Is It Still Special? - 2012 Honda CR-V Long-Term Road Test

2012 Honda CR-V Long-Term Road Test

2012 Honda CR-V: Is It Still Special?

May 3, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

The Honda CR-V has been a best-seller in the U.S. since it was introduced in 1997. Back in the day it was a practical if scrappy vehicle that appealed to people who wanted an SUV but didn't want to go off-roading and didn't want something the size of Montana.

Its first full redesign in 2002 improved its power, added interior room and safety features without compromising the original feel of the CR-V. It grew somewhat in size but the 2002 model was probably the best CR-V ever made. There was something endearing about it.

Its special features have come and gone over the years. Remember when this little Honda came with a picnic table in the back? Or the versions that had cargo shelves?

Well, 10 years later, we again have a Honda CR-V in our long-term fleet. It has a new look and includes modern tech features to keep up with the times. Several issues have been taken care of, like the huge amount of road noise it used to have.

But have its improvement taken away what made it special? Yes, it's still wonderfully practical but I can't help think it is a bit bland now. Maybe this happens to all vehicles that have been around a while.

What do you think?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @, 21, 250 miles


  • legacygt legacygt Posts:

    You're right to point out that the 2nd gen CR-V was the best. Right size. Best styling. And while some tech and convenience features have been added, most of what's good about the current CR-V was available with that one. At least Honda was able to stay at the top of it's game through the second generation. The RAV4 and Forester were probably best in their first generation. All three are useful in their current form, there's just no character left in any of them. And it's not just a size thing. I think the the CX-5, Tiguan and Escape are all similarly sized and similarly practical, but they all have more character than the current CR-V, RAV4 and Forester.

  • pasuriole pasuriole Posts:

    I have owned every generation CR-V and personally believe that this generation is the best. I won't say that you can't buy a more attractive suv, but I will say you won't find a more dependable vehicle that holds its value like the CR-V. It's just a package that really works.

  • makasay_ makasay_ Posts:

    I love my 2012 CR-V. I think there is something special about driving it.

  • pasuriole pasuriole Posts:

    I posted earlier and forgot to mention that I currently own a 2013 Honda CR-V exl without navigation. We love everything about the new generation.

  • skw0123 skw0123 Posts:

    The debut of the EarthDreams powertrain will be a big deal for the CR-V...when it comes. Don't know if that's model year 2014 or maybe an early '15.

  • yaymx5_ yaymx5_ Posts:

    Special? Meh.

  • guillesh guillesh Posts:

    I've owned a 2002 Japan-Built US Spec CR-V, and now traded for the 2013 Canada built US Spec CR-V. The summary is as follows: 2002: Tougher build, stiffer ride, more fun to drive in 5 sp manual! 2013: Cheaper build, lighter, softer ride, WAY more comfortable. Not as fun to drive, especially since only 5AT tranny available. I honestly dont think this 2013 will hold up for 10 yrs the same way the rugged tougher 2002 did. Time will tell.

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