2014 Honda CR-V

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Since its debut to the US market in 1997, the Honda CR-V remains America’s best-selling compact SUV. It has not received any major updates since its overhaul in 2012. Its freshening 2 years ago brought with it a fresh design and better mpg thanks to improved aerodynamics, taller gear ratios, reduced weight and minimized engine friction. It carries over unchanged from the previous model year but as a package, the Honda CR-V still remains pretty unbeatable by any other automaker in this segment.

The 2014 Honda CR-V hosts a bounty of tech goodies such as a standard Pandora® Interface, Bluetooth® phone and streaming audio and an available rear-seat DVD entertainment system with a 7-inch display. When compared to the Honda Civic, the CR-V’s platform kinsman who was recently updated last year with a more luxurious interior, it still features superior interior materials and an improved instrument panel.

Just like last year, the 2014 Honda CR-V is offered in 3 well equipped trim levels. Each trim level, even the entry LX, can be equipped with Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System™. The system engages automatically when necessary so drivers don’t have to do a thing and requires virtually no maintenance.

Standard features on the entry level LX includes 16-inch steel-wheels, keyless entry, full power accessories, cruise control, AC, a 5-inch LCD multi-informational display (i-MID), a 60/40 split-folding rear seat back, Bluetooth®, steering wheel-mounted audio/cruise/phone/i-MID controls and a 160-watt 4-speaker audio system with Pandora Internet compatibility, USB/iPod interface and an auxiliary jack.

The midlevel EX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, a power moonroof, rear privacy glass and a 6-speaker audio system. The top-of-the-line EX-L tacks on auto on/off headlights, roof rails, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and a premium 328-watt 7-speaker (including subwoofer) sound system with satellite radio.

A navigation system with voice recognition and a DVD rear entertainment system are available on the EX-L trim level only. A full array of accessories is available. Optional accessories includes items like a tailgate spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheel, various roof rack attachments (bike, kayak, surfboard, skis, etc.), running boards, a trailer hitch, a tent and a remote start system.

Standard safety equipment includes dual-stage front airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, daytime running lights, stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, a tire pressure monitoring system and a multi angle rearview camera.

Unfortunately, there is still only one available powerhouse for 2014- a 2.4L 4-cylinder i-VTEC® engine that produces 185-hp, 163 lb.-ft. of torque. It’s mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and returns an estimated 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway.

Prices for the 2014 Honda CR-V start at $22,945 for the base 2WD LX and climbs to over $30,445 for the AWD EX-L variant with Navigation. In my book, even the top model is fairly priced. Opting for all the accessories will set you back an additional $9 grand but the good news is you can pick and choose accessories that fit your lifestyle best.

 Reasonable price; good fuel economy; roomy cabin; plenty of cargo space

 No V6 option; wide D-pillars obstruct view; 4-Cylinder may feel a bit underpowered in certain situations

Christine is a Contributing Editor at DriverPulse, a provider of online automotive editorial reviews and news. She is also an Account Manager and Head of Client Services for Nusani Media. She drinks a lot of coffee, loves to drive (manual, of course) and enjoys the company of her dog. She spends her free time exploring the great outdoors, painting and volunteering at her local animal shelter. Her passion for cars started at an early age. While most little girls were playing with dolls, she was playing with matchbox cars and watching her grandfather work on his prized Fords. She believes a vehicle should not only give you goosebumps while speeding around the circuit, its design should be purpose focused and elicit a pure emotional response. Her dream car, the Porsche Carrara GT, may not be easy to control however it is the perfect definition of form following function; mind blowing performance and beauty.

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