By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
A perennial best-seller in the compact SUV field, the Honda CR-V gets a full makeover for 2012 as it seeks to maintain preeminence in a fiercely-competitive market segment. Honda endowed the fourth generation of its versatile five-passenger hauler with an even more sophisticated look, feel and level of standard equipment, while retaining all of the basic character traits that served it so well in the past. As before, the 2012 Honda CR-V is available in LX, EX and leather-lined EX-L trims, all powered by a 4-cylinder engine and offering the choice of standard front-drive or optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) configurations. In addition to current key rivals, headed by the Chevrolet Equinox and Toyota RAV4, the 2012 CR-V will have to fend off challenges from two formidable all-new players: The Mazda CX-5 and the fully-redesigned Ford Escape.
While a bounty of changes inside and out endow the 2012 Honda CR-V with a new level of user-friendly appeal, this latest incarnation retains its signature car-like driving feel and superb flexibility while delivering even better fuel economy.
Anyone hoping that Honda would break tradition and finally offer the CR-V with an optional V6 engine and available three-row seating like the Kia Sorento and Toyota RAV4 will be disappointed.
A comprehensive redesign brings more contemporary visual flair and greater functionality to the entire 2012 Honda CR-V package, along with even better fuel economy. It also gains a host of new features, including an available rear-seat entertainment system and an upgraded "intelligent" version of the optional Real Time all-wheel drive.
Driving Impressions Building on the Honda CR-V's already-stellar reputation for being easy to drive and easy to live with, changes to the 2012 iteration have raised those benchmarks in modest but genuinely...meaningful ways. Extensive noise abatement efforts have yielded a quieter, better-isolated passenger compartment, while an even more rigid unit-body structure, coupled with revised suspension tuning, gives the 2012 CR-V improved handling characteristics. Like the 2012 Civic, the new CR-V also is fitted with Honda's new Motion-Adaptive electric power steering system that interfaces with the standard stability control to automatically encourage proper corrective inputs when it senses slippery or uneven road conditions during cornering or braking. For ultimate four-season security, the CR-V also introduces the automaker's new Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System. Smaller, lighter and quicker to respond than the existing Real Time setup, it smoothes out initial acceleration and can transfer up to 100 percent of torque to the rear wheels if necessary.
Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID)
All 2012 Honda CR-V models come with a new, 5.0-inch LCD color screen in the center of the dash that allows the driver to access and control a range of functions using buttons on the steering wheel.
Easy-fold rear seats
The backs on the 2012 Honda CR-V's new 60/40-split rear bench now flop forward at the pull of a lever conveniently located on either side of the cargo bay to create a near-flat load floor that's over five inches longer than the one in the current CR-V.
A complete redesign gives the 2012 Honda CR-V's passenger compartment a more sophisticated overall look and feel, highlighted by a smartly sculpted dash, restyled gauges and new switchgear. Revised front seats that offer greater comfort and support flank a more accommodating center console with bigger cupholders and a much larger covered center stow bin that houses USB and auxiliary inputs as well as a 12-volt power point. Although the 2012 CR-V's overall interior dimensions are largely unchanged from the previous model, its best-in-class cargo area now offers a bit more space than before with the rear seat up, but marginally less when it's folded down.Exterior
Remaining true to the vision previewed in the recent CR-V Concept, the 2012 Honda CR-V maintains the same relative scale as the current model but boasts bolder and more aerodynamic bodywork set off by edgier front and rear fascia treatments. A more steeply-raked windshield and slightly lower roofline effectively complement the new CR-V's higher-profile grille and lamp treatments, while a large single-piece liftgate, coupled with a significantly lower lift-over height, eases loading and unloading chores. All LX models are fitted with 16-inch steel wheels and 215/70 all-season tires, while EX/EX-L versions have 225/65 tires on 17-inch alloy wheels.
The 2012 Honda CR-V LX boasts a full range of power assists, a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with USB/AUX inputs, Bluetooth HandsFree Link, Pandora Internet Radio interface, read-aloud SMS text messaging capability, air conditioning, an intelligent Multi-Information Display, multifunction steering wheel, multi-angle rearview camera, keyless entry, cruise control and a tilt/telescoping steering column. The CR-V EX adds various interior and exterior enhancements, a power moonroof, privacy glass, alloy wheels and a security system, while the EX-L gains leather upholstery, a power driver's seat, heated front seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, XM Radio and more. All CR-Vs feature stability/traction control, anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist and front, front-side and side-curtain airbags.
In keeping with its longstanding practice of offering vehicles largely in "mono-spec" trim levels, options for the 2012 Honda CR-V are extremely limited. The LX, EX and EX-L can be fitted with the new Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System, while CR-V EX-L buyers can opt to add either the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with a 6.5-inch dash-mounted touch-screen or the new DVD-based Rear Seat Entertainment system that features a single 7.0-inch hi-resolution LCD screen that flips down from the headliner.
