2012 Honda CR-V Reviews, Redesign And Release Date by adiwidjojo


More Info
									           2012 Honda CR-V Reviews, Redesign And Release Date

The 2012 Honda CR-V is the best crossover for you if you want the all-new
version of a benchmark compact SUV.The 2012 Honda CR-V will be fully
redesigned for the first time since model-year 2007. Honda’s guarding
details about the 2012 CR-V until nearer its release, but expect more
adventurous styling, additional features, and improved fuel economy. The
2012 model probably will be a little larger than the 2007-2011 CR-V but
remain a five-seat, four-door wagon based on the same under-skin
structure as the redesigned 2012 Honda Civic compact car.
Should you wait for the 2012 Honda CR-V or buy a 2011 Honda CR-V? Wait
for the 2012 CR-V. Honda’s motivated to recapture the compact-crossover
sales leadership that slipped away from it as the third-generation CR-V
aged. So the 2012 CR-V should benefit in a host of ways from an energized
design team. Buy a 2011 CR-V if you want to take advantage of close-out
sales on a compact SUV that still appeals for roominess, reliability, and
road manners.

2012 Honda CR-V Changes

Styling: The 2012 Honda CR-V styling will have to abandon the impassive
look of the third-generation CR-V and become more expressive if Honda
wants it to look fashionable next to flamboyant newcomers like the
recently redesigned 2011 Hyundai Tucson and 2011 Kia Sportage and the
all-new 2012 Ford Escape. The vast majority of CR-Vs sold in the U.S. are
assembled at Honda’s plant in Ohio, but this crossover is marketed in
some 160 countries and the fourth-generation’s styling is likely to take
inspiration from the animated shapes of Hondas sold in Europe and Asia.
Honda would be wise to not sacrifice interior roominess in the name of
swoopy styling, however.
It should not abandon the packaging acumen it demonstrated with the
2007-2011 CR-V, which had mid-pack exterior dimensions but an airy cabin
and a cargo hold that were among the most spacious in the class. By
sharing Civic’s platform, the 2012 CR-V will continue to qualify as a
crossover. Crossovers combine an elevated, SUV-like body with a car-type
understructure. This one-piece “unibody” construction is in contrast to
pickups and older-style SUVs that employ truck-type engineering in which
the body is attached to a separate frame. Unibody design isn’t as suited
to heavy-duty hauling, but its lighter weight benefits ride, handling,
and fuel economy. Note that the Acura RDX compact crossover from Honda’s
premium division also shares CR-V’s basic unibody structure, though it
has different styling and a more powerful engine.
Mechanical: The 2012 Honda CR-V will continue its basic formula of a
four-cylinder engine working through front- or all-wheel drive. Sources
suggest Honda will essentially carry over the third-generation CR-V’s
engine for the first few years of the new design, then transition to a
new powertrain as part of a mid-cycle update, probably around model-year
2015. That would mean the 2012 CR-V would reprise a 2.4-liter
four-cylinder that would again be rated around 180 horsepower and 161
pound-feet of torque. (Think of torque as the force that gets you moving,
horsepower as the energy that sustains momentum.)
That would allow the 2012 CR-V to retain a competitive horsepower number
but would keep it behind the class curve for torque. The 2012 CR-V would
also remain off the pace if Honda chooses to continue fitting a
five-speed automatic as the sole transmission. Top new rivals use more
efficient six-speed automatics. CR-V’s default drivetrain layout will
                                 Page 1
            2012 Honda CR-V   Reviews, Redesign And Release Date
again be front-wheel drive,   which puts the weight of the engine over the
wheels that propel the car.   That benefits wet-pavement traction. AWD will
continue available at extra   cost as a grip-enhancer on snow or loose

It’ll again be a crossover-typical system that normally operates in
front-wheel drive and automatically reapportions power to the rear wheels
when the fronts begin to slip. CR-V’s design brief will never include
severe off-road duty, but Honda would enhance the next-generation’s
backwoods mobility by fitting it with a driver-selected switch to lock
AWD into a 50:50 front-rear split at low speeds. Many rivals offer such a
feature. While the 2007-2011 CR-V wasn’t known for responsive
acceleration, it was a compact-crossover benchmark for sharp handling and
composed ride. That leadership is likely to continue, given Honda’s
suspension-design expertise, though some reduction in wind and road noise
is necessary to keep the fourth-generation CR-V in line with more refined
new rivals.

