The 2012 Honda CR-V logo

TorqueNews review of the 2012 Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V was the 13th bestselling vehicle in the US last year and the second bestselling SUV behind only the Ford Escape and after spending some time in the 2012 CR-V, it is clear why this is one of America’s top selling models.

The 2012 Honda CR-V features an all-new design that is substantially more aggressive than the previous generation of the popular Honda compact SUV. This redesign for 2012 gives the CR-V a sportier look while also helping the new ute to look more like a small SUV and less like a crossover/wagon-type vehicle.

The Exterior
Out front, the 2012 Honda CR-V wears a facelifted nose that protrudes away from the vehicle in the middle with a blade-like 3 bar grille that blends back into the large, angular headlights. Below the centerline of the front fascia is black cladding the angles sharply towards the underside of the vehicle with foglights mounted in the outer edges of this lower fascia area. The hood is longer, lower and wider looking than the bonnet of the outgoing CR-V, with this hood meeting up with a more slippery windshield that improves aerodynamics.

Along the side, the 2012 Honda CR-V gets big, bold wheel arches that are far more pronounced than the outgoing SUV, trimmed with a wide, flat area that gives the CR-V a very proud stance. There is a little more wheel gap than the previous generation but it is an SUV and the amount of wheel gap adds to the sporty feel of the new ute. Where the previous CR-V will more flat sided, the 2012 CR-V has a side that begins with the wheel arches but blends down into the door area only to flow right back out to the rear wheel openings while a sharp body line runs through the exterior door handles.

Out back, the 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L is very similar in basic design to the outgoing model with taillights that run from the top of the roof down along the rear pillar to the middle of the rear face. These huge lenses still flank a large rear window but for 2012, the window is more upright with a squared-off form that offers better rear visibility for the driver. As is the case with the rest of the vehicle, the rear end is very angular with hardened lines running from the taillights in to the license plate location. Where the previous CR-V sported a chrome plate bracket, that chrome is gone for 2012 with a predominantly black trim piece running along the lower length of the rear glass.

The Interior
The 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L that we tested was fitted with the Navigation package so there was very little that our test ride wasn’t equipped with – and it was hard not to notice. First off, the Honda Navigation for which the trimline gets its name is mounted high on the center stack and this touch screen incorporates the voice controlled navigation system and the premium audio system. Below that touch screen is the dual zone climate control panel that offers easy temperature control for the driver and front passenger. Above the nav screen and set forward a bit on the dash is a smaller screen that contains a variety of fuel economy figures. The navigation touch screen is very easy to understand and use but for those who arent in love with the touch screen design, you can do pretty much everything with the buttons, knob and the joystick around the screen.

The 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L comes with steering wheel mounted controls that allow you to change the audio settings or change the fuel economy screen with your left thumb while using your right thumb to handle the cruise control duties. There are also addition buttons located lower on the left side of the leather wrapped steering wheel to activate the voice controls and to use the integrated hands-free phone system. behind the steering wheel is a simple gauge design that is more than adequate with a large speedometer flanked by a tachometer on the left side with the temperature and fuel level gauges on the right side. In the middle of the large, central speedo is a readout screen that offers information like instant fuel economy, fuel range and trip mileage.

The key concern with a compact SUV is interior space and in that category, the 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L is very impressive. The leather front seats feature high and low heat settings but more importantly, they are incredibly comfortable. For someone who spends a great deal of time in the car on the road, the 2012 CR-V offers a seating position for the driver and front passenger that is easy to enjoy for hours on end. There is tons of leg and knee room for the driver and front passenger along with offering ample headroom and elbow room for those seated up front. For those female drivers, the center console is big enough to tuck away a medium sized purse with a smooth rolltop design to the lid of this center compartment.

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