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2012 Honda CR-V Review

The Honda CR-V was completely redesigned for 2012. It offers high safety ratings, a roomy interior with a good number of standard tech features, and generous cargo space. However, it could use more engine options, as its sole power plant is not that powerful.

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable, spacious cabin
  • Lots of standard features
  • Abundant cargo space
  • Strong safety scores
  • Sluggish four-cylinder engine

Rankings & Awards

The 2012 Honda CR-V's #6 ranking is based on its score within the 2012 Affordable Compact SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2012 Best Affordable Compact SUV award. Currently the Honda CR-V has a score of 8.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 37 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 9.2
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 8.3
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Honda CR-V Overview

Is the 2012 Honda CR-V a Good Used SUV?

The 2012 Honda CR-V is a good used SUV. It has some of the best fuel economy estimates in the compact SUV class, and it offers carlike handling and maneuverability. It should meet the daily needs of most buyers, but its four-cylinder engine can be sluggish. Many rivals offer stronger engine options.

Why You Can Trust Us

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 37 professional evaluations for this 2012 Honda CR-V review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Our experienced team of writers, editors, and analysts has been ranking and reviewing the best cars, trucks, crossovers, and SUVs since 2007. We remain unbiased by refusing pricey gifts and trips from auto manufacturers, and employing an independent agency to manage the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2012 Honda CR-V?

Our site has more than 1,000 listings for the 2012 CR-V, with prices ranging from about $11,900 to roughly $18,300, and an average of about $15,000. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2012 Honda CR-V Cost to Own?

Five-year costs for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2012 Honda CR-V are estimated to be about $20,489. That’s $3,500 below average for a compact SUV.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New CR-V?

The 2019 Honda CR-V has a starting price of $24,350, which is roughly $9,000 higher than the average price of a 2012 CR-V. The CR-V was redesigned for 2017, so the new model will have fresher styling, more safety features, and the latest features Honda has to offer. However, you'll still get a solid vehicle by sticking with a 2012 model. You’ll have decide for yourself by weighing the added cost against the benefits of a new model.

Read about the new Honda CR-V »

There are no new compact SUV with starting prices in the same neighborhood as the 2012 CR-V. However, two new subcompact SUVs come close. With a starting MSRP of $17,990, the 2018 Nissan Kicks has superior fuel economy, standard keyless start, and more front legroom than the 2012 CR-V. However, there’s less rear legroom and a lot less cargo space in the Kicks, and it’s not available with all-wheel drive. The 2018 Jeep Renegade starts at $18,445 and offers keyless start and a six-speed manual transmission, but it has less cargo space than the CR-V.

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

Which Model Year of the Honda CR-V Is Best?

The fourth-generation Honda CR-V spans the 2012 through 2016 model years, and it has consistently earned accolades from our site. Compared to previous models, fourth-generation CR-Vs offer a stronger engine, better fuel economy, and more cargo volume behind the second row. The 2013, 2014, and 2016 model years saw no major changes. For 2015, Honda gave the CR-V a new continuously variable automatic transmission to replace the five-speed automatic, giving drivers a $200 savings in annual fuel costs over previous models. All models in this generation are great choices for used-car shoppers.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 CR-V »

How Reliable Is the 2012 Honda CR-V?

J.D. Power gave the 2012 CR-V a reliability rating of three out of five stars, which is about average.

Read more about CR-V reliability »

2012 Honda CR-V Recalls

As of this writing, the 2012 CR-V has three open recalls. One deals with a brake shift interlock that may allow the CR-V to roll away, front door latches that may come open if not fully closed, and an incorrect safety certification label. Make sure any safety recalls are completed before buying a used CR-V.

See more information on Honda CR-V safety recalls »

Which Used Make Honda CR-V Is Right for Me?