Features: The 2012 Honda CR-V also could benefit from a new philosophy
toward features. Not that it’ll lack the most popular basics: such
amenities as a navigation system, Bluetooth hands-free cell-phone
connectivity, USB iPod interface, leather upholstery, automatic dual-zone
climate control, power moonroof, heated front seats, and a backup camera
will return. But Honda needs to reassess a policy that reserves many of
these features for the most expensive models in the CR-V lineup. The
competition’s egalitarian approach is a selling point, and the trend is
to make features such as USB linking standard and a navigation system
optional on even entry-level models.
Honda ought also to consider filtering into the CR-V such gee-whiz
technology as lane-departure-warning, adaptive cruise control, even
automatic parallel-parking. These have been the province of premium
brands, but a few mid-priced crossovers are beginning to offer them, and
more will follow as buyers reorient to smaller cars and SUVs but refuse
to lower expectations about available features. To Honda’s credit, it’s
never skimped on CR-V safety, and the 2012 model will continue standard
with such vitals as an antiskid system to combat sideways slides.
Hopefully, Honda won’t backslide on the 2012 CR-V’s cabin design and
décor, either. This SUV’s always been a benchmark for high-quality
interior materials, seat comfort, and ergonomics.

2012 Honda CR-V Prices
Prices for the 2012 Honda CR-V won’t be announced until shortly before
the model goes on sale. But the CR-V traditionally has been priced at the
upper end of its category, a competitive set that includes the likes of
the Ford Escape and Toyota RAV-4 but is a tier below premium compact
crossovers such as the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLK.
Behind the CR-V’s pricing structure is Honda’s policy of eschewing
individual options in favor of an escalating terrace of models with a
regimented set of standard features. That policy simplifies ordering and
improves assembly quality. But it sometimes compels buyers to shell out
for a more expensive model just to acquire one or two desired features.
It’s also inflated CR-V base prices versus the competition, though in
fairness, once most rivals were optioned up to compare directly with a
CR-V counterpart, the price difference was very modest.
Expect the 2012 Honda CR-V model lineup to reflect past CR-V rosters.
That means three basic levels of trim: LX, EX, and EX-L. Honda
                                    Page 2
            2012 Honda CR-V Reviews, Redesign And Release Date
occasionally has extended the line to four models, but usually to sustain
interest near the end of a generation’s lifecycle when it adds, say, an
SE (Special Edition) version.
Given CR-V’s pricing history, expect the 2012 CR-V LX to start around
$23,000 with front-wheel drive and around $24,200 with AWD. (Price
estimates in this review include the manufacturer’s destination fee;
Honda’s fee for the CR-V was running around $710). The 2012 Honda CR-V LX
standard equipment list should include power windows, locks, and mirrors,
a tilt/telescope steering wheel, cruise control, height-adjustable
driver’s seat, 40/20/40 split folding rear seatbacks, and remote keyless
Figure the 2012 Honda CR-V EX to be priced around $25,200 with
front-drive and $26,400 with AWD. Expect the 2012 EX to again include all
the LX equipment, plus a power sunroof, alloy wheels, and steering wheel
audio controls, among other features.

Estimated price for the 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L is $28,000 with front drive
and $29,200 with AWD. The 2012 EX-L should again build on EX-level
equipment by adding, among other features, leather upholstery, power
driver’s seat, automatic climate control, and heated front seats and
outside mirrors. If Honda again confines the navigation system to the
EX-L, it would mean the return of a top-line CR-V “EX-L with navigation”
model priced around $30,100 with front-drive and around $31,300 with AWD.

