the unorganized mom find a place to keep her items uncluttered, out of the way, and not a distraction. I had no problem jumping into the car and being able to place my water bottle and phone down without having to look down first. There is even a spot to put your key fob so you don’t lose it. The section where the cups go can be adjusted as needed to store larger cups, coffee mugs and more.

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The 2015 Honda CR-V is also equipped with an HDMI input. Yes, you can now watch movies on that 7″ inch touchscreen. To ensure Honda stayed within safety regulations, when the car is parked the video works, however once the car is switched to drive the video comes off and only audio plays.

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I love this feature as it is perfect for parents waiting in the car with their children. Kids get antsy and sometimes putting on a favorite movie or video can keep them entertained in the car when needed. Here’s the HDMI/video being demoed inside the 2015 CR-V:

Spaciousness

While the CR-V isn’t a full SUV you still want the space to feel comfortable while inside. Not only was the interior spacious, there was ample headroom as well. On select models you can get a sun roof. I was a little bummed not seeing a panoramic sunroof as I really feel it would open up the back area, but I will take the sunroof, especially living in California.

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The back seats had more room than I imagined. I sat comfortably in the back and could stretch out without feeling crammed. I didn’t get a chance to see how well a car seat would fit,  but it was clear from the space there is sufficient room for one.

The back seats also fold down with ease. Parents can do it easily with one hand. See for yourself:

I know I mentioned ventilation in the rear when I talked about innovative interior design but I wanted to reiterate the fact that Honda included this. My kids always complain when they are too hot or cold and having this feature is a must for me. Not something you always see in competitor vehicles.

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Family-Friendly

It’s really the little things that make a huge difference for parents. While getting an overview of the CR-V from the back seat I learned that the 2015 model has a little mirror parents can put down to see what their children are doing in the back. This could have really made a difference when my children were little and I am so happy to see this inside the new CR-V!

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 Safety
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Technology and safety go hand in hand most of the time and it’s no different in the 2015 Honda CR-V. I don’t think I have ever been more impressed with the safety technology in a vehicle. The Touring trim on the 2015 CR-V has some of the most innovative features I have seen. One feature that really impressed me was LaneWatch.  With LaneWatch the driver now has a clearer view of their right side/blind spot area. When the driver hits the right blinker, the 7″ screen shows a live view of the right hand lane letting the driver know if they have a clear enough path to proceed over. The driver can turn this on manually as well which makes switching lanes in traffic a lot safer.

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Also available on the Touring trim level, drivers will see a lot more safety features like Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Pedestrian CMBS.

I had the chance to test out the Lane Keeping Assist during my drive and let me just say as honestly as I can… you NEED this! I took my hand off the steering wheel and the car literally kept me in my lane and slightly turned when the road did. After a few seconds it started beeping at me to alert me to take control again. I kept thinking about all those times I am handing my kids items from the front seat or being distracted because it happens as a parent. I felt so much safer in the vehicle after testing out this safety feature.

One thing I wasn’t a fan of when it comes to safety and design is the driver’s side mirror. Honda designed a unique mirror to give drivers a better view of their blind spot. While I understand the design, I really hope Honda tweaks it a bit. If you notice the line in the mirror, that line divides two different types or mirrors. The section on the right is your standard side mirror view, but the one of the left is pointed at a different area of the road helping with your blind spot. However, what I don’t like about it is it honestly hard for my eyes to adjust. Imagine putting on a pair of prescription glasses when you have great vision, you know that feeling your eyes get? That’s as close as I could describe to the feeling I get when trying to look at that outer mirror. I really hope Honda redesigns this in the next model as I feel it would take this car from being great to perfect!

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Overview
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Honda is offering the 2015 CR-V in five trim levels (LX, EX, EX-L, Navi and Touring) with FWD or AWD offered on each. You will also be happy to know that they added a rearview camera in ALL models! Yes, even the entry-level LX.  That’s incredible and shows how Honda is taking safety seriously.

The 2015 Honda CR-V is quiet, powerful, smooth, and attractive. It has honestly made it’s way back to the top of my family vehicle search. To say I was impressed would really be an understatement. This is a wonderful family vehicle that I can feel safe putting my children in.

The 2015 Honda CR-V starts at $23,320 and you will be happy to know with the new engine, new transmission, completely revamped design and features, and better mileage per gallon, Honda only increased the price by $200! Now that is something to get excited about.

2015 Honda CRV

* Thanks to Honda for inviting me to join their media introduction of the 2015 Honda CR-V in beautiful Southern California.