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 BigSioux on Friday, January 30, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Easy to Drive, Solid, Luxury Look and Feel"
Cons: "Average Stereo Sound"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"After 11 years in a VW Passat 4 Motion, we decided we needed more room, better mileage and improved reliability and bought the 2105 CRV Touring. We like the upscale look and feel with the upgraded interior, the 18" wheels and redesigned front end. It is simply easy to drive and is roomy for a smaller crossover. The CVT is far superior to standard transmissions we experienced in other test drives, eliminating annoying premature shifting. It almost feels like a 2 speed CVT. The lane change camera and backup camera compensate for the lack of rear visibility. The Touring comes with all sorts of bells and whistles and that technology takes a few re-reads of the manual to master. If I had to raise disappointments, it would be in the sound quality of the premium factory stereo. It does not produce the lows I would expect. The fuel tank is smaller than we are used to and it seems we make frequent trips to the gas station to top off. As others have mentioned, the mileage has been lower than expected...however...we are still in the break-in period, it is still winter and some of our driving has been in below zero temps so of course mileage is lower...it should be. Cold air requires a richer fuel mixture. We are averaging about 22 MPG, but our interstates in SD have 75 MPH speed limits so we are driving closer to 80 MPH part of the time. This all this said, my wife blurted out of nowhere last night..."Have to tell you, I just LOVE my CR-V""
By Pinky on Thursday, January 29, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfy vehicle that handles well on windy roads."
Cons: "It's not free!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I had always driven Toyotas and most recent prior to my CRV purchase drove a RAV 4. I was not interested in a Honda product but while car shopping with my daughter was urged to test drive the CRV (salesperson was aware that drove a RAV). I took this vehicle out for a test drive and upon returning handed them the keys to my Toyota and traded it in on the CRV. I never expected to like this vehicle but in 2012 Honda made some major changes to their CRV which proved to be a huge success. Way to go Honda!!"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By POOLBOY on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "GOOD CAR FUN TO DRIVE"
Cons: "NONE SO FAR"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I HAVE HAD THIS CAR ABOUT A YEAR NOW, RIDES GREAT ,HANDLES WELL ,EASY TO PARK, GOOD SOUND SYSTEM,HAVE NOT GOTTEN THE GAS MILEAGE THEY SAID EVEN WITH ECOBOOST ON.. THE BEST I DID IS ON TRIP TO SOUTH CAROLINA WAS 28 MPG.COMFORT WAS GOOD ON LONG TRIP,BUT A BETTER CAR FOR AROUND CITY. LOVE THE BACK-UP CAMERA !! STORAGE IS GREAT, REAR SEAT FOLD NICELY,FOR MORE STORAGE."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By ShaNaa on Monday, January 26, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Purchased in Oct 2014 - avg 21 to 22 mpg with econ mode. Thought I could live with lack of front seat storage space in return for hyped improved gas mileage - so very disappointed. Wish I had bought a Rave-4 instead. The vehicle just makes me unhappy & I wish I'd never purchased it."
9 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By NYtransplant on Sunday, January 25, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good value, comfortable, practical, attractive"
Cons: "Only one: MY car won't start sometimes"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I bought my Honda CR-V 15 months ago. I only drive short distances and keep it in a garage when not on the road. It has failed to start three times in the time I have had it. Battery tested by dealer each time and found to be fine. Software upgrade installed yesterday. I no longer trust this car and am trading it this week. Online post at another site showed one other owner with identical problem, solution and his still does not start periodically. Have been told to drive it every day. Cannot do that."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By John on Saturday, January 24, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000overall rating 4 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I thought I would like to experience a new SUV. I drove a Toyota for ten years. I thought it was time for a switch. What a mistake! The RAV 4 is a much better vehicle. After four short months of owning a Honda, I discovered that I should never have left Toyota."