2012 Honda CR-V Long-Term Road Test - Miscellaneous

2012 Honda CR-V Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests (1)
  • Comparison (2)
  • Long-Term

2012 Honda CR-V: Strong Sales

October 10, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

Last month, the Ford Escape was the best-selling SUV in the land, with sales of 22,607 units. The Honda CR-V was very close behind, selling 21,439 units.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Go Ahead Sis, Get It.

July 29, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

My sister Maria has almost exclusively driven Honda Civics since the mid-1980s, when her younger, car nut brother (yes, that's me) told her to get one when she was looking for a well-built compact sedan.

She's always bought them new, kept 'em for about 8 years and put over 100k on each with nary a problem. Now she's looking at replacing her 2006 Civic EX coupe with a compact crossover.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Comparison Test

July 15, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

Just before our long-term 2012 Honda CR-V left our test fleet, it had the toughest job of its time with us. It faced off against the 2013 Toyota RAV4 and the 2014 Mazda CX-5.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Size Is Just Right

June 5, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

Nowadays, the lines between vehicular size segments are becoming increasingly blurred. Modern "compact" cars are about the same size as yesteryear's midsizers. And even within a current segment, size classification can be murky. Witness the compact crossover SUV segment, where the truly compact Hyundai Tucson (173.2 inches long) rubs fenders with the Chevy Equinox (187.8 inches long). At 178 inches long, the Honda CR-V sits between these two, and is about the same length as a Ford Escape.

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2012 Honda CR-V: It's Good at Everything

May 15, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

I remember when we were still talking about adding a 2012 Honda CR-V to our long-term test fleet. I was a proponent of it. The CR-V excels at being ordinary, and since most of us lead ordinary lives most of the time, this Honda is nearly impossible to dislike.

Space efficiency is the CR-V's greatest asset. It feels hugely spacious on the inside, and you're sitting in comfy seats with simple controls and useful storage slots all around you. Yet on the outside, it's not huge at all, and so it fits just about anywhere. It's a better fit in most garages than Honda's Accord.

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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.

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2012 Honda CR-V: 20,000 Miles and We Barely Noticed

April 19, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

Our long-term 2012 Honda CR-V recently hit 20,000 miles, and we drove another 400 miles before we even noticed. Of course, the CR-V isn't really a milestone kind of car. It just goes about its business and doesn't make a fuss about anything. That's probably why I like it.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Double-Duty Mirror

March 27, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

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.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Headlights

March 14, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

Sometimes we get emails from disgruntled car buyers calling us out for not addressing certain shortcomings in X, Y or Z's road test or model review. The most recent of these emails concerns the Honda CR-V. Here's what this reader had to say:

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2012 Honda CR-V: Dropping the Second Row

March 11, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

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.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Trip B Average MPG, Too

March 8, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

Here's something kinda cool about the 2012 Honda CR-V: An average fuel economy readout not just for Trip A, but also a separate one for Trip B.

I found this particularly handy on my road trip to Mammoth because it meant I could let Trip B keep a running tally of both miles covered and average mpg for the entire trip, while Trip A took care of each fuel fill-up segment.

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2012 Honda CR-V: The Right Size

February 27, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

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.

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2012 Honda CR-V: A Real Key

February 26, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

Look, the 2012 Honda CR-V has a real old-fashioned key. Well, not completely old school as it has buttons to lock/unlock.

But I mean the design. The key itself doesn't fold away into a piece of plastic. And it has a metal key, not just a plastic fob.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Expansive View

February 22, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

It's nice to be able to see out the front of a car. Modern cars are stuffed full of airbags and the pillars can greatly reduce visibility.

I appreciate the added safety features, of course. But it's refreshing to have a wide, expansive view out the windshield, like in our 2012 Honda CR-V.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Writing on the Headliner

February 21, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

This weekend I noticed there was a long, dark pen mark on our 2012 Honda CR-V's light gray headliner.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Missing a Blind-Spot Monitor

February 11, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

We've previously written a couple of entries about our long-term 2012 Honda CR-V's blind-spot driver-side mirror. Neither was favorable. Kelly Toepke wrote that it reminded her of bifocal glasses, while James Riswick observed that Ford's blind-spot mirror design works a lot better. You can add me in to the mix as an editor who's unmoved by our CR-V's mirror design.

