2012 Honda CR-V: Singing the Same Song

Honda has a habit of unveiling concept vehicles that are nearly production-ready, so we weren't surprised by the production version of the 2012 Honda CR-V, which was officially unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

The all-new CR-V stays very close to the size and image of its very successful predecessor, but it kicks the styling up a notch with bolder and more aerodynamic bodywork. The more steeply raked windshield and slightly lower roofline add a contemporary urban feel, and the grille and headlights are more pronounced than they were on the previous CR-V. The base model offers 16-inch wheels, but the top-line versions are equipped with attractive 17-inch alloys.

Inside, the previous CR-V needed a makeover, and we are not disappointed with the more sophisticated and upscale look of the 2012 version. The dash is heavily sculpted and offers restyled gauges and new switchgear. The new front seats are more comfortable and supportive, and bigger cupholders address virtually any travel-cup issue you might encounter. The center console bin has been enlarged, and it houses USB and auxiliary inputs, as well as a 12-volt power outlet. Overall interior space and cargo area are very similar to that offered by the previous edition, and that is a good thing because this is a package its owners like.

The base CR-V is a front-drive vehicle, but LX, EX and EX-L trims can be fitted with the new Real Time 4WD with Intelligent Control System.

EX-L buyers can also opt to add either the Honda Satellite-linked Navigation System with a 6.5-inch dash-mounted touch screen, or the new rear-seat entertainment system that features a single 7.0-inch high-resolution LCD screen that flips down from the headliner. Even in base trim levels, the CR-V is well-equipped, and the equipment quality quickly climbs up to the lavish level as the price tag escalates.

Honda stayed archly conservative by equipping the all-new CR-V with the utterly familiar 2.4-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine matched with a five-speed automatic transmission. The engine now produces 185 horsepower, and in the new model it delivers 23 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Opting for all-wheel drive drops each of those numbers by one digit.

So what's the bottom line?

If you didn't care for the CR-V before, there's not a whole lot new that will change your mind, but if you're like the thousands who are fans of the vehicle, you'll find that opinion reinforced. It will hit Honda showrooms before the end of the year.


Cars.com's Dave Thomas takes a look at the 2012 Honda CR-V



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Driving Today Auto Review - 2012 Honda CR-V: Singing the Same Song