May 9, 2013
It's no secret that the Honda CR-V compact SUV has grown in size since it first hit the market in the late '90s. As I was vacuuming out the rear cargo area this morning, I decided to see how much more room the rear area offered in the current model compared to a 10-year-old CR-V.
May 6, 2013
I don't really consider myself an SUV guy. To be honest, I'd much rather be driving a sports car or a sport sedan. But there's no denying the inherent utility of an SUV. Hey, it's in its name.
March 27, 2013
Here's a feature I haven't seen anywhere except in a minivan: The sunglasses holder that doubles as an interior rearview mirror. Sure, Honda probably just stole this thing from the Odyssey. But it's every bit as useful for spotting back-seat hijinx here as it was there.
March 13, 2013
Here's the thing about our 2012 Honda CR-V's power rear hatch: It doesn't have one.
Sure, the door is lightweight and easy to open and close by hand, but with a spacious 37 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, the CR-V can handle a big load o' stuff.
It would be convenient to pop the hatch remotely as you're on the approach.
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 19,919 miles
March 11, 2013
By now you know how quickly and efficiently the CR-V's rear seats can be dropped. What you don't know is that the same can be accomplished by pulling this fabric loop which sticks out from both seat bottoms inside each rear door. The tab triggers the same tumble-and-flop scenario that you'll get using the releases inside the hatch.
February 27, 2013
I've driven a lot of crossover SUVs, ranging from small ones like the Kia Sportage to biggies like the Chevy Traverse. Of them all, the Honda CR-V seems to strike the best balance between being small enough to be fuel efficient and easy to park, while being large enough to provide a spacious rear seat and generously sized cargo area.
February 18, 2013
When your daughter's sales goal is 500 boxes, she doesn't care that the call for more Girl Scout cookies comes at 11:00 p.m. She's happy for the order.
February 12, 2013
The home I live in doesn't have a basement. Actually, few California homes (where Edmunds is based) do. So when it comes time to store my, err, stuff, I have to rent a storage unit. And this is where vehicles like our 2012 Honda CR-V are so great for me.
I'm often shuttling bins and boxes between the storage unit and my house, and the CR-V makes it easy. The spring-loaded fold-down rear seats are there for a quick transition from people to cargo hauler. There's also the low load floor and 70 cubic feet of space, which is among the roomiest you'll find in a small crossover (and more than enough for what I'm typically moving back-and-forth).
February 6, 2013
I'm 40 years old, married, have two kids and live in suburbia. I'm guessing that's close to Honda's target demographic for its CR-V. So it's with some interest that I've been observing how the CR-V fits into my life. For the span of 24 hours, I figured I'd jot down what I did with the Honda. In hindsight, it was all pretty mundane and could have really used some Kiefer Sutherland-style cliffhangers. But it did show off the CR-V's suite of strengths.
January 29, 2013
Honda does small-item storage in the form of small, well-placed bins better than anyone else. Here's a tour starting with the two-bin door pocket.
January 24, 2013
You forget how handy this flat-floor design is until you haven't used it for awhile. The CR-V's is wide and long enough for a couple of coolers of beers, brats and burgers to tide you over while watching the Niners decimate the Pack. Too bad too, since Aaron Rodgers seems like a good guy. But the Niners are California's only legit football team, at least until the Trojans wise up and sack Lane Kiffin. Sorry if that hurts you Charger fans, but you had your chance.
The CR-V's also good for floor-loading a couple of guitars, probably even a bike. No hump in the middle means flexible cargo options and good legroom for all. On the flipside, it also sometimes means spilled groceries after taking a particular turn with too much enthusiasm.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 15,500 miles
January 9, 2013
I got a nice surprise when I grabbed the 2012 Honda CR-V's rear-seat release lever from the cargo area. One pull and the folding rear seat made a big commotion: The seat cushion instantly tilted forward, the headrest dropped and the seatback folded down. Handy.
Okay, in truth you have to pull the left and right levers, since it's a split/folding rear seat, but man, this is easy. It's a true one-touch operation.
On the downside, the CR-V's load floor isn't completely flat. But there's plenty of usable room regardless. Also, putting the rear seats back in place is a two-step operation: First, drop the cushion back to the floor, then raise the seatback and slam it into its upright position.
