Unveiled: 2012 Honda CR-V

NecroJoe

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While true, there's a couple small Hyundai/Kia crossovers that could steal sales, Mazda CX5, and the new Escape should be out around the same time. I can imagine there will actually be a fair amount of people who were ready to buy a CRV who will see this and go "...meh..."

I have been wrong before, though... :lol:
 

rickhamilton620

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While true, there's a couple small Hyundai/Kia crossovers that could steal sales, Mazda CX5, and the new Escape should be out around the same time. I can imagine there will actually be a fair amount of people who were ready to buy a CRV who will see this and go "...meh..."

I have been wrong before, though... :lol:

I forgot about the CX-5. It has a very nice soft-touch interior according to various first drive reports. I also like the way it looks, I'm torn between it and the new escape tbh.
 

unbreakable

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mitchell.scott

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So, I can now talk about the actual experience of driving the new CR-V.

The first thing you'll notice when you see the new CR-V in person is that it appears to be a much larger vehicle, but isn't actually. The side windows are much taller than the previous model, which makes the vehicle itself have more visual weight. For the average FinalGear poster, that's not a good thing, but for some reason, SUV buyers love feeling huge. Something else that immediately stands out when you're first looking at the vehicle is the design of the headlamps and taillights. In pictures, they just look a little Volvo-ish, but in person, there are a lot of little details that set the CR-V apart. For example, the top of the rear taillights arc outward and to the inside of the car to form the basis of a rear spoiler. All-in-all, it's a much cleaner design than Hondas of late have been.

Stepping inside, the first thing that jumps out is a huge amount of headroom, much more than you'd expect. The previous CR-V had good headroom in front, but the back did seem a little limiting (I'm 6'4"). Not so here. The closest comparison is the Skoda Yeti. The interior design itself is less Honda and more Acura TSX. In fact, the (fake) wood-trim and the air vents look almost identical to what's in the TSX cabin. There's also a lot of soft-touch plastic, just like the old CR-V. All models have a little LCD screen above the center console which shows information like radio stations and climate control. That sounds great, but the display has horrible resolution and looks cheap even from a passenger seat. The navigation system is simply okay. Graphics for maps themselves look more 2008 than 2012, but Honda's satnav has always been pretty intuitive to work with. One great feature of the satnav is that if your phone gets a SMS or call when you're driving, an on-screen option will pop up to reply from a preset list (that you can add to) of common SMS replies like "I'm driving" or "I'll be there soon." In theory. It wasn't working with my Android phone or an iPhone 4. One minor issue I noticed was that many of the buttons for the radio/satnav are too close together and too small to operate with gloves on. The volume knob, even, is minute. It's also very quiet inside once underway. There's not as much road noise as the previous CR-V, and wind noise was pretty minimal. All-in-all though, the interior is a nice place to be, but really doesn't improve upon the last-gen. That's not a disaster in this case, simply because the last-gen had a really great interior that was both comfortable, luxurious for the money, and pretty tough at the same time. However, it would have been nice for Honda to have challenged themselves, and I really don't think they did.

Last but, for us, most important, is the driving experience. The engine is both a high and low point. The 2.4L is pretty smooth as far as 4-bangers go. But the problem is that it's the only option, and it really doesn't have much more power than the last-gen, only 5 more horsepower. 185 hp is respectable for a base motor, but in a car that can take you over $30k, it's simply unacceptable as the only option. The Toyota RAV4 has a hoot of a motor (3.5L V6) for around $25k. The other problem is the 5-speed automatic. Now, it's a very good gearbox, don't get me wrong. It's heavenly smooth and shifts surprisingly quickly. But the fact of the matter is that it's a 5 speed living in a 6 and 7 speed world. And at highway speeds, the engine likes to sit higher in the RPM range than I'd like, even though it still promises to average around 30-mpg freeway. Honda really need to give this thing their 3.5L V6 in the EX-L trim though. The saving grace here is that the CR-V still feels more like a car than an SUV to drive. The steering gives decent feedback (maybe the best of any Honda I've recently driven, apart from the current Accord). Despite being a tall vehicle, it still doesn't feel very tall and corners with a lot less lean than the RAV4 and especially the Kia Sportage. The tires are the chassis' biggest letdown. It's clear that the compound here is more economy-based than for performance. And, considering who this car is for, that's no surprise.

I still really like the CR-V. If I were a father with a small family who needed a versatile vehicle that could handle itself in the snow, I'd still pick the CR-V. The little 4-banger is willing, the interior is very high-quality, and it looks quite handsome too. The CR-V is a great little SUV, but it'd be nice for Honda to push it further.
 
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rickhamilton620

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So, I can now talk about the actual experience of driving the new CR-V.

I still really like the CR-V. If I were a father with a small family who needed a versatile vehicle that could handle itself in the snow, I'd still pick the CR-V. The little 4-banger is willing, the interior is very high-quality, and it looks quite handsome too. The CR-V is a great little SUV, but it'd be nice for Honda to push it further.

I'm so glad to hear the interior is still top notch as that was one of my favorite parts of the old CR-V. Does it still have the MFD between the gauges? I thought that was pretty nice to see in something that wasn't a VAG product.
 

mitchell.scott

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I'm so glad to hear the interior is still top notch as that was one of my favorite parts of the old CR-V. Does it still have the MFD between the gauges? I thought that was pretty nice to see in something that wasn't a VAG product.

Yes, it does. It's in the middle of the speedometer and shows things like average MPG, outside temp etc. One nice thing to note is that the fuel and temp gauge are actually their own gauges this time, instead of being a part of the MFD.
 

