2012 Honda CR-V Manchester NH
The 2012 Honda CR-V remains a solid and competent player in its niche while avoiding the teething that often accompanies major changes. Honda has metered its response to market pressures by improving instead of radically overhauling or replacing an already stand-out entry-level SUV. New on the 2012 CR-V is the Eco-Assist system, which will adjust transmissions shift points and gently retard acceleration to improve fuel economy. Eco-Assist can be switched on and off by the driver. Honda has given the new CR-V some equally new drivetrain technology. The 2012 CR-V gets hill-start assist, which applies the brakes when the car is stopped on an incline and releases them when the driver touches the accelerator. The clutch that sends power to the rear wheels on the AWD models has a pre-load function that prevents any initial slippage when moving off from a stop. On freeways and surface streets, the ride and handling is solid without being overly firm and stable with little body lean in corners even at elevated speeds.
2012 Honda CR-V Power
There is only one engine offered, an upgrade of the previous CR-V's 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and one transmission, an upgraded version of the 2011 model's gearbox. Those upgrades, though, eke out four more horsepower and two more pound-feet of torque. Ride quality is well controlled, with pavement irregularities mostly masked and minimal body lean in corners, even at speeds that activate the stability control system. This is clearly a marked improvement over the 2011, which Honda credits in part to its Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering, a system shared with the 2012 Civic. This system complements the electronic stability control system by helping stabilize the CR-V during heavy braking and introducing a degree of corrective steering input to mitigate understeer and oversteer.
Inside the '12 Honda CR-V
Interior finish is Honda-spec, with everything fitting snugly and pleasantly styled panels and trim pieces complimenting each other and showing a consistent theme. Controls are functional and for the most part intuitive. The screen on the optional navigation system is large and easy to read, though the system takes a long time to start up. Honda's decision to go with hard plastic surfaces everywhere but the door armrests is disappointing. The lower roofline means occupants lose an inch of headroom. The rear cargo compartment is slightly larger when the rear seats are folded, but the cargo compartment is no longer perfectly flat. The cargo area sports four tie-downs and a very thoughtful, molded-in bracket down near the floor at the rear for storing the EX's and EX-L's retractable cargo cover when it's not in use. Honda also managed to give the rear seats true, one-step fold-down systems, activated by pulling either a lever on the sides of the cargo area or a strap on the outboard side of the rear seat bottoms.
'12 CR-V Exterior
The front view of the 2012 model is a little sleeker, rounder, with a more rakish shape to the headlights, when compared to last year. The grille still sports three horizontal bars but wider spaced. The lower valance follows the same general outline, but it's more pronounced. Fog lights are pretty much the same place as on the 2011. The hood sculpting reverses from convex to concave. Fender blisters are bolder, giving the new CR-V a stronger stance. Proportions are right, with the backlight fully integrated into the liftgate's lower half. A thin strip of brightwork tops the license plate recess that itself snugs into the upper half of a scalloped recess spanning the liftgate from one fender to the other. The vertical taillights each look to be a single piece and are inclusive of the backup and running lights.
Lineup for 2012 Honda CR-V
CR-V LX comes standard with cloth upholstery, air conditioning, four-way adjustable front seats plus manual height adjustment for driver's seat, cruise control, tilt and telescope steering wheel with illuminated cruise, audio, phone and information display controls, power door locks, power windows, power mirrors, two-speed windshield wipers, multi-media, four-speaker, 160-watt audio, Pandora internet radio compatibility, Bluetooth hands-free, text messaging and media streaming capability, on-board computer with trip and powertrain data and personalization of select functions, front center console and rear center armrest, floor mats, cargo area light, and 215/70R16 tires on styled steel wheels.
CR-V EX and CR-V EX AWD add one-touch tilt and slide power moonroof, security system, variable speed windshield wipers, fog lights, two more speakers, body-color outside mirrors and door handles, driver and front passenger seatback pockets, retractable cargo cover, rear privacy glass, and 225/65R17 tires on alloy wheels.
CR-V EX-L upgrades to dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-trimmed seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift lever, 10-way power driver's seat including power lumbar, heated front seats, 328-watt audio system with seven speakers, including subwoofer, XM radio with 90-day trial period, and roof rails.
Safety equipment comprises frontal airbags, front seat side-impact airbags, full coverage side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, ABS, Brake Assist, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, the federally mandated Tire Pressure Monitoring System, rear seat anchors and tethers for child safety seats (LATCH), and multi-angle rearview camera. Optional all-wheel drive improves handling stability in slippery conditions. For more on this model, visit the official Honda CR-V website!
Some information for this review was obtained from NewCarTestDrive.com