One other high point of the CR-V's luggage area: The cargo cover sits unusually high, which allowed me to load a mountain bike in the back without having to remove the cover. Easy.
January 7, 2013
In normal conditions the 2012 Honda CR-V has proved it offers more than enough cargo space for a family of four on a long trip. We made just such a journey to visit my parents last summer in this very machine, in fact. Everything fit below the level of the retractable cargo cover, which is the safe way to go because visibility out the back remains unaffected. And it's highly preferable to have no teetering loose items that could topple onto rear seat passengers should one need to jam on the brakes to miss an elk.
But the holidays are a different matter. Staring at the mound of presents swelling beneath the tree, I knew I was going to have to do something to get them all safely north alongside the usual luggage the four of us would have.
That something was the installation of factory roof rack crossbars and a rooftop cargo box. Both were easy to install, requiring just two tools between them (or just one if you happen to have sturdy fingernails.)
For security purposes, I decided to pack the presents in the CR-V and put our personal luggage in the pod. Sure, the pod has a handy lock, but the vehicle itself has a better one — backed by an alarm — and it's got that retractable cargo cover to insulate the goodies from unwanted attention. Better to leave the pod empty in the hotel parking lots we'd visit along the way, I figured.
As we loaded up I realized I'd made the right call, because we filled the CR-V and the pod with little space to spare. It was time to head out, but how would the pod effect fuel economy, wind noise and, considering the high-mounted weight I'd just added, handling?
January 2, 2013
It our last episode we installed Honda's accessory crossbars onto the roof of our long-term 2012 Honda CR-V, a move that opens the door to a whole range of Honda Genuine rooftop accessories. One of them is a 13-cubic foot rooftop cargo box, which your local Honda dealer will sell you for $499, a price that's fairly competitive when compared to similar aftermarket products.
Wherever you get yours, a roof pod is the kind of thing you want to be able to install and remove yourself, because driving around with one on your roof when you don't actually need it isn't a great plan. For one, there's the obvious and potentially damaging loss of overhead clearance in your typical garage or parking structure, but you can also expect a drop in fuel economy on account of the additional frontal area and aerodynamic drag the pod represents, whether it's loaded or not.
As you read this we're measuring the scale of the fuel economy loss during our annual 2,000-mile holiday trip to Oregon and back. What follows is a short description of how the installation went down before we left.
December 25, 2012
A fortuitous thing happened after my last post, in which I fretted over our the growing mound of presents our 2012 Honda CR-V would have to haul some 900 miles north, along with four passengers and their luggage.
I managed to get my hands on a set of Honda Genuine crossbars to try out, along with a rooftop cargo box. Among other things, it will be interesting to see how fuel consumption compares to the nearly identical naked-roof run I made to the same area in this car last summer.
But I have to install the stuff before any of that can happen. Today I'm tackling the crossbars, an accessory that mounts to the longitudinal aluminum roof rails that came standard on our CR-V EX-L. Those of you with an LX or EX won't have the aluminum roof rails, but they're available as an accessory, too.
December 18, 2012
It's time once again for my family's annual holiday road trip up the California coast to Oregon, and this time we're taking the 2012 Honda CR-V. Thing is, cargo space is going to be at a premium, what with all the presents and all.
So I'm thinking about installing a roof pod. Or at least I was until I saw what it costs to rig one up.
Our CR-V is an EX-L, which is a good start because one of the many things you get when you step up from EX to EX-L is a pair of aluminum roof rails that run from front to back above the doors. They're a good foundation and they can support 165 pounds. If you have an LX or EX you can fork over $491 to get the same bits from a Honda dealer's parts department as an accessory. Those who aren't into the whole DIY thing will pay still more for installation.
In all cases the all-important cross rails your gear is meant to attach to aren't part of the deal. Honda wants another $791 for a pair of those. Ouch. This may be a job for the aftermarket.
October 30, 2012
Since our 2012 Honda CR-V apparently doesn't come with a cargo net and I couldn't very well have my precious Halloween party booze spill all over its 37.2 cubic feet of cargo space, this did in a pinch. FYI, footwells are also too big to secure one bag of booze. In other news, those with long legs love it I'm sure.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor
October 29, 2012
I knew the CR-V could haul plenty of stuff for my kid's birthday party -- coolers, ice tub, chairs, an old pigskin -- but I didn't think it would have the depth to haul two 8-foot long folding tables. A fold-flat front passenger seat like the Honda Fit's would have made easier work of this task, but as it was this was simple.
