2012 Honda CR-V new car reviews

The CR-V looks a little funky, but is inoffensive.
The back is dominated by a large tailgate, which makes loading stuff up easy.
The CR-V handled a modest amount of cargo nicely. As an added bonus, we got to go to Lego Land!
The front seats are a comfy place to be.
The rears are perfect for hauling people slightly lower than you on the family totem pole.

Better than: Toyota RAV4
But not as good as: Ford Escape
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 70.11

Honda's CR-V is new for 2012, and we recently tested a well equipped EX-L model. The CR-V was the original crossover, and it has grown up a lot from its Civic-based ancestor. A drive in today's CR-V doesn't convey much of the original character of the original model, though that may be because this CR-V doesn't convey much of anything to its driver. This crossover does a perfect job at unobtrusively carrying a moderate amount of people and/or things in perfect comfort. As one tester said, "It's a new Honda. It drives like a new Honda."

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Other staff views

Alan Cesar FartSmeller69
SuperDork

Seems like the trunk lid kept locking itself. I unlock the car to get in, drive someplace, get out, go to open the trunk, and it's locked. Every. Damn. Time. I had to keep digging the key fob out of my pocket to unlock it. Drove me bananas.

Other than that, it was a completely adequate car in every way.

Joe Gearin Joe Gearin
Associate Publisher

As car guys we are frequently asked by our non-car friends "what car should I buy?".

This is the car they should buy.

This CR-V demonstrates the reasons Honda became an automotive success. It is pleasant to drive, has light but accurate steering, and the interior is put together nicely. The seats are comfy and supportive, the gauges easy to read, and everything about the car puts you at ease. This isn't an exciting machine to drive, but most folks aren't looking for excitement in their little SUVs. It does all of the things you'd expect it to do, but does them in a much nicer way than you were expecting.

I thought the $30K price tag was a bit high, but ours was the full-lux model with Nav, sunroof, leather and all the do-dads. Unlike some of their recent offerings, this CR-V seems to have been cooked throughly in the Honda goodness.

This is really the perfect car......if you aren't interested in cars.

Steve Chryssos Steve Chryssos
Reader

After declaring Father's Day a weekend-long celebration, I needed a set of wheels that could eat up miles and carry the entire family. The Honda CR-V fits that bill nicely. I would go so far as to say that the CR-V is leap and bounds ahead of prior generation examples. Older CR-V's suffer from, in my opinion, sub-standard ergonomics. Prior to this generation, seats were appropriately elevated to suit SUV standards, but the steering wheel position was passenger car low. Driving an older CR-V felt much like driving a Zamboni. The 2012 CR-V is comfortable, capacious, and seemingly cavernous. Power is good as is the combined 26.7 mpg. Interior appointments for this top trim level example are excellent. Rear seats fold down smartly to gobble up any and all shopping endeavors. If you are rounding up supplied for a major home renovation, the CR-V is probably the wrong vehicle, but for every other hauling gig, this SUV gets the job done. If there is any detraction, it's the confused styling. It's a cross between avante-garde and off-road. The front end features an upswept "angle of approach" off-roader theme. Instead of looking rugged, the presentation looks more like the General Lee AFTER a crippling jump. The rest of the CR-V's design elements are rounded and soft. It's confusing shape that only works for non-car people.

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Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
integraguy
integraguy UltraDork
7/17/12 4:04 p.m.

Since you last tested an Escape in 2009, are we to assume that this CR-V is not quite as good as that now 3 year old Escape or do you mean the about to be introduced Escape...or both?

mtn
mtn UltimaDork
7/18/12 12:43 a.m.

Have you ever actually driven a Zamboni?

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Associate Editor
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

Honda's CR-V is new for 2012, and we recently tested a well equipped EX-L model. The CR-V was the original crossover, and it has grown up a lot from its Civic-based ancestor. A drive in today's CR-V doesn't convey much of the original character of the original model, though that may be because this CR-V doesn't convey much of anything to its driver. This crossover does a perfect job at unobtrusively carrying a moderate amount of people and/or things in perfect comfort. As one tester said, "It's a new Honda. It drives like a new Honda."

Like what you read here? You can get a whole magazine full of these types of articles delivered to your home or shop 8 times a year. Subscribe now or visit the Grassroots Motorsports online store for back issues.
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