This would seem to be a fairly minor thing, and perhaps it is. But I was also thinking recently how my 67-year-old mom really likes the blind-spot detection system on her Ford Fusion. For a lot of drivers, I think blind-spot detection systems are great. But you can't get one on the CR-V. And that, I think, is important.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Delivers The Right Qualities

February 1, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

A couple of weeks ago we noted how the 2012 Honda CR-V was the best-selling vehicle in its segment last year. Some of that success is no doubt due to sales momentum. Honda's been doing this a long time, and there's a lot of loyalty associated with the CR-V. But it all had to start somewhere, and the latest CR-V is still excellent at what people expect out of it.

Read through our various posts on our long-term CR-V the past six months and this is what you'll learn: It's roomy inside, but not too bulky to drive. It's comfortable around town and on the highway, but there's still a secure feeling to the handling. It's fuel efficient. It's inexpensive to operate and own. It's got top safety scores. And unlike a small or midsize sedan, you can fit bulky things in the cargo area and get it with all-wheel drive.

Whether you're young and single, starting a family, or have already made it to empty-nest status, the Honda CR-V will likely fit your life quite nicely.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 16,353 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: Top 10 Best-Seller for 2012

January 23, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

As last year's sales numbers come rolling in, the folks at Honda have plenty to smile about. The Honda CR-V nabbed the eighth spot on the list of 2012's best-selling vehicles, sandwiched between the Toyota Corolla and the Ford Escape (the Honda Civic and Honda Accord also made the list). Its strong performance means that the CR-V was the best-selling SUV in the land last year.

Congrats, CR-V. With your comfortable ride quality, impressive features list and highly functional interior, it couldn't have happened to a nicer vehicle.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2012 Honda CR-V: An Owner's Impressions

January 18, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

I drove the CR-V to a friend's house to watch the Niners clean up the Pack. Since he owns a 2011 CR-V, I thought I'd get his impressions of the redesigned model. It wasn't exactly an apple-to-apple comparison. He owns an LX model, strictly a utility wagon, and admitted it was easy to be impressed by our EX-L's leather, nav system and quasi-piano black trim.

But he specifically liked the new CR-V's deep center console with the rolltop lid, even though he appreciates the functionality of his CR-V's flip-up table/console. He noted how the new CR-V cuts away some of its ceiling above the rear seats, allowing for more vertical cargo space. And being somewhat of a Luddite nostalgist himself (we sometimes record music at his house on an old 8-track tape machine), he liked that the new CR-V returns to an analog fuel gauge, needle and all, as opposed to the LCD digital display in his car.

He wasn't as enthused with the exterior design. Although the new CR-V looks a bit bolder, he voiced a complaint similar to that of others: the rear end just looks too long, lumpy, and overhangs its welcome. When asked if he'd consider trading up however, he said he'd be tempted, simply because he's been so pleased with his current CR-V. Thus, Honda's magical emotional connection sauce works its charm again.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor @ 15,500 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: 15,000 Miles In a Hurry

January 16, 2013

2012 Honda CRV

The goal for cars in the Edmunds long-term test fleet is to accumulate 20,000 miles during their 12-month stay. As of the New Year our 2012 Honda CR-V is comfortably ahead of schedule. It entered service last June 25th, which means it took just over six months to cross the 15,000-mile mark. At this rate 25,000 miles looks to be a cakewalk, and 30,000 miles isn't out of the question. Clearly, it's a popular choice.

Why? Anyone who has owned a CR-V will know the answer. It's practical, versatile, efficient and affordable, and the new generation ushered in with the 2012 model year may be the best example of the species to date. It also helps that the CR-V is a good road trip vehicle, as numerous road test editors in the office can attest.

We're pretty diligent about our fuel consumption records during the entire test period, and so far the CR-V has not let us down. The EPA's combined fuel economy rating for the 2012 Honda CR-V AWD is 25 mpg, and our 15,000-mile average is right on the money at 25.1 mpg.

Of course, carmakers have gotten into the habit of talking almost exclusively about highway fuel economy, as if all any of us ever did was criss-cross the country on the interstate highway system. We know better, but we'll play along.