Hbriz

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So, I can now talk about the actual experience of driving the new CR-V.

The first thing you'll notice when you see the new CR-V in person is that it appears to be a much larger vehicle, but isn't actually. The side windows are much taller than the previous model, which makes the vehicle itself have more visual weight. For the average FinalGear poster, that's not a good thing, but for some reason, SUV buyers love feeling huge. Something else that immediately stands out when you're first looking at the vehicle is the design of the headlamps and taillights. In pictures, they just look a little Volvo-ish, but in person, there are a lot of little details that set the CR-V apart. For example, the top of the rear taillights arc outward and to the inside of the car to form the basis of a rear spoiler. All-in-all, it's a much cleaner design than Hondas of late have been.
Stepping inside, the first thing that jumps out is a huge amount of headroom, much more than you'd expect. The previous CR-V had good headroom in front, but the back did seem a little limiting (I'm 6'4"). Not so here. The closest comparison is the Skoda Yeti. The interior design itself is less Honda and more Acura TSX. In fact, the (fake) wood-trim and the air vents look almost identical to what's in the TSX cabin. There's also a lot of soft-touch plastic, just like the old CR-V. All models have a little LCD screen above the center console which shows information like radio stations and climate control. That sounds great, but the display has horrible resolution and looks cheap even from a passenger seat. The navigation system is simply okay. Graphics for maps themselves look more 2008 than 2012, but Honda's satnav has always been pretty intuitive to work with. One great feature of the satnav is that if your phone gets a SMS or call when you're driving, an on-screen option will pop up to reply from a preset list (that you can add to) of common SMS replies like "I'm driving" or "I'll be there soon." In theory. It wasn't working with my Android phone or an iPhone 4. One minor issue I noticed was that many of the buttons for the radio/satnav are too close together and too small to operate with gloves on. The volume knob, even, is minute. It's also very quiet inside once underway. There's not as much road noise as the previous CR-V, and wind noise was pretty minimal. All-in-all though, the interior is a nice place to be, but really doesn't improve upon the last-gen. That's not a disaster in this case, simply because the last-gen had a really great interior that was both comfortable, luxurious for the money, and pretty tough at the same time. However, it would have been nice for Honda to have challenged themselves, and I really don't think they did.
Last but, for us, most important, is the driving experience. The engine is both a high and low point. The 2.4L is pretty smooth as far as 4-bangers go. But the problem is that it's the only option, and it really doesn't have much more power than the last-gen, only 5 more horsepower. 185 hp is respectable for a base motor, but in a car that can take you over $30k, it's simply unacceptable as the only option. The Toyota RAV4 has a hoot of a motor (3.5L V6) for around $25k. The other problem is the 5-speed automatic. Now, it's a very good gearbox, don't get me wrong. It's heavenly smooth and shifts surprisingly quickly. But the fact of the matter is that it's a 5 speed living in a 6 and 7 speed world. And at highway speeds, the engine likes to sit higher in the RPM range than I'd like, even though it still promises to average around 30-mpg freeway. Honda really need to give this thing their 3.5L V6 in the EX-L trim though. The saving grace here is that the CR-V still feels more like a car than an SUV to drive. The steering gives great feedback (maybe the best of any Honda I've recently driven). Despite being a tall vehicle, it still doesn't feel very tall and corners with a lot less lean than the RAV4 and especially the Kia Sportage. The tires are the chassis' biggest letdown. It's clear that the compound here is more economy-based than for performance. And, considering who this car is for, that's no surprise.

I still really like the CR-V. If I were a father with a small family who needed a versatile vehicle that could handle itself in the snow, I'd still pick the CR-V. The little 4-banger is willing, the interior is very high-quality, and it looks quite handsome too. The CR-V is a great little SUV, but it'd be nice for Honda to push it further.
Thick wall of text is thick. Interesting read, but remember, paragraphs are your friend!
 

neutron

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Honda like their old customerbase (old people) much more than their new customerbase (bloggers, juveniles). So they changed their designs to suit them more.
 

mitchell.scott

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Honda like their old customerbase (old people) much more than their new customerbase (bloggers, juveniles). So they changed their designs to suit them more.

Isn't that the other way around? Hondas used to always be for younger people, but as those first-generation buyers age, the car's target market has grown older?
 

rickhamilton620

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Isn't that the other way around? Hondas used to always be for younger people, but as those first-generation buyers age, the car's target market has grown older?

In Europe, Honda's always been known as the "Mercury or Buick" of car brands: Seemingly intended only for the "taking it easy" set. Take Top Gear's review of the Element for example:

[video]http://www.streetfire.net/video/089-top-gear-honda-element_181916.htm[/video]
 

Hbriz

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It's the same deal here, Hondas are old person cars. They buy them because they will see them out.

In more recent years (late 90s, early '00s), more young people have been brought to the brand thanks to things like the Civic Type-R and Integra. Of course, not many of them can afford these halo cars, so they bought lower grade Civics and put big wheels on them. It's the same reason base model Lancers are popular with young people here. It looks like an Evo, shares some of its name with an Evo, but costs nothing like an Evo.

And now that the NSX, S2000, Integra have been discontinued, and the Civic Type-R is a shadow of what it once was, the youth are leaving, and the old sensible customer base who are interested in reliability and resale value have remained.
 

nsx_23

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I wouldn't be so sure....if the interior cheap, you might see a sales drop due to the increase in quality in the competition.

Not necessarily. Where I live many people buy CRVs just because its a CRV. In addition to this is the mainland China crowd who love anything with a Honda badge, especially if its fixed to a high-riding "4WD" looking hunk of metal.
 
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