Car Review: 2012 Honda CR-V

Car reviews: 2012 Honda CR-V

Call them small SUVs, or compact crossovers, or even “cutes”, what this class of vehicles has done is fill the market niche that was once filled by the venerable family station-wagon. That role is, of course, hauling the kids to school, transporting the weekly shopping from store to home, with the occasional longer drive on a summer vacation, but not much else. The bottom line up front is that the 2012 Honda CR-V is more than adequate in filling that role.

2012 Honda CR-V Specifications:

The 2012 Honda CR-V is a front-engine, front wheel drive, 5-door wagon, with optional all wheel drive available.  It has a Dual Overhead Cam, fuel injected, 16-valve, inline 4 cylinder, aluminum block and head engine that generates a nice, if unspectacular, 185 horsepower.  The CR-V has a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Is the 2012 Honda CR-V the same as the 2011 Honda CR-V?

Buyers seem to like the earlier versions of the CR-V, making it one of the top sellers in its class.  That being the case Honda obviously settled on a “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy in the design of the 2012 model.  This is not to say that the good people at Honda did not make some changes, because they did, but they also did not mess with the features that appeal to their key demographics of families with children.

Sticking with an only slightly improved five speed automatic transmission and an only slightly more efficient engine, the 2012 Honda CR-V gets better gas mileage than the 2011; 23 in the city and 31 on the highway for the front wheel drive version, up from 21 in the city and 28 on the highway. The all wheel drive version gets slightly less.  This fuel efficient comes at a cost. The 2012 CR-V is slower than the 2011, which means the driver must plan a head when passing or merging on to the interstate.  This is hardly a major drawback as most of the owners of this car are going to be gadding about the ‘burbs, not making a break for it on the Pacific Coast Highway.  The handling is typical Honda; firm yet agile, nicely centered without feeling clunky.

The 2012 Honda CR-V new interior

Owners of small SUVs are rightly concerned with storage space. The 2012 CR-V is slightly shorter and slightly wider than the 2011, giving a back-seat up cargo area of 37.2 cubic feet and a back- seat down cargo capacity of 70.9 cubic feet. The back seats drop down is one smooth motion with a single handle control for each seat, no muscle needed.

New standard features are a poorly designed and integrated two-screen information system, which will most likely spend much of its time being ignored. A rear-view camera is now also standard, as is Bluetooth.

In short, the 2012 Honda CR-V is a solid, if unimpressive, entry into the compact crossover field, very much like it has always been.

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