First Drive: 2012 Honda CR V reviews honda first drives
2012 Honda CR-V EX-L. Click image to enlarge

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By Paul Williams; photos courtesy Honda

Photo Gallery:
2012 Honda CR-V

San Diego, California – I like the look of the new Honda CR-V. It’s got an appealing but purposeful face, a taut body that seems to have lost a few pounds, and a tidily designed rear that’s familiar but more modern.

Too bad you can’t buy one until January, 2012, at the earliest.

What’s that, you say? Blame the floods in Thailand, where some of the CR-V’s key electrical components are manufactured (or not, as it temporarily the case). That’s the thing about globalism: a problem in one place has big consequences worldwide.

But time will fly as usual, and I’m sure you’ll see Canadian roads quickly populated with 2012 Honda CR-Vs, such is the model’s popularity here. Furthermore, in a departure from past practice, the CR-V will be built in Canada at the Alliston, Ontario plant which also builds the Civic, Acura MDX and Acura ZDX.

First Drive: 2012 Honda CR V reviews honda first drives
2012 Honda CR-V EX-L. Click image to enlarge

The Honda CR-V is all-new and fully redesigned for 2012. Horsepower is up by five – now 185 hp from the enhanced 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine — and fuel consumption is down to 9.0/6.4 L/100 km for front-wheel drive versions, and 9.2/6.6 L/100 km for the more popular all-wheel drive examples. Like many competitors in the compact SUV segment, there’s no V6 option for the CR-V.

The price, not yet announced by Honda, will be about the same as the outgoing model, ranging between approximately $26,000 for the entry-level FWD LX to $36,000 for the fully-equipped EX-L version. A Touring Package adds chrome door handles, roof rails and an appearance badge.

Several new features come standard, including an Easy Fold-Down 60/40 split rear seat, Honda’s “Eco-Assist with Econ Mode” system to reduce fuel consumption, an expanded-view driver’s mirror, an improved centre console, Hill Start Assist, electric power-assist steering, a multi-information display with text messaging function and Bluetooth connectivity, and a rear-view camera. Heated power side mirrors and tinted windows are also standard.

First Drive: 2012 Honda CR V reviews honda first drives
2012 Honda CR-V EX-L. Click image to enlarge

All-wheel drive models now use an Intelligent Control System that actively apportions power front-to-rear based on driving conditions. The system anticipates front wheelspin, minimizing delay in sending power to the rear wheels when required.

The sleek appearance of the 2012 CR-V is something of a tromp l’oeil, as it looks bigger than the previous generation, but it’s actually slightly shorter in length (by 15mm) and it loses 25 millimetres in height. Clever stylists are responsible for the effect.

Interior volume, however, is increased by 10 litres to 2,949 L for the LX and 16 L for the EX/EX-L, and the cargo floor usefully sits about 25 mm lower.




About Paul Williams

Paul Williams is an Ottawa-based freelance automotive writer and senior writer for Autos. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).