Our AWD example's best tank so far was 31.3 mpg, compared to a highway rating of 30 mpg. Its best observed range to date has been 388.9 miles, but that was a 29.3 mpg run in which we pumped 13.3 gallons into its 15.3-gallon tank. The magic 400-mile barrier is clearly attainable on the right sort of trip.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 15,073 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: Unlike Pilot, Drives Like a Honda

January 15, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

I spent a great deal of time over the holidays in a Honda Pilot and discovered that it perfectly embodies the Honda tradition of vehicle packaging excellence. It's actually much shorter in length than a Mazda CX-9, for instance, but has more useable interior space, along with an abundance of little cubbies, bins and other clever storage solutions.

However, the Pilot drives absolutely nothing like a Honda. It feels more like an Expedition, with monumentally slow steering, roly poly body motions and a center of gravity that feels located a good three feet above the roof.

The CR-V, on the other hand, definitely feels like a Honda. Perhaps not like those hallowed Hondas of old that make certain folks weep at the thought of CRXs and mid-90s Civics with those funky one-armed headrests. But it definitely has that dynamic DNA — responsive steering, a relatively nimble handling feel — while also having an interior that's quite cleverly packaged.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 15,363 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: Can You Tow it Behind a Motorhome?

January 14, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

You can tow any car behind a motorhome if you bring a trailer. But that's not the preferred method. The ideal scenario is pictured above: a so-called "dinghy" vehicle rolling behind on its own four wheels, ready to be unhooked and driven around on side trips while the motorhome sits parked with its awnings unfurled and its sliders popped out in full relaxation mode. The extra towed weight, loading time and storage hassle of a trailer puts an unwelcome damper on such proceedings.

This activity goes by many names: dinghy towing, flat towing and four-down towing to name a few. As you can imagine there are mechanical implications for the car involved.

Automatics tend to be less compatible than manuals, in large part because of the way some of them are lubricated. Some all-wheel drive systems can hack it, others cannot. The only way to know for sure is to dive into the owner's manual.

The only transmission offered in the 2012 Honda CR-V is a five-speed automatic, but the drivetrain comes in front-drive and all-wheel-drive versions. The latter is more versatile for this sort of usage because it can tackle sightseeing terrain that's a bit dodgier.

But can it be done? Does the 2012 Honda CR-V make a good dinghy?

The answer is yes. Any 2012 Honda CR-V can be safely towed behind a motorhome, be it a front-drive or AWD version. The one caveat is this: the front-driver can also be towed with its front tires on a dolly, if you're into that sort of thing, but the AWD models cannot — only four-down dinghy towing for that one. But that's OK. That's what we're after.

As usual, Honda wants you to do things in a particular way to stay within the bounds of your warranty and avoid damage.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Throttle Response Done Right

January 10, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

The 2012 Honda CR-V's throttle response is so perfectly intuitive, so perfectly supple that it surprises me if I haven't driven it in awhile. Yes, that's right, I'm actually more shocked these days when I drive a car that doesn't immediately lurch forward at throttle tip-in rather than one that does. This abrupt throttle thing has gotten out of hand.

But the CR-V's gas pedal is so well-calibrated that it doesn't matter if you take off gently, with a little gusto, or immediately floor it. It's always smooth. Which makes the daily drive less of a hassle.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 15,343 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: Traveling With a Rooftop Cargo Box

January 7, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

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?

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2012 Honda CR-V: Installing a Factory Rooftop Cargo Box

January 2, 2013

2012 Honda CR-V

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.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Installing Factory Roof Rack Crossbars

December 25, 2012

2012 Honda CR-V

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.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Factory Roof Rack Follies

December 18, 2012

2012 Honda CR-V

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.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Wide Open

November 26, 2012

2012 Honda CR-V_90 degree door.jpg

As best I can tell, this is a new feature on the current-generation CR-V: rear doors that swing open nearly 90 degrees. I only discovered this in an empty driveway while shuffling a car seat in and out of the CR-V. Seems like you only discover these things through physical interface with the car: pushing the door open wider with your foot, thigh or butt until you realize you've either dislodged the hinges or that these doors do, in fact, open 90 degrees.

