2012 Honda CR-V revealed!


2012 Honda CR-V


Last month I was invited to Carlsbad for the press event for the  2012 Honda CR-V.  I have owned Hondas before (and loved them), but had never driven a Honda CR-V before. After relaxing in my gorgeous room for a bit, I headed to the reception to see the CR-V in person, and meet the other bloggers who would be joining me for this adventure.  We learned about the 2012 Honda CR-V and “ooohed” and “ahhhed” a bit as we discovered the features and inspected the cars.  The 2012 Honda CR-V is designed to continue to exceed customer expectations for entry-level SUVs, party due to major enhancements which include improved car-like interior comfort, a smoother and quieter ride, and more innovative features. A 5-speed automatic transmission is standard on all CR-V models.

I had a blast checking out the features of the CR-V.  One feature that seemed to amaze us all was the standard SMS Text Messaging Feature.  Since texting and driving is incredibly dangerous, Honda has come up with a way to be hands-free, while still allowing you to receive and send texts.  When a smartphone is plugged in, your texts will show on a screen, as well as over the audio system.  The driver can respond with any of the six factory preset messages – “I’m on my way”,  “I’m running late”, etc.   I think this is a great idea, although I would love to be able to add a few of my own replies.  This feature works with SMS-capable cell phones that have an active data plan and the Message Access Profile (MAP).  These include the Blackberry, Droid X and others {but unfortunately the iPhone 4 does not support this feature}. Also very impressive was the easy fold-down 60/40 split rear seatback.  In a matter of seconds, the  seats can be lowered to provide more cargo room (a must-have for moms, or anyone who needs extra room).

A very smart thing Honda has done is to make the cargo area lower, enabling easy loading and unloading.  Being as short as I am, I especially appreciate this feature.

The following morning, we listened to a presentation with Honda reps, engineers, and designers.  We learned all about the 2012 Honda CR-V and it’s capabilities, design, safety and features.

After the presentation, we headed out on the driving tour. We partnered up and hit the roads of Southern California.  The drive route was a perfect mix of highway, hills, city streets and windy roads.  I drove the first half of the route, while my partner navigated.  My first impression of the CR-V was that it didn’t feel heavy (which is a good thing!). I, for one, am happy to see smaller SUVs on the road. Despite it’s compact size, it felt very spacious inside.    The new 3-spoke steering wheel features an expanded range of  manual tilt and telescope steering.  I do wish the steering wheel tilted just a little bit lower. As I mentioned above, I am short (5’3), and I believe I would have been able to see the instruments better had I been able to tilt it just a bit more.  The seats were really comfortable!  I snuggled right in and was super comfortable as I drove the route.

We stopped for lunch at the lovely Grand Tradition Estate – it was truly breathtaking.  We had a delicious lunch on the terrace, and sat with the nice folks from Honda.  After lunch, my partner took over and I did the navigating.  It was fun to sit in the passenger seat and “play” with everything.  I thought the sound system was excellent, and was happy to hear that Pandora is available as well.

Grand Tradition Estate

, and then it was my partner’s turn to drive the rest of the route.

New for 2012:

  • More efficient engine design with improved horsepower and torque
  • Easy Fold-Down 60/40 Split Rear Seat, Eco Assist, Expanded View Driver’s Mirror and Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS)
  • Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID), Pandora internet radio interface, SMS text messaging function, and available DVD Real Entertainment System and FM Traffic

The 2012 Honda CR-V is a versatile 5-passenger entry-level SUV with some very impressive features. It boasts a 2.4 liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and 163 lb-ft. of torque, standard 5-speed automatic transmission and EPA-estimated fuel economy of 23/31 mpg city/highway (FWD) and 22/30 mpg city/highway (AWD).


Oh, there is so much to love about the interior! In addition to how gorgeous it is, Honda has definitely kept convenience in mind.  Everything the driver needs to access is right there at their fingertips, reducing the need to take eyes off the road.  One of my very favorite features is the huge storage space in the middle console.  I tested it to see if my really big purse would fit in there, and sure enough, it did.  I found this so helpful, as when I have a passenger, I am usually stuck putting my purse either in the backseat or tucked under my left arm.  Neither of those choices are ideal.  The cabin has also been soundproofed for quietness…I appreciate this feature!


Also new for 2012, the CR-V offers Real Time AWD with the Intelligent Control System (an advancement to Honda’s original Real time 4WD system used in previous models).  What this means for you is a high degree of four-wheel-drive in different types of weather conditions, including rain, snow, dirt roads and dry pavement. The system operation is automatic and almost transparent in smoothness.  Real Time  AWD’s automatic operation means the system is always ready to transfer torque to the rear wheels, allowing the driver to focus more on driving when situations are demanding.