2012 Honda CR-V Fuel Economy
EPA fuel-economy ratings for 2012 models had not been released in time
for this review, but Honda will strive to improve upon already laudable
ratings for the next-generation CR-V. To again be among the
best-in-class, the 2012 Honda CR-V would need ratings of around 23/31 mpg
Whether they reach or exceed those numbers, expect the 2012 Honda CR-V
fuel-economy ratings to top those of the outgoing model, which was rated
at 21/28 mpg city/highway with front-wheel drive, 21/27 with AWD.

2012 Honda CR-V Release Date
The 2012 Honda CR-V should be in showrooms by autumn 2011.

What's next for the 2012 Honda CR-V

Honda would do well to heed critics – some within its own ranks – who say
its cars and crossovers need to recapture the spirit of innovation and
style that fueled the company’s original success in the U.S. We don’t
hold that Honda lost those values over the past decade or so, but we do
agree that its products ought to be more visually appealing. And there’s
little doubt it needs to loosen up about features accessibility; a USB
interface and across-the-board availability of a navigation system, for
example, are the new price of admission in every category in which Honda
competes – including compact crossover SUVs.

We can expect the next-generation CR-V to maintain the outgoing model’s
pleasing handling, efficient packaging, and impressive ride control. If
Honda does carry over the third-generation powertrain, it must find a way
to boost torque, improve transmission behavior, and increase fuel
                                 Page 3
            2012 Honda CR-V Reviews, Redesign And Release Date
economy. It’ll be difficult to redesign a CR-V that’s both larger and
lighter, but that’s the formula for higher mileage – along with slicker
aerodynamics, a greater range of transmission gearing, and lower
rolling-resistance tires.

One way to give the CR-V more muscle without lowering mileage ratings is
with diesel power. Honda offers the CR-V overseas with a turbocharged
four-cylinder diesel, which furnishes substantially more torque than the
2.4-liter gas engine and promises 40-mpg on the highway. Some reports had
a diesel slated for the 2010 Honda CR-V, but the slumping economy and
relatively high diesel-fuel prices tabled that plan. Honda could revive
the diesel for the fourth-generation CR-V – likely as part of the
mid-cycle freshening. A turbocharged gas four-cylinder or a gas-electric
hybrid are also future CR-V possibilities. A V-6 engine is not part of
the CRV’s personality or in line with Honda philosophy.

2012 Honda CR-V Competition back to top
Nissan Rogue: Like CR-V, this five-seat compact crossover has just one
powertrain, but its teaming of a torquey four-cylinder with a
continuously variable transmission makes for lively acceleration
bolstered by sharp handling. Rogue isn’t as roomy as the CR-V, or as
nicely finished inside. But pricing is competitive and a 2011 mid-cycle
update to styling and features positioned it for an expected model-year
2014 redesign.
Ford Escape: This is the SUV that dethroned the CR-V as America’s
best-selling compact crossover and it did it with a creaky, decade-old
design (OK, styling, pricing, and features were competitive). The 2012
Ford Escape, however, is a crossover of a different color. It’ll be an
aggressively shaped compact SUV that draws from Ford’s global engineering
talent. It promises levels of performance, refinement, and tech
innovation that should give fits to any rival, including the 2012 CR-V.
Toyota RAV-4: Still one model year away from a full redesign, the 2012
RAV-4 should nonetheless be on any compact-crossover shopping list. It
boasts fine performance from a four-cylinder engine and is among the few
in this class to also offer a V-6 (can you say hot rod?) and
seven-passenger seating (can you say cramped third row?). Styling that
mimics that of a traditional SUV will look a bit old-school next to
newer, curvier competitors such as the Escape and Hyundai Tucson. But the
lame-duck 2012 RAV-4 will give up nothing to any rival for solid comfort
and rewarding road manners.

                                 Page 4

To top