Her and His Reviews

September 2012

2012 Honda CR-V 5 DR

There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that! To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her and His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

MSRP: $30,605 MSRP: Prices start at $23,325; tested model at $30,605
A universal, utilitarian vehicle for many years and this year's model is no different. Led by a 2.4 liter, 185 horsepower, the four cylinder CR-V is a steady, consistent and top performer. This cross over sports an updated power train. Powered by a 185 horsepower four, the CR-V certainly was the performer on the road. Lively and quick, it certainly brings it on the highway and on the street. Brakes were far better than average, but the steering system seemed less centered than other Hondas I've driven
Fuel Economy
23 city and 31highway miles. 23/31--about average or perhaps a bit better, for this particular class of vehicle.
The Car
Redesigned in 2012, this CRV has expanded room, somewhat improved fuel efficiency and really nice technology features ? see Technology. The redesigns - both in terms of styling, trim and organization are noticeable and needed. The CR-V, the consummate 'chick SUV', is received nicely with the emphasis on refinement of existing features and styling. The All Wheel Drive handles well, with responsiveness, security and confidence. Acceleration and comfort also get excellent grades. Nimble radius is effortless to get out of tight spaces. Honda (and Toyota) used to own this market exclusively. The Korean brands, Kia and Hyundai, and the Nissan Murano, have taken huge market share away from these two key leaders because of very cautious design upgrades. Women now have many choices in this class ? which is good for the customer, not so great for Honda. The adjustability and the telescoping steering wheel make driving a customized fit! The back seat fits 100% flush flat by pushing a button ? no wrestling required. The EX model has a sunroof, roof rails, a cargo cover and sports 17" wheels. Leather, very good grade, comfortable seating including power lumbar for the driver's seat ? always a plus for longer trips or anyone with back issues. Honda has updated the CR-V nicely with the emphasis on refinement of existing features and bringing the styling up to date with other brands. It rides pretty nicely, has a lovely, well-equipped interior with controls arranged and operated in ways that will be completely familiar to anyone who's ever had a Honda or driven one. They also wisely went with styling that was reminiscent of all the CVR-V generations that have come and gone. The updating of the CR-V thus should find plenty of friends among Honda lovers and plenty of others, too. But as I've said countless times about Honda recently, I personally think they were too conservative with the CR-V redesign. It simply is not memorable enough or appealing enough to the eye to stand out in a very crowded field. It looks and feels little different from older models, and I don't think that will be good enough to retain allegiance from the public for very long. Sorry Honda.
The CR-V gets excellent safety grades from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Driver and passenger air bags, and side and read head airbags. ABS and disc brakes. Stability control, safety locks, brake assist and child safety locks. A most excellent attribute this year is the rear backup camera is standard. Nothing unusual here. Plenty of airbags, traction and stability control, etc. By the way, the CR-V is extremely stable and forgiving on the road, so its handling is predictable, steady and worry-free.
Honda has amped up the tech features this year. Now get Pandora radio interface (only avail through iPhone) and get text messages read aloud (not avail through all phone brands ? who buys Blackberry anymore?) Lots of auxillary jacks, USB/iPod interface and Bluetooth for hands free driving, Again, rear camera is standard. Heated side mirrors is a wondrous feature on those sub 30 degree winter days Keyless entry, a mutli-functional informational display, 4 speaker sound system with CD player, and Satellite radio gets you personalized favorites. NAV system is optional. Look for such goodies as Pandora Internet radio interface and an SMS text messaging function. You can also have Bluetooth and a rearview camera as standard fare on all CR-Vs and, for the first time, a rear DVD entertainment system is available. One very cool feature is a one pull rear seat that makes lowering and raising a snap. Standard equipment is pretty decent. If you spring for the base LX, 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver-seat height adjustment, 60/40-split rear seats, a rearview camera, a full-color multi-information display, steering wheel audio controls, and Bluetooth phone and streaming audio. All LX models also have a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, a Pandora interface, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface. Step up to EX and you 'll enjoy 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a sunroof, rear privacy glass, a retractable cargo cover and six speakers for the sound system. Want a top line model? Choose the EX-L with roof rails, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat with power lumbar, leather upholstery, heated front seats and an upgraded sound system with seven speakers and satellite radio. NAV is available, too.
Aesthetics & Styling
The contoured exterior design gives this favorite a needed upgrade. The expanded roominess works. As does the layout of the controls, dash, and console. Honda has done a fine job putting a plush, 'trade-up' finish in the interior. I must admit that the CR-V is distinctive and doesn't look like anything else on the road. Still, my overall reaction is an unenthusiastic "meh"---I've seen the same basic look now since the first CR-V was introduced, and that's a problem, I think that will sooner or later prove to be a bother for Honda.
Basic warranty is 3 years/36,000 miles, and power train warranty is 5 years or 60,000 miles. Basic warranty is 3 years/36,000 miles, and powertrain warranty is 5 years or 60,000 miles.