2012 Honda CR-V SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Honda CR-V SUV

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Honda CR-V Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 185 hp @ 7000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2012 Honda CR-V

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • The Honda CR-V has long been one of our favorite compact crossover SUVs, and a redesign for 2012 makes it even more appealing.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Lots of room for passengers and cargo; high fuel economy; user-friendly controls; ample tech and family-friendly features; nimble handling.

  • Cons

    No available engine upgrade; transmission lacks manual mode; rear seats don't slide fore and aft.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Honda CR-V is fully redesigned. Highlights include a longer standard features list, restyled sheet metal, an upgraded cabin and better fuel economy.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (10 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

I'm a honda convert

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

After listening to my mechanic husband constantly moan and complain abt working on my Jeep Grand Cherokee and seeing both my kids drive their used Hondas for well over 100,000 miles with little or no problems, I gave in and bought the Honda CRV. I have to admit..I love it !!! I test drove many other vehicles in the same class and no one comes close to Honda for standard options, reliability and price for what you get. I got mine in the Urban Titanium Metallic and black leather interior and it is VERY sharp looking. I get many compliments on the color. The thing I appreciate the most is the handling, very tight steering, the ride is smooth, big open windshield, gas mileage is great !!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

Love this car much more

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I had a lease coming due on a BMW328xi coupe. I thought the crv would be economical and practical but I never dreamed I would love the car, but I do. You get so much for your money. The fuel economy is amazing (getting 31.5 in Econ mode during my first 150 miles/2days of driving the car). The features are great, love the Bluetooth and Pandora streaming...you can even access your Pandora channels and do the like dislike on the imid screen. only complaints are iPhone is unsupported on USB (isn't this the most popular phone?) and wiper blade inserts suck but that's an easy fix. So much easier to load this car up than BMW's pricey options! Recommend body side moldings. Look great!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

Very satisfied

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I purchased a white ex-l 3 weeks ago. I'm getting about 27 mpg. I haven't established the value in the eco feature yet. That aside, the car is comfortable and I know I won't have any major repairs for several years. It handles very well. I like how honda simplifies the options. I would like to do a dna test to see if this is really leather. As a four cylinder it gets all it can out of it. I think I would prefer a six but the four will do. Sound system is ok but I have a 9 year old highlander with JBL that sounds better. I wish I had bought this years ago instead of a different AWD that uses a boxer engine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best honda yet!!

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

Just picked up my 2012 CRV-EX-L from the dealer and I love it!! What a fun vehicle and practical as well. I was surprised how "zippy" the car is when pulling out from an intersection or getting up to speed to flow with traffic. Getting about 27 mpg combined highway/city, but that's according to the mpg indicator. I'll find out how good it is when a do several fill-ups and calculate the mpg based on calculating the gallons/miles on a calculator. There's nothing I don't like, except for it takes time to get used to the XM radio and all the settings.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

Can't go wrong with this

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

After deciding that it was finally time to quit repairing older cars and just invest in something new, I researched, drove, looked at, and considered just about every manufacturer in the compact SUV market, and the choice was the 2012 CR-V EX-L, (no nav). This drives like a car, turns on a dime, well, maybe a nickel..but incredible turning radius, the inside is ridiculously roomy, and the dash and controls are laid out in a simplistic and easy to use manner. It's still less than a month old, so I will try to update any issues again later. Go drive one, go drive the competition, and see for yourself. The ultimate review? After owning one for two weeks, I bought a second one. It's that fun.

15 of 43 people found this review helpful

Lovin the new 2012 honda

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Vehicle: 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L 4dr SUV AWD (2.4L 4cyl 5A)

I am not affiliated with Honda, I just buy them. This Honda is stellar in every aspect. I traded in my 2008 crv lx, which I liked also, very good quality. This redsigned crossover is so nice and if you are thinking of buying one...go for it! If you can opt for the the ex-L I recommend going with this one. It will not disappoint. People that say Honda needs to put a 6 speed tranny and 6 cyl in these are nuts! This 4 cyl. has more HP than previous models and better gas mileage. Stellar performance and reliability is what consumers want and it's what Honda delivers in all of the their vehicles. You cannot go wrong with the 2012 crv or any Honda new or used!

Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Honda CR-V Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Honda CR-V is fully redesigned. Highlights include a longer standard features list, restyled sheet metal, an upgraded cabin and better fuel economy.


Comfortable, enjoyable to drive and packed with utility, the previous-generation Honda CR-V was certainly deserving of its status as a top seller in the compact-crossover segment. For the 2012 Honda CR-V, the model gets a redesign that brings spruced-up sheet metal and cabin design, along with content and performance upgrades that should align it even more closely with the wants and needs of its family-focused audience.

Many of the changes seen in the 2012 Honda CR-V aren't dramatic. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission are carryovers, though the powertrain gets tweaks that help increase both output and fuel economy. Width and wheelbase are the same as last year, while the CR-V bucks the "bigger is better" trend by losing an inch in height and length. Within the cabin, legroom is unchanged and cargo capacity sees a slight increase.