Cool feature whether you raise kids or ride bikes. At its longest point (just past the handle), the fully-opened door extends almost 38 inches from the body.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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2012 Honda CR-V: Airport Parking Oil Change Follow-Up

November 21, 2012


Unbeknownst to our airport parking oil change technician, I set a trap under the hood of our 2012 Honda CR-V to see if they really did do the work I paid for. Well, no, actually, I didn't set a trap intentionally, but the underhood mess created by my escapades on a temporarily wet dry lakebed in Nevada a few weeks back amounted to the same thing.

Yes, I'll wash it off, of course. The point is this: the technician either didn't spill a single drop that he needed to wipe up around the cap or he didn't actually add any oil or do the work.

A check of the dipstick revealed the golden hue of uncontaminated new oil, so it would seem we are dealing with a mechanic that is proficient at not spilling much.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Airport Parking Oil Change

November 20, 2012


In our last episode I drove our 2012 Honda CR-V to LAX and parked it at Wally Park for the duration of my trip to Japan. With oil maintenance looming, I decided to try their oil change service.

For $54.95 they'd change the oil (synthetic) and filter and throw in a car wash, too. I made sure the attendant wrote 0W-20 on the work ticket, the recommended oil viscosity from the CR-V's owner's manual.

You can almost smell what happened next when I got back to LA and drove home.

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2012 Honda CR-V: A Standout For Not Standing Out

November 08, 2012

Honda CRV beauty.jpg

I'm pretty sure this was the first time I've driven our CR-V long-termer. And it stood out for me.

But not because it's exceptional at anything. Rather, because there's nothing that this little SUV does badly. Well, except for maybe that rear styling.

But back to my point. So far, anyway, I haven't found any truly annoying driving quirks.

There's no wonkily-abrupt throttle delivery. The CR-V's is smooth and intuitive.

Same for the automatic. You can rag on it for only being a five-speed, but it's exceptionally subtle and reacts just quickly enough to throttle inputs.

The ride is well-damped, nothing at all like the jiggly Kia Sportage short-termer I drove the other night.

The engine doesn't have a ton of power, but it's also not thrashy.

Ultimately, there's nothing overly exciting about the CR-V. I certainly wouldn't call it fun to drive. But in terms of getting folks from A to B with zero fuss and in plenty of comfort, it gets the job done.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 10,998 miles.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Groovy

October 28, 2012


Our 2012 Honda CR-V was parked in my driveway the other afternoon. The sun was at just the right angle to highlight the tire tread grooves of its all-seasons. Without these the CR-V would be slipping and sliding every time it crossed a puddle.

Maybe I'm easily amused. But I think this is pretty cool. Its something you don't see every day, at least.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 10,230 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: Low True Cost to Own

October 26, 2012

honda crv tco.jpg

If you're a frequent visitor to the Edmunds site, you're probably familiar with True Cost to Own, a metric that looks at a wide range of ownership costs, including things such as depreciation, maintenance costs and fuel expense.

The numbers change from month to month, and for the month of October, the CR-V had the lowest True Cost to Own in its segment (SUVs $25K-$35K). Not exactly a surprise, given Honda's reputation for reliability.

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

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2012 Honda CR-V: Poor Planning

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

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2012 Honda CR-V: Now, That is Cool

October 22, 2012


On my way to wash our 2012 Honda CR-V this morning I encountered this guy. Red Bull calls Santa Monica home, as we do, so it was only semi-surprising to see it. But when I got back to the office I did some research. Apparently, this thing is even more awesome on the inside. Take a look...

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2012 Honda CR-V: Our Favorite Caption

October 19, 2012


Thanks to boff for our favorite caption.

Thanks to all who participated. Here are the others that made us laugh our faces off:

Ghost In The Machine (boff)
Ghost rider (teampenske3)
Who turned the seat heaters on high? (noburgers)
The CR-V is no bum steer. (ergsum)
Yup, dead steering! (billtrez)
Okay, whose boneheaded idea was this?! (ergsum)
The CR-V is a bonefied off-roader! (altimadude05)
Pushing Daisy. (kain77)
Roast rage. (kain77)
Honda, a car so reliable, it will outlast its driver. (itsmpt)
License, Branding and registration please. (stpawyfrmdonut)
That drive really took a lot out of me. (stpawyfrmdonut)
I have no beefs with this car. (mnorm1)
He was racing a Ferrari and got slaughtered. (mnorm1)
Cattle in cars getting coffee (stpawyfrmdonut)
Top Steer (ergsum)

What was your favorite?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Honda CR-V AWD: Already at 10 Kilomiles

October 18, 2012


Our 2012 Honda CR-V quietly rolled past the 10,000-mile mark on the way to work after a few eventful days under gorgeous skies in Nevada. This trip alone accounted for 1,100 of those miles, but with all the dirt roads and the start-stop driving we did they weren't particularly efficient ones.

