What do the Lincoln Town Car and Honda CR-V have in common? More than you’d think. Despite the fact that both vehicles change relatively little from year-to-year, they each continue to be sales leaders in their respective categories. Because they sell well, both automakers have wisely resisted the urge to drastically reinvent them. It’s so simple, and yet there have been countless numbers of popular vehicles that have had their production cut inexplicably short in favor of the “next best thing.” While much remains the same for the 2010 CR-V, unlike the Town Car, Honda’s latest iteration of their segment-leading SUV still seems relevant.
The most obvious initial changes include a new grille and bumpers along with a slight (REALLY slight) alteration to the front fascia and hood. As minor as those outer changes may be, of even smaller significance are things like the automatic on-off headlights and the shift from seven to 10 spoke alloy wheels. Minor changes inside the vehicle including new seat fabric, a slightly wider center armrest and the addition of a USB audio interface for the iPod and other personal music players.
Under the hood Honda has tweaked the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine to produce 14 more horsepower, now up to 180, while slightly improving mileage to 21 mpg city, 28 mpg highway for the 2WD versions. Four-wheel-drive models come with almost identical mpg numbers of 21/27. All CR-Vs come with a standard five-speed automatic transmission.
Base models will continue to come with standard a/c, heated mirrors, and the aforementioned 17 inch wheels. EX models can be augmented with the aforementioned 10-spoke 18-inch alloys, dimming rear view mirror, USB port, reconfigured cargo areas, and electric folding mirrors, as well as heated leather/Alcantara seats. At the top end is the EX-L that adds HID Xenons, eight-way power seats, body-colored bumpers, a glass roof, rain sensors, and a DVD satellite navigation system.
Beyond its increasingly rotund exterior and cavernous interior, part of the CR-V’s allure is the perception of value that Honda has tapped into by keep pricing relatively low. For 2010, prices will start at $22,255 for the 2010 CR-V LX 2WD, up $300 from the 2009 model, and will range up to $28,455 for the 2010 CR-V EX-L 4WD, up $500. A navigation system adds another $2,000 to the sticker.