Slide the seat max forward, recline until the seatback met the folded second row, remove the headrest and slide the tables to the windshield. There was still almost another foot of clearance to the liftgate. Impressive.
No room for the kid and her mom, though. I left them at home and ate the cake by myself.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor
October 22, 2012
I was off to the local recycling depot this morning in our 2012 Honda CR-V when I saw this truck parked on the curb. It looks like he beat me to all of the good cardboard. It also looks like he didn't plan for it to rain last night. Better to see him parked than trying to drive. Good luck, buddy.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 10,226 miles
October 15, 2012
There's nothing like a desert road trip in the fall, when the heat of summer starts to slack off and the sky gets a little more interesting. I grabbed the keys to our 2012 Honda CR-V and joined 10 of my friends for a few days of hiking and exploring near Tonopah, Nevada and the ET Highway, some 405 miles away from home base.
September 19, 2012
I passed a first-gen Honda CR-V on the road this morning, and thought it looked much smaller than I remembered.
So I did what I always tell my kid to do. I looked it up:
2012 Honda CR-V AWD
Height: 65.1 in
Length: 178.3 in Wheelbase: 103.1 in
Wheelbase: 103.1 in
Ground clearance: 6.7 in
Curb weight: 3,426 lbs
September 18, 2012
Yesterday, I posted a quick infographic on the Prius lineup. Today, it's crossover SUVs that include our Honda CR-V. You can read the whole story here.
On the numbers alone, the Honda CR-V nabbed the top spot among its competitors. For a family CUV, it makes a lot of sense, but for me?
I'm in the minority that would pick the Kia Sportage. I don't need a ton of space and the fuel economy is only off by 1 mpg. In terms of TCO, it's pretty bad, but those who know me would understand my problem with money and sensibility.
I attended the media launch for the Sportage, and maybe what they said resonated with me. It was aimed at single- or single-minded males. Zing! Now, that wasn't enough for me to drink the Kia Kool-Aid, but it certainly pointed me in that direction. Sharp styling and a tighter suspension had me sold, but I know most would pick something else.
What is your choice?
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor
August 31, 2012
I recently bought a new chair for my computer desk at home. Staples had a nice one on sale, and for just $8 more they assemble it for you. I opted for that and was glad I had the CR-V the next day when I picked it up.
Stowing the chair in the CR-V's cargo hold took all of three seconds. I forgot the bungee cords but it was a non-issue as the load floor carpet and going smooth and easy when turning at the lights kept it from sliding around during the brief (two-mile) trip to my house.
Even though a compact hatchback would've likely been adequate for this particular task, it reminded me how convenient an SUV's cavernous cargo hold can be. Were I to get an SUV, this compact, easy to park, good on gas (26 mpg in traffic-ridden L.A.) crossover with its 71 cubic feet of maximum cargo space would suit my needs just fine.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor
August 27, 2012
The CR-V has a nifty center console, but owners of the previous-generation model know that this wasn't always the case. In last year's CR-V, the space currently occupied by the center console was an open area that could be used to stow large bags and whatnot.
I like the center console from an aesthetic standpoint, since it makes the cabin look more like an SUV's and less like a ladies' purse repository. And the console's bin is plenty big enough to store everything from gym bags to wine bottles, so no utility is lost. The only drawback is that the console makes the cockpit look and feel a bit less airy and spacious than that of the outgoing model.
Any owners of the previous-generation CR-V out there? Are you sad to see that open space go?
Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor
August 14, 2012
I know I'm not the first to notice, but I have to give more props to Honda for having this hugely usable center cubby in the CR-V. As my co-workers will attest, my knapsack-style gym bag is like another appendage. In addition to my gym clothes this thing is packed with Clif Bars, water, iPod with armband holder, and shower stuff. Yet this jam-packed jock bag easily drops into the deep bin between the seats. And as Dan E. has noted, there's no flip-open lid to get in the way as the CR-V features a disappearing roll-top cover. I'm sure ladies with oversize handbags (like my wife) would appreciate this convenient feature as well.
John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 6,105 miles
August 01, 2012
You didn't think all of my comments on the 2012 Honda CR-V would be negative, did you? Yesterday's gripes aside, the CR-V does do a lot of things right.