The 2012 CR-V comes in three trim levels: LX, EX, and EX-L. The base model comes with a decent number of features, including keyless entry, cloth seats, Bluetooth, a USB port, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a four-speaker CD stereo, and an auxiliary input jack. The EX trim adds a six-speaker audio system and a moonroof, among other options.

However, if you can find one within your budget, the EX-L trim has the most features and is the best choice for many buyers. It builds on the lower trims by adding dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 10-way power driver’s seat, a seven-speaker audio system, and satellite radio.

See 2012 Honda CR-V trims and specs »

How Safe Is the CR-V?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2012 CR-V five out of five stars for the side and front crash tests, as well as four stars in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the CR-V a 2012 Top Safety Pick. The IIHS gave the 2012 CR-V its top rating of Good for the moderate overlap front, side, rollover, and rear crash tests. The CR-V received the second-lowest rating of Marginal for the driver’s side small overlap front crash test. A rearview camera comes standard in the CR-V.

See CR-V safety scores »

2012 Honda CR-V Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2012 Honda CR-V or 2012 Toyota RAV4?

The 2012 Toyota RAV4 and the 2012 CR-V each have their strengths, but the RAV4 is a slightly better choice overall. The CR-V has better crash test scores and a comfier interior with more standard features, including an auxiliary audio jack, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, and a USB port. On the other hand, the RAV4 has more cargo and passenger space, as well as a perfect reliability rating. Although the CR-V is a better choice for most buyers, you’ll have to weigh both options to decide which one is right for you.

Which Is Better: 2012 Honda CR-V or 2012 Chevrolet Equinox?

The 2012 Chevrolet Equinox and the 2012 CR-V rank close to one another in our rankings, but there are some key differences between the two. As our 2012 Best 2-Row Compact SUV for the Money, the Equinox offers a comfortable interior and some of the best fuel economy ratings in the segment. However, the CR-V has a more upscale cabin, much lower operating costs, and higher safety scores than the Equinox. Despite their closeness in our rankings, these factors make the CR-V a slightly better choice for most buyers.

Compare the CR-V, RAV4, and Equinox »

2012 CR-V Performance

How Does the 2012 Honda CR-V Drive?

One of the main complaints against the 2012 CR-V is the underwhelming acceleration from its 185-horsepower four-cylinder engine. The CR-V provides a smooth ride, precise handling, and strong brakes. A five-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Does the 2012 Honda CR-V Get Good Gas Mileage?

With front-wheel drive, the base 2012 Honda CR-V returns an EPA-rated 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is good a compact SUV. The all-wheel-drive CR-V gets 1 mpg less in the city and on the highway.

2012 Honda CR-V Towing Capacity

When properly equipped, the 2012 CR-V can tow up to 1,500 pounds.

Read more about CR-V performance »

2012 CR-V Interior

How Many People Does the 2012 CR-V Seat?

The 2012 Honda CR-V seats five on standard cloth upholstery. Leather upholstery is available, as are a 10-way power driver's seat and heated front seats. The CR-V’s cabin is a comfortable and quiet place to spend time.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2012 Honda CR-V?

The 2012 CR-V has two complete sets of LATCH connectors in its second-row seats.

2012 Honda CR-V Features

Standard features in the 2012 CR-V include a four-speaker audio system, a CD player, Bluetooth, a USB port, and an auxiliary audio input. That’s an impressive amount of tech for a 2012 vehicle. When it was new, options included dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation, a six-speaker audio system, a moonroof, and satellite radio.

See 2012 Honda CR-V specs »

Read more about CR-V interior »

2012 Honda CR-V Dimensions

Honda CR-V Cargo Space

The CR-V’s cargo space is among the best in the class. There is 37.2 cubic feet of space behind the second row, or 70.9 with the second row folded.

2012 CR-V Length and Weight

The 2012 Honda CR-V is 14.9-feet long. The curb weight ranges from 3,305 pounds up to 3,545 pounds.

Where Was the 2012 Honda CR-V Built?

Honda manufactured the 2012 CR-V in Ohio.

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