Some of my other favorite interior features are the Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Guidelines.  This is helpful when backing out of those especially difficult parking lots or areas (or anywhere really).  The 5-inch Multi-Information Display is handy (Bluetooth, etc.), and is standard on all models. You can even set your own wallpaper, or choose other items to be on the display when not in use!


I found the Expanded View Driver’s Mirror to be interesting.  the mirror is curved, creating an expanded view.  This feature is standard on all CR-V models.  At first it threw me off a little bit, but I quickly came to love how much I could see behind me, and how much it reduced the blind spots.

Color!  The available colors for the 2012 Honda CR-V are gorgeous.  There are five colors for the base trim, and three additional colors for the EX and higher trims.  These three are brand new colors and totally swoon-worthy.  The interior is available in three color choices: Sporty black, Beige or Grey…all are very attractive.


The Eco Assist driving system is something that really caught my attention.  Every 2012 CR-V is equipped with a green ECON button to the left of the steering wheel.  When depressed, the button engages ECON mode, and you will get enhanced fuel efficiency.  Several things happen when the ECON button is pressed: The Drive-by-Wire throttle system provides more gradual response, and to save additional energy, the climate control’s upper fan speeds are lowered incrementally. This system teaches the driver how to accelerate to be eco-friendly, as some people tend to accelerate more than they need to.  Basically when in this mode, it is overriding what you’re doing to make your driving more economical.


The 2012 Honda CR-V is abundant with safety features.  The structures in the front are designed to help absorb energy in the event of a collision with a pedestrian.  The hood is designed to deform if contact is made with either an adult or a child pedestrian.  Also part of the safety features are the dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, front-seat side airbags as well as side curtain airbags with rollover sensor.   All of these features are quite impressive, including:

  • Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control
  • Brake Assist (recognizes emergency braking situations and almost instantly applies added braking force)
  • Advanced 4-Channel ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution
  • Whiplash Mitigation Front Seat Design
  • Adjustable Head Restraints for all seating positions
  • Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH)
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

The LATCH system really is neat. The lower anchors and tethers provide a simple (and convenient!) method to install compatible child safety seats in a vehicle.

Under the Hood

The 2012 CR-V is powered by a dual overhead cam (DOHC), all aluminum, 2.4-liter inline four-cyliner design that features 16 valves and a high-volume intake manifold.  The K24Z7 engine produces 185 horsepower at 7000 rpm and torque is rated 163 lb-ft. at 4400 rpm – up by 5 horsepower and 2 lb-ft. of torque compared to the previous generation.

2012 Honda CR-V engine

Also under the hood:

  • Engine Block/Crankshaft and Low-Friction Engine Design
  • Aluminum Cylinder Head
  • i-VTEC Valvetrain
  • Programmed Fuel Injection
  • Drive-by-Wire Throttle Control
  • Econ Mode
  • High-Efficiency Catalytic Converters
  • Maintenance Minder (automatically indicates when to have standard service performed, based on actual driving conditions (tracked by the ECU)
  • Multistate Alternator Control
  • 5-Speed Automatic Transmission


Pricing and availability:

Pricing for the 2012 Honda CR-V is similar to current prices – $21,000 to $30,000 dependent on the trim level.  The 2012 Honda CR-V will be available starting December 15, 2011.

Overall impression

Honda has created an SUV that is both practical for families, single folks, and it is also a great option for those who are price conscious.  Quality is never sacrificed (in any Honda vehicle), and it certainly is not with the 2012 CR-V.  Although I loved everything about the CR-V, I do wish that it were available in a 6-cylinder.  Of course, this shouldn’t surprise anyone (just look at the top of my blog), as I kind of like to drive fast 🙂  There were so many helpful features – it would be easy to get spoiled!

Before you go – make sure you check out the Leap List!  What is a Leap List? Well, it is similar to a bucket list…but not quite.  It is a fun way to list the things you want to do.

*American Honda provided my transportation, hotel and meals for this event. I was not paid a fee and there was no compensation received. All opinions herein are mine and mine alone.


About Author

Jennifer Regan is the owner/editor-in-chief of Eighty MPH Mom, a family-friendly blog. She is active in Brand Ambassadorships and campaigns, and is active in social media, helping brands promote!


  1. If the Honda CR-V had come out earlier (even by just a few weeks) that would have been the third CR-V I would have owned. Through a round about situation my husband needed a car so he took over my 2003 CR-V. I had had a 1997 CR-V which my parents took over when I bought the 2003. Due to the tsunami and the earthquake that Japan had earlier this year is the reason that they were unable to bring out this model sooner. I loved the 1997 and the 2003 CR-V. Though I feel like they never really left. I wanted a 2012 model car so I had to go with a different vehicle but I must admit I love the CR-V too.

  2. This looks like a great car! I love how the seats fold and the texting option! I like trucks/SUV’s that drive like cars, so much better for comfort!

  3. Wow, this looks like a great car! We considered one when we had our first baby, and now we’re looking again. Love the features!

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