Used Car Review

2012 Honda CR-V: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo November 2014

If you're seeking a good value in a previously owned compact SUV, it just doesn't get any better than the 2012 Honda CR-V. Sure, the CR-V isn't as flashy or well-equipped as the Ford Escape, nor is it as sporty as the Mazda CX-5. When it comes to overall value, reliability, resale and comfort, however, the CR-V takes first place in the categories that buyers seem to care about most. Its carlike driving style ensures a comfortable ride, while its fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine delivers both decent power and economy. The CR-V provides more than enough room for four adults and their gear, with a spacious back seat and a wide cargo hold.

If there is one downside to the CR-V, it can be found in the way Honda parcels out options. Navigation, for example, is only available on top-of-the-line models, and the CR-V's audio and infotainment systems are not as advanced as those from Ford or Mazda. The CR-V also lacks a V6 engine option, a feature offered on both the Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe.

What We Like

Excellent reliability record; good fuel economy; comfortable ride; big back seat; strong resale

What We Don't

No V6 engine option; best features only available on the top-line EX-L; 2-piece folding rear seat takes up storage space behind front seats; no sliding rear seat

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The Honda CR-V offers only one engine choice, that being a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine rated at 185 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. A 5-speed automatic transmission is standard. Front-wheel-drive models earn an estimated 23 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. Add the optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) option to the mix, and those numbers drop slightly to 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

The Honda CR-V compact crossover comes in three trims: LX, EX and EX-L. All three trims can be equipped with Honda's Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System.

The CR-V LX comes nicely equipped and includes 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, a 160-watt AM/FM/CD stereo with four speakers, USB and auxiliary input jacks, Bluetooth phone and music streaming with SMS text-message interface, Pandora Internet Radio, a multi-information display, remote keyless entry, a rear backup camera and a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with audio and cruise controls.

The CR-V EX adds 17-in alloy wheels, a power sunroof, a security system, front fog lights, rear privacy glass and two additional speakers for the audio system.

The CR-V EX-L brings leather seating, a 328-watt 7-speaker audio system, a power driver's seat with power lumbar support, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control and satellite radio.

Options for the CR-V are limited to the EX-L trim, which can be equipped with either a DVD navigation radio or a backseat DVD entertainment system but not both together.

Pricing

As one might expect, the Honda CR-V holds top ratings in the areas of resale, which makes driving a hard bargain a bit more difficult. To get a good idea of the CR-V's price range, we suggest using the used-car values at KBB.com. You can also search the AutoTrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the Honda CR-V:

A recall was issued for a possible problem with the automatic shift lever in sub-freezing temperatures. The lockout mechanism may slow, allowing the shift lever to be moved out of park without first having to depress the brake.

A recall was issued for LX models with improper gross-vehicle and gross-axle weight rating stickers.

A recall was issued for a possible problem with the front-door latching mechanism.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The Honda CR-V's safety record appears to be quite good. NHTSA gave the CR-V five stars in its frontal crash test, as well as in the side-impact and rollover tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Honda CR-V crossover its highest rating of Good in its offset and side-impact crash tests but only a Marginal rating in its small-overlap front crash test.

The 2012 Honda CR-V left the factory with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty; both are fully transferable. If you buy a certified pre-owned CR-V, you'll get a 150-point inspection, plus an extension of the 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty to 4 years and 48,000 miles, or if the vehicle's new-car warranty has expired, a 1-year/12,000-mile basic warranty from the date of purchase. The powertrain warranty is also extended by 7 years and 100,000 miles from the date that the vehicle entered service.

Other Cars to Consider

Ford Escape -- The Escape offers more power, better handling and more features, but its repair and resale record is somewhat spotty.

Toyota RAV4 -- The RAV4 offers the option of a V6 and a third-row seat, but it is outdated in the areas of ride comfort, features and styling.

Mazda CX-5 -- The CX-5 is the driver's CUV, with better handling than the CR-V. The CX-5 also gets better gas mileage, but it's not as roomy, quiet or smooth to drive.

Autotrader's Advice

We think that the best model is the EX. It provides a nice combination of features, such as alloy wheels and a sunroof, and shouldn't cost that much more than a used LX. If you can't live without leather, navigation, heated seats and side mirrors, you're going to have to pony up more cash and get the EX-L.

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Used 2012 Honda CR-V AWD EX
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Used 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L
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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2012 Honda CR-V: Used Car Review - Autotrader