At one point we had to buy gas priced at $5.89 per gallon at the Nipton Road exit on our way back from Las Vegas. Unlike the nearby bustling metropolis of Baker, there's only one station at Nipton Road, so they've got no price competiton. Yikes! Keep on going to Baker if you can make it. Compared to this mugging you'll save a ton.

Still, the tank of gas we bought there resulted in 30 mpg, our best mileage of the trip. This matches the CR-V AWD's 30-mpg EPA highway rating despite our load of 4 adults and their luggage and a general desire to get home without wasting any time.

Our worst tanks, achieved for the most part while poking around in the dirt, were 20.5 and 21.1 mpg. These crummy but understandable results were largely responsible dragging our trip average down to 24.2 mpg, slightly below the CRV AWD's 25 mpg EPA combined rating.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 10,000 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: You Write the Caption

October 18, 2012


Dan Edmunds sent me this photo from his adventures in the desert. We haven't had a caption contest in a while, so I'll give you until Friday afternoon before I post our favorite.

What is your caption?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Honda CR-V AWD: TPMS False Alarm

October 17, 2012


It was a brisk morning in Tonopah, Nevada and the other two vehicles in our convoy had already left the parking lot. "I have a blog photo to take in front of this mural," I said. "You guys go on ahead. I'll catch up."

Just after they got out of radio range I noticed that the 2012 Honda CR-V's TPMS light was ablaze. "Oh, expletive," I muttered, thinking back to the large number of small stones that had been strewn along the gravel roads we'd been on the previous day.

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2012 Honda CR-V AWD: Not-So-Dry Lakebed

October 16, 2012


Our three-vehicle convoy, consisting of our 2012 Honda CR-V, a Toyota FJ Cruiser and an Isuzu Rodeo, was following a trail headed due north out of Rachel, Nevada. Within a couple miles we'd encounter a nameless, medium-sized dry lakebed and motor straight across.

That was the plan, but nature had other ideas. The rains of the previous day had rehydrated the ancient lake, if only to a depth of a half-inch or so. That was all we could tell from shore as we all posed for walking-on-water photos, at any rate -- it could have been deeper and softer farther out.

To find out if we could continue on our intended route we sent the FJ Cruiser on ahead, with its knobbly wide-footprint tires and low range transfer case. He stayed close to "shore" as he crept around the perimeter, looking for a way around, but ended up aborting the trip when his front end suddenly hit softer ground and began to sink to the axle. After he extracated himself it was clear as mud we'd have to give up on this trail and go find another.

But that wasn't the end of it. We did what any of you would do: we hung around and splashed about in this most massive of puddles, making sure to stay close to shore and within range of the FJ's winch on our relatively hard-packed end of the lakebed.

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2012 Honda CR-V AWD: Into the Desert

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.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Not Seeing the Usefulness of i-MID

October 11, 2012


I've spent a lot of time in the 2012 Honda CR-V, and although I find its interior functional on a lot of different levels, the i-MID interface seen here at the top of the dash is not one of them. I almost never use it. I just leave it on the radio display. There is a wallpaper function, a trip computer display and a settings menu. But, in order, I'm too lazy to upload a photo, don't like to feel pressured by seeing my average mpg as I drive and never need to adjust those settings.

One potentially useful feature i-MID does offer is the ability to change audio sources using the buttons on the left side of the steering wheel.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Baby Buggy

October 08, 2012


So I'm recommending the 2012 Honda CR-V to people with young families all the time. Along with the Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5, it is my favorite of the new breed of compact utilities. And as with every Honda, the CR-V is a miracle of space-efficient packaging, a perfect container for grown-ups, small kids and all the stuff that comes with that stage in life.

The trouble is, I cannott drive the CR-V to work.