One of our chief complaints about last year's CR-V concerned the amount of road noise transmitted to the cabin, and the current model addresses this shortcoming with added insulation that results in a quieter driving experience. Also, ride quality is smoother, thanks to changes in suspension calibration.

On the technology front, the CR-V keeps up with the crowd by adding features like a Pandora Internet radio interface and an SMS text messaging function. Additionally, Bluetooth and a rearview camera are now standard equipment on all CR-Vs and, for the first time, a rear DVD entertainment system is available. Versatility is also enhanced this year with a new folding mechanism for the rear seats that's easier and quicker to use.

As with last year's model, the 2012 Honda CR-V's biggest weakness is the fact that it's available only with a four-cylinder engine; most rivals offer an optional V6. And while acceleration is adequate, it's not quite as brisk as some four-cylinder competitors.

Considering this, some shoppers who often carry lots of cargo or who desire more power might want to consider other highly regarded small crossovers like the Chevrolet Equinox, Kia Sorento, Subaru Forester and freshly redesigned Toyota RAV4. All offer engine upgrades, and the Kia and Toyota also have available third-row seats. However, we think the Honda CR-V's thoughtful mix of family-friendly attributes will continue to make it a great choice for most shoppers. As such, it easily remains one of our top picks in the class.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Honda CR-V is a crossover SUV that's compact verging on midsize. It's available in LX, EX, EX-L, EX-L with Navigation and EX-L with Rear Entertainment System trim levels, and each can be equipped with front- or all-wheel drive.

The well-equipped LX comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver-seat height adjustment, 60/40-split rear seats, a rearview camera, a full-color multi-information display, steering wheel audio controls, and Bluetooth phone and streaming audio. All LX models also have a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, a Pandora interface, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface.

EX models add 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a sunroof, rear privacy glass, a retractable cargo cover and six speakers for the sound system. Going with the EX-L gets you roof rails, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar, leather upholstery, heated front seats and an upgraded sound system with seven speakers and satellite radio. As you'd expect, the EX-L with Navigation adds a navigation system (with voice controls and real-time traffic), while the EX-L with Rear Entertainment System adds a rear DVD entertainment system. Note that the nav system and rear DVD entertainment system can't be ordered together.

Powertrains and Performance

Every 2012 Honda CR-V comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic and front-wheel drive are standard, while all-wheel drive is optional. The latter sends power to the front wheels exclusively until slippage is detected, at which point power is sent to the wheels with the most traction. In Edmunds performance testing, an EX-L with all-wheel drive went from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds -- a tad slow for a four-cylinder compact SUV.

EPA estimates for the front-drive model are an estimated 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined. AWD CR-Vs drop slightly to 22/30/25. These ratings make it one of the most fuel-efficient choices in its segment.


The 2012 Honda CR-V is equipped with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. A back-up camera is standard on all models.

In Edmunds brake testing, a CR-V EX-L came to a stop from 60 mph in 120 feet -- a good distance for a compact SUV.

In testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the CR-V received the best possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side impact and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

To our eyes, this year's CR-V boasts a better-looking cabin than last year's model; its lines are more fluid and organic, and make the previous generation's blocky aesthetic seem basic in comparison. Controls are logically laid out and attractive to look at. The open space between the front seats seen in last year's sub-EX-L models is no more, as all 2012 CR-Vs come with a full front console that ups utility by providing additional storage compartments.

Rear seats in the previous-generation CR-V slid fore and aft, but this year that functionality has been retired to make way for a spring-loaded auto-fold feature that allows you to fold the rear seats almost flat with a simple tug of a lever. Thankfully, rear legroom isn't sacrificed, since the current seat offers as much space for lower limbs in its new fixed position as the old seat did when moved all the way back.

A highlight of the new CR-V is the wealth of tech features that has been added. All models come with a Pandora interface and Bluetooth phone and streaming audio; there's also an SMS text messaging function that allows you to listen to incoming text messages via the audio system and reply with one of six preset responses. Also, for the first time, the CR-V is available with a rear-seat DVD entertainment system.

With the rear seatbacks up, the CR-V can accommodate a healthy 37.2 cubic feet of cargo; fold the rear seat and that figure grows to 70.9 cubic feet. The useful split-level storage shelf seen in previous CR-Vs is no longer offered, though EX models and above now come with a retractable cargo cover.

Driving Impressions

Though it certainly holds its own against competing four-cylinder-powered crossovers, there's not a whole lot of low-end power in the 2012 Honda CR-V; it's hard to ignore the fact that a V6 upgrade isn't available. On the plus side, the crossover distinguishes itself by offering steering and handling that are sharper and more rewarding than most of the competition's.

A new "Econ" mode dulls throttle response to enhance fuel economy, but the trade-off is compromised acceleration, and this is especially noticeable when traveling up gradients. The 2012 Honda CR-V features a smoother ride and a quieter cabin than last year's model, giving it a more refined feeling overall.

Talk About The 2012 CR-V