With 29 models in the crossover segment, the
competition between vehicles is fierce. To make the 2012 Honda CRV stand out
from the crowd, Honda has refined its best-selling SUV and dubbed it the
"Super CR-V." But does the fourth generation of the crossover live up
to its new moniker?
When you're selling a couple hundred thousand
units of a crossover, it's a tough job trying to be all things to all people.
Honda built an improved version of a best-selling vehicle that will impress a
broad range of consumers, but it doesn't mess with its tried-and true formula.
What makes the 2012 model "super"
is its ability to wear a lot of hats. The CR-V provides the efficiency of acar
and the functionality of a minivan in the SUV packaging that is popular with
buyers these days, says Honda. The result is a utilitarian, but sophisticated,
compact SUV with style and versatility that will make the CR-V a good option
for buyers looking for jack-of-all trades vehicle. Updated styling Honda changed up the 2012 CR-V exterior with a bigger grilles, a more sculpted
body that accentuates the wheels, and three-dimensional vertical taillights. It
also trimmed its dimensions a little. Although the width is the same, it's
almost an inch shorter and an inch lower than the previous generation, but the
interior volume has slightly increased. Inside the vehicle, the crossover offers all
the creature comforts and conveniences the savvy consumer has come to expect in
a car these days, but no one will confuse the CR-V for a luxury vehicle. Wider use of soft-touchpoints on the dash and
doors make the vehicle feel refined, but there is no burled wood veneer--real
or otherwise--which makes it seem modern and understated. The console has been
designed to offer more convenient storage spaces, such as water-bottle holders
and a well that can fit a small purse, but its low-profile design doesn't won't
intrude on your personal space or create a huge gulf between the driver and
passenger. Standard Pandora
integration and audio text messages
Following other competitors' lead, Honda has made a few tech features standard
equipment on the CR-V. The CR-V LX base model now includes Bluetooth
connectivity for hands-free calling, and all vehicles now include
a rear-view camera and in-dash display to help visibility while in reverse. The
color screen is also used to display audio information, fuel economy, and time.
Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONE Pandora application integration is also a
standard feature, along with read-out-loud text message capability. However,
full Pandora integration is only available for iPhone,
and the text messaging technology works only on phones that include the
Bluetooth MAP profile, which is limited to a handful of BlackBerry and Droid
smartphones at this time. The voice-control navigation option is the same unit
the manufacturer offers across its lineup, but Honda indicated that a
significant overhaul of the system will be announced in the near future. Upgrade to the EX trim level, and consumers will get a several cosmetic
changes, such as color door handles and mirrors, and suedelike seat material.
The EX-L trim adds leather seats, heated front passenger seats, and audio
features. The navigation system is available at this trim level, as is the
optional rear entertainment system. But interestingly, you can opt for either
the navigation system or the entertainment system, but for some reason, not
The navigation and entertainment limitation
could influence buyers looking for a family hauler, but it shouldn't be enough
to make families cross the CR-V off the shopping list. Honda seems to be paying
attention to just how big and bulky baby gear has become, and the CR-V's design
offers features to accommodate all of it nicely. More convenient cargo space The 2012 Honda CR-V's cargo floor is an inch lower than the previous
generation's, which makes it easier to load groceries, luggage, and strollers.
It also adds an extra 1.5 cubic inches of cargo capacity behind the second row
where families need it most. However, with the second row seats folded flat,
the cargo capacity is reduced from 72.9 cubic feet to 70.9 cubic feet. Buyers
probably won't notice that reduction because, thanks to the new fold-flat
feature, the cargo floor is 5 inches longer than the previous model, making the
space more versatile.