The sole powertrain combination in all 2012 Honda CR-V models is the familiar 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine matched with the equally-familiar 5-speed automatic transmission. Friction-reduction efforts have helped bump the engine's output from 180 to 185 horsepower, and similar internal tweaks to the autoshifter, coupled with a comprehensive ratio revamp, collectively yield better fuel economy figures for both front-drive and all-wheel-drive CR-Vs. The former now has an estimate of 23/31 mpg city/highway EPA marks, while the latter is estimated at 22/30 mpg. To help in the mileage-maxing cause, all 2012 CR-Vs feature an energy-efficient multistage alternator and come with Honda's Eco Assist system that includes the green "ECON" button on the dash that can modify throttle mapping as well as operation of the air conditioning and cruise control. Despite its slightly lower curb weight and modest power increase, acceleration on the 2012 CR-V feels very much like its 2011 predecessor. The maximum tow rating also remains unchanged, at 1,500 pounds.
185 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
163 lb-ft of torque @4,300 rpm
EPA City/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg (front-wheel drive), 22/30 mpg (AWD)
By Bob on Tuesday, February 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"2013 CR-V EX A very good reliable product. Relatively quiet around town with adequate pickup. Good ride and handling, roomy enough for 4 adults. Easy to fold rear sets flat for added carrying capacity. Very good fuel mileage (26 mpg) over 2 years of mixed driving 40,000 miles. What could be better? A little more pickup. Quieter on the highway. Better looks."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Vermont CRV Owner on Wednesday, February 18, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great value for the money."
Cons: "No hill descent mode."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Must say I don't understand some of the reviews I've read; are they for real, or written by salespeople? Some reviews, both pro and con, just don't seem real. So here's a review from a real owner: If you're going to purchase this vehicle a few things to remember. Pay the extra money to buy an EX-L. It'll give you a driver side power seat that can be adjusted to suit just about anyone. I'm 6 feet and weigh 240, and can easily adjust the seat so it's comfortable. I've read some reviews that speak about how uncomfortable the seats are on long trips. Know what? All cars get uncomfortable on long trips. The CRV seats are as good as any I've had in my 30+ years of driving. The added benefit of heated seats, heated mirrors, and dual zone heating add to the value of the EX-L package. The stereo system is fine for an old timer like me. For those who need bluetooth, I suggest you have your salesperson walk you through the steps of how to voice activate and make calls on the system. It has worked flawlessly for me for the 5 months I've owned this vehicle, and I use my bluetooth often for business. I haven't experienced any of the rattling, whining, or other unknown noises others have heard. Neither have any of the many people I know who own a CRV. Again, is it possible the poor reviews are written by salespeople from competitors? I know if I was a salesperson for a competitor I'd write as many bad reviews as I could for the competition. Anyway, I digress. If you drive in an area with abundant snow, buy snow tires! All Season's just won't cut it. Not for any AWD/4WD vehicle. I still remember getting stuck in my Jeep 4X4 my first Winter with it and All Seasons. It has snowed without end this Winter, I live in a very rural area of Vt, and my CRV has gone everywhere with ease. Why shouldn't you buy this vehicle? Ok, here goes. Performance, what performance? Very pedestrian handling and performance. No hill descent option. An extra low gear I could really use here in Vermont. Subaru offers this as standard on all new Outbacks, and I almost bought one just because of that. Other than these, I can't believe anyone wouldn't at least take a look at the CRV."
20 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Mindy on Tuesday, February 17, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great handling, convenient back seat options"
Cons: "outside appearance not awesome"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"This car worked great for Central Oregon weather. I didn't even need studded tires. The flexibility with the back seats folding down was wonderful. I could fit more in that vehicle than a lot of standard sized Suv"
2 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Mike on Tuesday, February 10, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"The car has not given me any problems at all. After having the car I noticed the sits are uncomfortable, alot of road noise and the ride could be better. My previous car was a Toyota RAV 4 it was much better in the snow and overall a more comfortable ride. I will be selling it."
30 people out of 54 found this review helpful
By Ravens2353 on Sunday, February 08, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,300overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Nice interior and exterior, roomy cargo"
Cons: "Terrible drive, Horrendous vibrations,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I've been a long time Honda owner and it was finally time to step up to the SUV class. Did all the research, read all the reviews, pulled the trigger and finally bought the EX trim. I walk around my Honda and admire its styling and I Love it !! I open the door and sit in my Honda, and i love it !! I admire the comfortable seats, the safety features, the radio and i Love it !! I start the engine and drive my Honda,... and I HATE it. What a mistake. The vehicle is rife with Vibration issues throughout various driving situations. When vehicle is stopped and idling, strong vibrations due to extremely low RPM/ poor vibration dampening.. When vehicle accelerates from a stop, the engine/vehicle shudders for a period until i get up to cruising speed. It happens EVERY time. During crusing speeds, the ride is quiet indeed, but the road vibrations transmit through the steering wheel. I can't believe this is what $30,000 buys you from Honda. Prospective buyers, take your time and do a nice LONG test drive( preferably city/ highway driving, slow starts idling stops, etc. pay attention to the vibrations especially during slow acceleration and see if you can live with it.Sent Certified letter to Honda detailing Problems- No response back. You decide. Last Honda for me."
35 people out of 45 found this review helpful
By Ron on Thursday, February 05, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 700overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Cons: "disappointing vehicle"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Vibration and noise horrible///would rather have manual steering than this set up///takes longer to get heat//etc. etc. sure doesn't compare to my 2011 CRV//My last Honda"
17 people out of 23 found this review helpful