- The fourth-generation 2012 Honda CR-V made its public debut at the Los Angeles auto show.
- The 2012 CR-V goes on sale at Honda's U.S. dealers on December 15.
- The latest edition of the best-selling compact crossover features more power and torque with better fuel economy.
LOS ANGELES — Honda didn't change the styling much on the 2012 CR-V, which was formally unveiled Wednesday at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. But the fourth generation of the best-selling compact crossover, which goes on sale at Honda's U.S. dealers on December 15, features a number of improvements under the skin, notably more power and torque with better fuel economy.
Even Honda referred to the new CR-V as "the latest evolution" of its popular five-passenger crossover.
The 2012 model is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 185 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque — modest increases from 180 hp and 161 lb-ft on the 2011 CR-V. The 2.4-liter is mated still to a five-speed automatic transmission.
Four-wheel-drive versions of the 2012 CR-V get a new driveline — Honda calls it Real Time All-Wheel-Drive with Intelligent Control System — that returns EPA fuel economy of 22 mpg in city driving and 30 mpg on the highway, up from last year's 21/27 ratings. The standard front-wheel-drive variant of the 2012 CR-V is EPA-rated at 23/31 city/highway, compared with last year's 21/28.
Honda has focused some new CR-V features on younger parents (and singles) who rely heavily on mobile devices for communication, information and entertainment. Bluetooth connectivity is now standard, as are an intelligent multi-information display (i-MID) and an SMS text messaging function, which can read smartphone texts aloud over the audio system. The new CR-V also features an iPhone-compatible Pandora Internet Radio interface, which works through the i-MID.
Features that will likely appeal to owners of all ages include a multi-angle rearview camera, a roomy center console, a lower cargo floor and an easy fold-down split rear seat.
Honda has dropped the mid SE trim level on the new CR-V. The 2012 range will start with the CR-V LX, which gets more standard equipment, including air-conditioning, cruise control, electric power steering and a 160-watt audio system. Next up is the CR-V EX, which adds a power moonroof, 17-inch alloy wheels and an upgraded audio system. At the top of the line is the CR-V EX-L, which adds leather interior with a 10-way power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and 328-watt premium audio system.
Among the options for 2012 are a sat-nav system and DVD rear entertainment system.
All models are available in front- or all-wheel drive.
Edmunds.com says: Having long ago identified the target market — and hit the bulls-eye dead on — Honda isn't about to stray too far from a winning formula.