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Honda CR-V Nabs SUV of the Year Honor

Motor Trend picks small SUV over Macan, X4 and others.

by on Oct.15, 2014

Honda's CR-V captured its second award of the year: Motor Trend's SUV of the Year. It was also named Compact Crossover of the Year by Texas autowriters.

As the leaves on the trees change color it means the new season is upon us: automotive vehicle award season, that is, and Motor Trend kicked it off by declaring the 2015 Honda CR-V is SUV of the Year.

The choice is somewhat surprising given the competition included: the Porsche Macan, Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, Lincoln MKC, Nissan Rogue, Lexus NX, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Volvo XC60 Subaru Outback and BMW X4 and X5.

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“Some years, a vehicle wins our calipers almost unanimously,” wrote Frank Markus, Motor Trend’s technical editor, in the story about the winning CR-V. “This year our jury entered the final discussion split almost down the middle.”

Motor Trend doesn’t always pick a conventional truck-style SUV for the award. In fact, last year’s winner was the Subaru Forester. The Japanese maker has won the honor more often than any other manufacturer: six times.

(First Drive: 2015 Toyota Camry. For more, Click Here.)

The magazine uses six different categories in its selection process:

  • Design Advancement: a well-executed exterior and interior styling, innovative vehicle packaging, and good selection and use of materials.
  • Engineering Excellence: total vehicle concept and execution; clever solutions to packaging, manufacturing, and dynamics; and cost-effective technology that benefits consumers.
  • Performance of Intended Function: how well the vehicle does the job its planners, designers, and engineers intended it to do.
  • Efficiency: fuel efficiency and carbon footprint size relative to the vehicle’s competitive set.
  • Safety: each vehicle’s ability to help the driver avoid a crash, as well as the secondary safety measures that protect its occupants during an accident.
  • Value: each vehicle’s price and equipment levels are compared with those of vehicles in the same market segment.

(Click Here for details on GM’s strong October sales.)

In the case of the CR-V, some editors pointed to the new 2.4-liter Earth Dreams four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission as a difference maker, or at least enough to overcome an exterior design that didn’t exactly wow the editors.

(To see why car sales are slowing in China, Click Here.)

“After two hours of contentious debate, the CR-V’s stellar value, engineering, and safety features combined with the cheerful way it performs its intended functions earned Honda the win,” Markus added. The magazine also selects a Car of the Year and a Truck of the Year.

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