It's partly the route that I drive, as this portion of the San Diego Freeway is famously over-used and worn out. Even after recent resurfacing, the road crests noticeably on each overpass across the surface streets. The CR-V bounds over every crest as if it were some kind of baby buggy of the 1950s. It even kicks at little at the back, which is the classic sign of stiff springs in the rear that don't have as much rebound damping control as you'd like.

Ironically enough, this is the kind of ride behavior that always cursed utility vehicles that were based on pickup trucks (like the original Ranger-based Ford Explorer), which is part of the reason that preferences shifted to more comfortable, controlled crossovers on car platforms (like the new, Flex-based Ford Explorer).

I shouldn't complain, really. The CR-V's freeway ride isn't that bad. Plus, it's not like you can suspend the laws of physics, because when you calibrate springs stiff enough to carry the load of five people and all their stuff, you'll get a package that's not exactly suited to one person. This is why your basic heavy-duty pickup truck with an empty cargo bed seems to spend so much time in the air rather than on the ground as you drive it down the road at a high rate of speed – stiff springs for cargo capacity, not enough damping to control compression or (especially) rebound.

But even so, this reminds me that there's something about the way that Honda does its ride tuning that I don't get along with. For me, the only Honda that really suits me is the Acura ILX, which indeed has up-rated (and expensive) dampers as part of its suspension package.

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, Edmunds.com

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2012 Honda CR-V: Door Latch Recall

October 02, 2012


When we first reported a recall on the 2013 Honda CR-V for door latch failures, parts were not yet available at dealerships. Now they are in stock. So we called our local shop, Honda of Santa Monica to schedule service.

Renovations didn't seem to slow the process. This was a reasonably quick fix. Both front door latches and handles were replaced under warranty in about two hours, as promised. Now we are back on the road.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 7,895 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: Old-School Automatic

September 25, 2012


Our longterm 2012 Honda CR-V's five-speed automatic is a relic of a bygone era. It could use an additional cog if for no other reason than to not drop so far off the power following an upshift. Also, it's got a pushbutton lockout for 4th and 5th and old-school D2 and D1 selections on the console selector. I won't bother to bring up the non-revmatched downshifts when you use it, either (oops, too late). And no manual mode? What is it, 1991?

Niggles aside, it's not a bad gearbox. Just behind the times, that's all.

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor

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2012 Honda CR-V: Old vs New

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

Ground clearance: 6.7 in

Curb weight: 3,426 lbs

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2012 Honda CR-V: By the Numbers

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

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2012 Honda CR-V: Consolation Prize -- Voice Control Works Great

September 11, 2012


You can't do much with the 2012 Honda CR-V's navigation system when the vehicle is moving, at least not if it involves touching the screen. Mike Magrath already told you that. However, in a moment of mild desperation and annoyance over the weekend, I tried the voice control. And surprisingly, it works great.

Great, as in I almost never I have to repeat myself because the system usually understands me on the first try. All you do is hit the talking head icon button on the steering wheel, say "destination," and wait until it asks you what kind of destination you want to enter (i.e., "address," "intersection," etc.). Then, the nav lady guides you through the entry process, and prompts you enter the city, then the street, then the house/street number. Street names can sound alike, of course, so the Honda's system brings up a list of possibilities and lets you touch the screen (just this one time!) to select which of the names you actually said.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Yes, It's Official, I Am the Demographic

September 10, 2012


I drove our long-term 2012 Honda CR-V for two weeks before I got married, and so, with fondness, I selected it as my weekend car. I am a fan of this compact crossover, and true to its reputation, not because it does anything particularly well.

I know I could get more power and torque in a Ford Escape, a Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, or anything in this class with a V6. I know I'd prefer the steering and handling in the Mazda CX-5.

Yet, there's something about the way everything works together in this Honda that I just like. Throttle response is respectable. The automatic transmission shifts smoothly and feels kind of sophisticated for this class despite having only five forward gears. The ride quality is good, better than any previous CR-V, and it's composed over rough patches of freeway. And while this thing doesn't feel sharp and sporty through corners, it feels steady, capable, easygoing.

I also like sitting in the CR-V. The driving position is good for me, an adult of average height and weight, and there's a sense of space you don't get in other crossovers in this class.

I do have one complaint after my weekend in the Honda CR-V, though.

