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2015 Honda CR-V may be safest SUV in North America

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety(IIHS) has rated 9 Honda, Acura vehicles as top safety picks for 2015. Is CR-V the safest small SUV in North America?

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Last week Honda CR-V was awarded the “Top Safety +” rating by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. Is CR-V the safest small SUV available in North America; perhaps, but it isn’t without company. For 2015 the significantly refreshed CR-V joins Mazda, Mitsubishi and Subaru in the ranks of the highest safety rated small SUVs sold in North America.

An evolution of tech-enabled active safety features

This year an unprecedented 71 vehicles earned the IIHS highest safety ratings with advance forward collision avoidance, ride stability and backup cameras weighing heavily as to which vehicles earned the “Top Safety +” rating. You may read the complete IIHS list here.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, with today’s technically advanced radar measured and camara activated safety features as found in Honda LaneWatch and Lane Keep Assist(LKA)being offered as optional or standard features by most major automotive manufacturers, Honda leads the way to fewer auto related collisions and personal injury claims.

In the case of Honda CR-V, collected IIHS data indicates a reduction of 10 to 27% in accident related insurance claims attributed to active and passive accident avoidance and stability features.

Accident avoidance equipped CR-Vs will track lane markings and self steer when sensing erratic lane wandering, thus reducing the incidence of head on and side lane collision. These features in combination with electronic ride stability, electronically monitored and assisted ABS braking and multiple airbag systems make for the safest driver and passenger transportation experience to date.

Will 2015 Honda CR-V self drive?

2015 CR-V is the safest Honda SUV built to date when all optional active and passive safety features are activated as initiated by the driver. Torque News experienced CR-V in Huntington Beach, Ca and found a few of the autonomous like safety features to be counter to a conventional driving experience. We have released the wheel of Acura TLX , RLX and Honda CR-V equipped with Honda LaneWatch. ™ While not recommended by the manufacturer, while set in cruise control these vehicles will self drive for awhile.

Systems such as electronic brake assist and ride stability can be a bit unnerving at first; requiring a bit of a learning curve to master. Is 2015 Honda CR-V the safest small SUV in North America? That’s up to you and IIHS to decide. Read about our extended drive experience here.

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Carl (not verified)    December 30, 2014 - 1:19PM

I know you intended this as a rhetorical question, but ...

Is CR-V the safest small SUV in North America?

No. It's close, but not there. Part of the problem IS the Lane Keep Assist - because drivers don't always signal when they change lanes. And more importantly, even though as you mention, the owners manual recommends against it, you KNOW what's going to happen. Someone is going to turn on adaptive cruise control to maintain distance on the interstate, figure that LKA is going to keep them in their lane, and just head on down the highway. Then about the time that they end up drifting into someone that was riding the center line, there's going to be a sideswipe and/or a major crash (or two).

Parks McCants    December 30, 2014 - 5:05PM

In reply to by Carl (not verified)

Good point Carl. there's much room for error in today's autonomous-like safety and drive stability features. As I sated in the article: There's a bit of a " a learning curve" to these systems. They're not human error proofed. Thanks for reading, happy New Year to you.

Faisal Zafar (not verified)    December 31, 2014 - 11:35AM

Carl and Parks, I own a 2015 CR-V Touring.
The LKAS shuts off after 14 seconds if it senses your hands are not on the wheel. So people could try taking a nap while riding through the highway, but the vehicle starts beeping after 14 seconds of lack of input at the steering.
LKAS is great at keeping the vehicle in the center of the lane when the highway turns left, not so much when the road turns right, at which point it starts breaking into the left lane.

Adaptive Cruise Control works really well though. You can set the following distance.
However this also disengages below 45 MPH. I wish it could go down all the way to 0 MPH like it does with Audi's City Brake Assist with Stop & Go. But I guess Honda wants to save those features for future Acura models only.

Carl (not verified)    January 2, 2015 - 11:27AM

In reply to by Faisal Zafar (not verified)

If I'd make a guess, I'd presume that's why the IIHS only gave the CR-V 5 bars instead of the 6 that they gave the Subaru. The Adaptive Cruise on a Subaru will slow you down to a full and complete stop, and it also functions even when turned on at 30 mph. (My wife drives a Forester.)

Faisal Zafar (not verified)    January 5, 2015 - 10:21AM

In reply to by Carl (not verified)

Just to be clear, with adaptive cruise control, the 2015 CRV can apply brakes and slow you down from 70 MPH to well below 45 MPH as the Collision Mitigation Braking System kicks in, but the Adaptive Cruise Control disengages if the car slows down below 45 MPH due to slower traffic. It will not resume the originally set speed. You will have to press the "Resume" button.
It would have been nice to be able to set the ACC for stop and go traffic in the rush hour.

neil (not verified)    December 31, 2014 - 11:45AM

Would like to also see the crash results as the 2013/14 model did not fair very well, especially compared to the forester which was by far superior.

Jeri (not verified)    January 19, 2015 - 11:07AM

RE:the Forester (and Subaru in general) There is a class action law suit filed in NJ for excessive oil consumption in several recent models. Buyer Beware. Wish I'd known about the thread for this oil burning issue on this site--I'd never have bought my 2014 Outback (3rd Subaru), safety ratings notwithstanding.

Jeri (not verified)    January 19, 2015 - 6:38PM

In reply to by Parks McCants

5 qts in the first 6450 miles on a brand new vehicle. No towing, no heavy loads, only normal town driving and highway miles. Dealer is saying this is normal "but may decrease now that the car has reached its official break-in mileage". ......the corporate BS line. Potential Subaru buyers beware. Google "Subaru class action lawsuit" for more information, and warn people away from this company.

Carl (not verified)    January 20, 2015 - 9:30AM

In reply to by Jeri (not verified)

Jeri, on the one hand, there's the corporate line about oil consumption, on the other hand, there's the lawyer angle, and on the gripping hand, there's reality. If you'd bother to do a little research, every American and Japanese car company has at one point or another in recent history had lawsuits filed about 'excess oil consumption' - so this is nothing unique to Subaru. If you're going to use Google - then change the first word from Subaru to Toyota or Honda or Nissan or GM or Chrysler or Ford. Read this: " Ford Motor Company considers consumption as high as one quart of oil per 1,000 miles to
be acceptable in a gasoline engine." How about you simply do what you're supposed to do, which is check your OWN oil level every couple of gas fill-ups, and if it's low, add some oil?

Scott (not verified)    March 16, 2016 - 4:31PM

The car is a piece of junk. The collision avoidance system is defective. Any dirt or dust from the road can cause the car's warning of malfunction lights on the dashboard to light up like a Christmas tree, causing the car to shut down. We have had the car in the shop three times for a total of nearly 20 days in the few months we have owned it. When I contacted Customer Service they called my problem a "feature". If that isn't enough if it is windy outside the car shakes like it has Parkinsons. My best advice to you is not to buy this car.