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2012 Honda CR-V

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2012 Honda CR-V Review

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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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2012

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 the CR-V

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.

2012 Honda CR-V Details
2012 Honda CR-V photo Interior

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
2012 Honda CR-V photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood

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.


2.5-liter inline-four
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)

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2012 Honda CR-V Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.5
Out of 10

Based on 196 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.8/10
    Quality
    7.7/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    7.5/10
  • Comfort
    7.5/10
    Styling
    7.7/10

Vibration

By on Saturday, March 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,800

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Car is quick with new transmssion design."

Cons: "Vibration. Doesn't get MPG as advertised."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Former owner of two Hondas. Held each @ 12+ years. But this vehicle has problems. As mentioned here and other car reviews there is a problem with RPMS and then vibration coming from the transmission while driving at any speeds. To the point I get a numbing sensation in my arms and legs on long trips. I would suggest one take these reviews seriously and research further before making a decision. Honda is having problems to the point their chief resigned in Feb. The Fit and civic are having production problems as well. Years ago I would have sworn Honda was bullet proof in respect to engineering. I cannot do that now."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Just bought a 2015 EX-L and love it

By on Thursday, March 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 250

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, great mileage, feels "tight""

Cons: "Not as much cargo room as the Highlander"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Only a week into owning my first CRV, and loving it so far. The engine and CVT work beautifully together. It's peppy, and at speed the engine is as smooth as the V6 in my Accord. The driving dynamics are the best I have every had in an SUV. The steering wheel feedback is perfect, and it tracks likes its on rails. Can't wait to take it on the first long trip tomorrow. So far in combined city/highway driving the computer is say a bit over 30 mpg. Beats the heck out of the 18-19 of the Highlander we traded in."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Buyer Beware!

By on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Body style"

Cons: "Vibration issues"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Avoid the 2015 CR-V right now. Many customers are having vibration problems in their vehicles but there is no fix in sight right now from Honda. The vibration is extremely annoying and also a distraction. You may be purchasing a brand new vehicle but the car will feel 10 years old with vibration. Quit while you are ahead and avoid this car."

28 people out of 33 found this review helpful

Decent car, reliable, comfortable

By on Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "reliable, back up camera, storage, comfortable"

Cons: "road noise, blind spots, heating is slow"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I have owned it 2.5 years (46K miles). I like the handling, interior comfort. Rearview camera is good and gas mileage (26-28 in suburbs). Good storage room, fold flat back seats. Cons; slow to heat up in winter, blind spots from front window design, road noise is big issue which makes blue tooth hard to use."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Love my Honda CRV

By on Friday, March 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun features come standard."

Cons: "Did not come with floormats in the hatch area."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"At this time I cannot think of one thing about the CRV that I would change. I have the EX model. Roomy and comfortable. The back side folds down easily and returns to position, so easily I can do it one handed with my arms loaded. I like the feel the CRV has while driving whether in town or on the open highway. It handles great in the recent winter weather we have experienced."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Thursday, March 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price, fun to drive, roomy and comfortable"

Cons: "No cons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"With 8800 miles, I am still in love with this car. It handles beautifully in snow, ice, and whatever elements are thrown at you in the Chicago area. Love the comfort, room, and flexibility of the rear seats folding down for more room. Gas mileage is great, it's relatively quiet, seats warm up quickly on really cold days and the heater itself only takes a few minutes. Family members enjoy driving this car when we go out to dinner and everyone just loves it. I would buy this car again in a heartbeat."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?