These reflector-type halogen headlights are dim. And they are as good as it gets, even on this $30,825 EX-L model. HIDs, or at least projector-beam headlights, need to happen.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 7,361 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: All I Would Need

August 31, 2012

crv cargo.jpg

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

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2012 Honda CR-V: Modest Price Hike for 2013

August 31, 2012


The CR-V has been a strong seller for Honda so far this year and apparently Honda doesn't want to do much to stall that momentum. Today, the company released pricing for the 2013 models that will hit dealers in a few weeks and the CR-V only got a $200 price bump.

There are no new features or changes this year, so no price hike would have been nice, too, but there's no getting around a little inflation from year to year. So far, we would say that it's well worth it as our long-termer has been well liked by almost everybody that gets behind the wheel.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor, @7.035 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: Seatbelt Lecture

August 29, 2012


I snapped this photo early in the morning sun as I was waiting for my daughter to meander out to the car. Today was her first day of 7th grade, and she was playing it super cool.

As we approached the circle drive in front of the crowded middle school, she unbuckled her seatbelt a tad bit too early, only to be audibly reprimanded by the Honda CR-V's female voice warning that the passenger's belt had become unhooked. Neither of us had heard that warning before.

"Jeez," said Emma. "I'm not even in the school yet, and people are already telling me what to do!"

Get used to it, kid.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 6,979 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: Multi-Talented Backup Camera

August 28, 2012


As you can see, the backup camera in our CR-V is not your average point-and-shoot. It has three available options for viewing the bumper you're about to run into.

Is this overkill?

Seems like it, although I'm sure there are situations where that fisheye view on the left comes in handy. So far, the standard setting in the middle seems to do the trick for me on most occasions.

I will admit that I'm becoming a bit too used to such cameras when it comes to parallel parking. It makes it so easy you barely have to think, and we all know where that eventually gets you.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com

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2012 Honda CR-V: Convenient Clearance

August 20, 2012

crv door clearance.jpg

I despise high curbs and parking blocks. Why there's no standardized height for these things escapes me. A conspiracy perhaps conjured up by curb/block manufacturers and body shops? Who knows? But after a passenger scraped the bottom edge of my MR-2's door so many years ago, I've learned to carefully check the clearance if it looks questionable.

When I rolled up into this prime parking spot with this rather tall curb-like structure on the driver's side, I opened the door slowly and saw that I had plenty of clearance. Cheers to the little crossover for eliminating one of life's little stress points in the asphalt jungle.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor

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2012 Honda CR-V: Blind-Spot Mirror

August 16, 2012

Thumbnail image for crv_mirror_1600.jpg

Kelly Toepke previously blogged about the integrated blind-spot mirror in the CR-V, noting that she found the distortion it causes to be annoying. I too found that it was strange, especially when wearing glasses. I also don't think it does a very good job of actually showing you what's in the car's blind spot. I think the Fiat 500 had a similar mirror, but I thought it did a better job.

Now, Ford's integrated blind-spot mirror (pictured after the jump) found in most of its cars is far superior. It gives you a much better view of what's going on at 7 and 8 o'clock. In fact, I like it much better than the little blinking lights that come with high-tech blind-spot warning systems.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor

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2012 Honda CR-V: 5,000 Miles Already

August 08, 2012


Sure, a long road trip doesn't hurt, but our 2012 Honda CR-V has already covered 5,000 miles. It happened a couple of days ago on the way home as we passed Mount Shasta headed south on Interstate 5. We'll add at least 600 more by the time we arrive back at home base.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 5,000 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V AWD: Oregon Coast Highway

August 07, 2012


The Oregon coast is a great place to visit. Every roadside pullout is stunning and it almost seems as if there's a law requiring picturesque towns to be placed 25 miles apart, with a handful of outlying homes sprinkled between each. But don't be in a hurry because the locals most certainly are not.

Coast highway 101, though smooth-textured and generally well maintained, tends toward sinuous where it hugs the seaside cliffs and is often contorted due to incessant land movement downslope toward the sea. Oftentimes it's a challenging road that tells a lot about the worth of a given suspension calibration on roads that are less than perfect. Despite this fact it gets little attention from automaker suspension engineers because it's so remote. Pity.

Above is the Battle Rock parking lot in Port Orford.

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2012 Honda CR-V: Eye Candy

August 07, 2012

Honda analog clock.jpg

If you decide you don't need to display a boring, wholly redundant analog clock, the Honda CR-V has a non-essential but nice feature. You can upload your own images via the USB connection and display them in that space instead.