Cargo management is its forte. The CR-V swallows more stuff than it's outside appearance would suggest -- 37.2 cubic feet behind the rear seats -- and that volume presents a very usable shape because a typical carry-on roller bag fits under the cargo cover standing up. This made it ridiculously easy to fit all four of our bags with plenty of room to spare for laptop bags, a camera bag, makeup totes and whatnot.
Should you need more space (which we didn't,) the handle visible to the left is the release for the rear seatback.
July 25, 2012
The previous two generations of the Honda CR-V have always stood out for their low rear liftover height, and I saw the practical application of this in the Bevmo parking lot last week.
I was picking up three cases of sparkling wine, so I'd backed the vehicle into the nearest available parking spot to the door. It couldn't have been any easier to get the cava into the CR-V. Case is included for scale.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 2,961 miles
July 24, 2012
One thing that changed on the 2012 Honda CR-V is the liftgate. The one on the 2007-'11 model was lightweight and easy to close no matter what your level of upper-body strength. But the liftgate on our 2012 model is notably heavier and to get it shut securely, I find myself getting my legs into it a lot more often -- kind of like this...
July 24, 2012
On the eve of my wedding, I loaded nine cases of wine in our long-term 2012 Honda CR-V, plus another eight or nine boxes and bins of plates, napkins, glasses and assorted decorations. Everything fit into the CR-V, and I still had a clear view out the back for the 30-mile drive to the church.
The CR-V has a nice, box-shaped cargo bay with minimal intrustion from suspension components, and you get an almost flat load surface when you fold the seats... there's a slight uphill slope (which is perhaps a slight disappointment given that the rear seat-bottom cushions now fold up independently of the seat-backs, eliminating the fore/aft adjustment the rear seat used to have), but the slope didn't stop me from tetrising everything in snugly.
Bottom line, I had a good amount of stuff to haul, and although I was pretty confident it would all fit into the CR-V, it went in a lot more quickly than I'd expected.
July 23, 2012
Of course, the answer is, no, you haven't seen our long-term 2012 Honda CR-V for the last week, because I've been on vacation with it. It wasn't anything like a heroic road trip, rather the week of insanity leading up to my wedding. Honestly, I've lost count of how many times we went to Target.
By the end of it, though, I'd racked up 600 miles of driving, all in Southern California. I hauled everything from family members to cases of wine to my own wedding dress, so yeah, mundane stuff. But I can't think many other vehicles I'd rather use for constant errand-running.
I've had trouble warming up to small crossover SUVs in the past, so either I'm getting old and soft, or this is a really good one. The ride quality is comfortable -- significantly more so than the previous two CR-Vs -- and the driver seat is well shaped, supportive and suitable for extended waits in unexpected traffic. The steering is darn good, too, especially for an electric setup. It's stable and unobtrusive on the highway and nice and precise around town.
The only thing I don't like about it is the same thing I didn't love about the previous CR-V...
...the drivetrain. The engine is weak in the grunt department (though at least it's smooth), and the transmission is slow to come up with downshifts (but again, smooth when it does shift). The thing is, the rest of the package is so strong, it's hard to give it much grief for this. More stories of the mundane coming soon!
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 2,961 miles
July 13, 2012
Here's another in what's sure to be a vast series of posts on our 2012 Honda CR-V's clever storage solutions. Yesterday, I made a fuss about wanting a handbrake and said I'd give up some of the CR-V's center console storage to get one.
Hours later, I was almost ready to take back those short-sighted words when I realized the deep center console box is a nifty solution for transporting wine securely from the grocery store. The rolltop-desk-style sliding lid is particularly convenient as it doesn't get in the way like a flip-top lid would.
Aside, someone asked if we would max out the hauling capacity of the CR-V. No promises, but that may happen next week when I pick up the six cases of wine I ordered, plus some cava-type sparkling wine, plus numerous other party paraphernalia.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 2,535 miles
July 12, 2012
Honda is really good at some things. Small-item storage is one of them. Here, as you can see, is where the creative Honda people intended for me to keep my runnning shoes.
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor
July 12, 2012
Here's one reason the CR-V's cargo area absolutely rules. Forgive the Beyonce in the background as this was shot at a gas station.