New Honda CR-V Review

2012 Honda CR-V 4dr SUV Exterior

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When the original Honda CR-V debuted in the late 1990s, its mission was simple: to offer a distinct alternative to more mainstream mid- and full-size large SUVs. With its car-based design, economical four-cylinder engine and sedanlike ride and handling, the CR-V was an instant hit. Priced competitively and offering plenty of passenger room and cargo capacity for most people's needs, the Honda CR-V has long enjoyed strong sales numbers and much loyalty from consumers.

Today, the compact- or small-SUV segment has grown to include more than a dozen different models, with varying philosophies of what constitutes the perfect blend of size, power and capability. While some models offer more powerful upgrade engines and others can deliver true off-road capability, the Honda CR-V remains focused on its more practical aspirations. True to form, it is one of the best choices available in the all-important areas of being both easy to drive and family-friendly.

Current Honda CR-V
The Honda CR-V is offered in familiar LX, EX and EX-L trim levels. Even the LX comes pretty well equipped, while the EX and EX-L get additional convenience and luxury features. The EX-L is also eligible for either a navigation system or a rear-seat entertainment system. You can't get the navigation and the DVD systems together, however.

Powering all CR-Vs is a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that's good for 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque, mated to a five-speed transmission. On all models, front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is optional.

The newest Honda CR-V's list of merits is a long one. Its interior is intelligently thought out and boasts strong fit and finish. Its ride is more comfortable and quieter than before, and handling and steering remain high points. Its major shortcoming concerns passing power in certain circumstances. We've found the CR-V's acceleration peppy enough around town, but somewhat sluggish during merging and passing maneuvers on gradients. However, as long as your beaten path doesn't include many steep roads or overly heavy loads, the Honda CR-V should provide all the room, refinement and performance you will ever need.

Read the most recent 2014 Honda CR-V review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Honda CR-V page.

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