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2012 Honda CR-V AWD: Garage Find

August 03, 2012


Today we helped Dad clean out part of his garage here on the Oregon coast. Behind numerous "useful scraps" of plywood that "might come in handy someday" we found an old magnetic sign that dad used to slap onto the side of his parts-chasing trucks.

A former racer himself (1957 Indy 500 rookie of the year, in fact,) he used to own a shop that built race cars until he retired and moved up here over 20 years ago. One of my first jobs had me driving around southern California in a Ranchero or Corvair pickup with this sign stuck to the door, picking up things like Earl's Supply AN fittings, Premier nuts and bolts, FBI fuel cells, Halibrand rear ends and cro-moly tubing bends that would later make their way onto racecars. You could say I was born into this line of work, because it's true.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 4,701 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: Bread and Butter

August 01, 2012


Thanks in a large part to the all-new CR-V, Honda posted its best year-to-date sales figures since 2008.

The 2012 Honda CR-V has set its seventh consecutive monthly sales record with 20,554 units sold in July. That's 47-percent more than July 2011. The CR-V's sales numbers so far for 2012 are 167,236 units.

That's nearing Accord and Civic territory for best-selling models.

Are any of you contemplating buying a Honda CR-V?

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2012 Honda CR-V AWD: Stacked

July 30, 2012


Monterey's Cannery Row is a very busy tourist destination, with little obvious parking for the hotels clumped along the narrow seaside street. I wandered into our hotel's parking structure to find out where the valets had been stashing our 2012 Honda CR-V each night and discovered the Clement Intercontinental's secret: they stack cars on dozens of lifts like this one. This discovery also explains why they suggest a 15-minute heads up from your room before you come down for your car. Turns out they have to shuffle the deck if your vehicle happens to be perched on top.

At least that's not a Triumph Spitfire or Fiat X1/9 up there.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 3,874 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V AWD: Moto GP Weekend

July 26, 2012


It's not often that you get to watch someone you don't know drive off in your car without getting freaked out...unless, of course, there's valet parking involved. Here our 2012 Honda CR-V is being wisked away to some unseen parking structure just off Cannery Row as my wife and I look on from our third floor balcony.

This year's Moto GP weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca coincides with our 20th anniversary, and since Monterey is halfway to Mom and Dad's place on the Oregon coast it only makes sense to keep heading north once the final checkered flag falls on Sunday.

Saturday night will prove interesting because the street below is to be closed and turned into a huge motorcycle parking lot. I hear alcohol consumption, whooping and hollering, gratuitous rev throwing and in-place burnouts will feature heavily. Whatever transpires, we'll have a bird's eye view.

As for the CR-V, all I know so far is this: a) it managed just 27.7 mpg during our semi-liesurely cruise up highway 101 and; b) I'm not in love with the laggy response of the touchscreen that controls the iPod/audio interface.

Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 3,487 miles

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2012 Honda CR-V: Sideview Bifocals

July 24, 2012


The driver's sideview mirror on the Honda CR-V is making me crazy. The line on the left-third of the mirror distorts my view much the same way my new bifocal glasses does.

If I wore the glasses or drove the CR-V everyday, perhaps I'd get used to it.

But for now, I'm simply annoyed.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor

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2012 Honda CR-V: Not a Fan of the Foot-Operated Parking Brake

July 12, 2012


I'm not opposed to foot-operated parking brakes. But I don't like having them in compact vehicles like our long-term 2012 Honda CR-V.

The reason is that the footwell is small to begin with -- it's not very wide nor very deep. Adding a foot-operated parking brake doesn't help this situation. And with my long legs and relatively large feet, it's easy to trip on it getting into the CR-V if the parking brakes happens to be off (and therefore in the "up" position).

After I'm seated in the vehicle, the parking brake is still kind of a hazard. When the brake is still on, it's pretty much on exactly the same plane as the brake pedal (and in the way of the dead pedal), so the first thing I do when I get seated is to take the parking brake off... I'd rather just keep my foot on the main brake pedal (if necessary) while doing stuff like entering an address in the nav system. Yet, even in the brake's off position, I'll still sometimes catch my foot on it while getting settled to drive.

Parking brake off:

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