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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
7.6
Out of 10

Based on 332 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.9/10
    Quality
    7.8/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    7.5/10
  • Comfort
    7.6/10
    Styling
    7.9/10

The worst vehicle that I have bought and driven.

By on Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: vibration/shaking

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "WORST CAR!!!"

Cons: "NO QUALITY CONTROL!!!"

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

"The brand new car was already shaking and vibrating while driving and worst when idling. I hated every time I drive the car and the dealer admitted it!!! I lost my trust and confidence in Honda and I will never buy another Honda. The dealer does not have a fix and will have to take the whole engine apart for a brand NEW car. So I traded it with a CX-5 even if I lost money better than get upset all the time."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Nice except for mileage

By on Monday, July 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Pretty easy to drive."

Cons: "Terrible mileage."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"We were told when we bought this car that it would do 30 mpg. Not hardly. We ignored the salesman but the sticker also said highway would be over 30. We get 23. Around town we get 23, on the highway we get 23, but when we drive a combination we get 23. That is terrible mileage for such a small vehicle. It nearly keeps us from recommending it to others."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Fantastic vehicle; great value

By on Thursday, July 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 350

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great ride and handling, comfy, safe"

Cons: "Unintuitive infotainment system"

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

"I traded in my midsize SUV for a 2016 CR-V Touring because I wanted better fuel efficiency and advanced safety features (I do a lot of highway driving). I'm thrilled with the car thus far. I'm getting better mileage than advertised, it's comfortable, has plenty of storage space, ride and handling are excellent and car-like. Styling is a little bland, but the Touring's alloy wheels help a bit in that regard. Power lift gate is very convenient when your hands are full. Honda Sensing is not perfect and has its limitations, but I'm happy knowing it's there and it definitely makes highway driving easier. Everything about the car just works well, exactly the way you'd want it to, and exudes quality -- exactly what you'd expect from a Honda. The rear doors are large and open to a 90-degree angle -- great for loading and unloading kids. Lanewatch is vastly superior to my old method of praying I don't sideswipe a bicyclist when making a right turn in the city. The dashboard isn't anything special during the day but is beautiful lit up at night. My only complaint is the unintuitive infotainment system with its little buttons. I realize that you can control these features with your voice -- but who wants to constantly talk to their car? Would volume and tuning knobs be too much to ask? Otherwise, I highly recommend this car. I also test drove the Rogue (noisy engine, underpowered, lousy CVT, forward collision warning/braking doesn't work) and RAV4 (mediocre interior), and I think the CR-V bests them both in terms of quality and value. Ultimately, other compact SUVs might be flashier, but if you want a car that will last forever, won't give you any problems, and is satisfying to own and drive, buy the Honda CR-V."

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

I love this car.

By on Thursday, July 7, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,600

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: "Good price, lots of torque, good handling, comfort"

Cons: "No power lift on tailgate."

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

"I love this car. I traded in a Toyota Rav 4, which I liked a lot, but this car is great! I test drove the 2016 Rav 4, Mazda CX5, and Subaru Outback in addition to this car. The Honda was my favorite, but they are all good cars. We've owned a lot of Hondas over the years and they've always been very reliable. I got the EX-L model. I love the CVT transmission with its constant torque. It is a quiet smooth-riding car. I see no evidence of the road noise nor the vibrations others have mentioned. I am 6'3" tall and I am very comfortable in the car. The stereo on the EX-L is awesome! I really like the keyless start/door opener fob. I had 4 adults in the car the other day and they all remarked about the comfort, the ride, and the power getting on the highway. I can't wait to use my heated seats this coming winter."

9 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Best valued SUV

By on Sunday, July 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handling, reliability, storage"

Cons: "2014:No arm rest or recline back sea, under power,"

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

"The Cheapest AWD by Honda in 2014. I just drove over 4,000 miles from WA to FL. Pros: Is fun to drive, Handled firmly on the road and curve (bought upgraded tires) like an Accord, No problem in snow, Has lots of storage. 22/28 MPG, Honda reliability. Cons: Slightly under power for 2014, small seats, no power passenger seat, rear seats don't recline, no arm rest (2014), Bad foot brake position, came with awful and dirty seat fabrics (paid $1,200 for leathers). Would like to buy a 2016 except mine is all paid for."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Honda really cheaped out on this car

By on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Leased, wanted a better car

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Power"

Cons: "Cheap parts, no passenger armrest, MPG low."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"We just turned in our 2014 Honda CRV LX, the car was ok but not great like you would think a Honda should be, we had a Pilot before and down sized to the CRV to save money (worst decision I've made in a long time). The car drove fine and had plenty of power, the MPG was very disappointing averaging about 23 MPG, the car didn't even come with a passenger arm rest!!! Really Honda!! that is really cheaping out. We traded in the car to purchase a 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander (better decision made here) and we are very happy with the switch"

1 person out of 7 found this review helpful

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