2012 Honda CR-V gets official at the 2011 LA Auto Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 17, 2011

Honda unveiled today the all-new 2012 CR-V at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, introducing an upscale styling direction, greater fuel efficiency as well as new features. The most important change is the engine: the 2012 Honda CR-V comes with a standard 2.4-liter i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and 163 lb-ft. of torque mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission.

EPA-estimated fuel economy is rated at 23/31/26 mpg city/highway/combined (FWD) (an increase of +2/+3/+2 mpg compared to the 2011 CR-V). For the AWD model the numbers change: 22/30/25 mpg city/highway/combined.

A new feature on the 2012 CR-V is the Eco Assist, which indicates the driver when the vehicle is being operated in an efficient style via "green" visual cues surrounding the speedometer. Some of the standard features on the 2012 CR-V are the Bluetooth HandsFreeLink phone interface (previously an available feature), a full-color intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) and a multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines.

Moreover, the 2012 CR-V includes an SMS text messaging function, which can read received texts from compatible cell phones aloud over the audio system, as well as the Pandora Internet Radio interface3, compatible with the Apple iPhone.

As expected, the 2012 CR-V LX base model comes with more standard equipment, including: air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth HandsFreeLink, i-MID, remote entry, a 160-watt, a 4-speaker audio system, Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS).

The 2012 Honda CR-V EX ads an upgraded six-speaker audio system, power moonroof, 17-inch alloy wheels and more. The 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L ads leather-trimmed interior, 10-way power driver's seat, automatic dual-zone climate control, 328-watt 7-speaker audio system with XM Radio and much more.

Exterior Design

Beautiful exterior designs have been a trademark of Honda’s styling and these are seen in the 2012 Honda CR-V.

Similar to the previous model, the Japanese carmaker’s fourth-generation compact utility vehicle has beautiful rear and front sight lines, which include a forward invisible length and eye point level. The invisible length is enhanced at the hood corners, allowing the driver to enable the driver to see shorter objects that are moving or located close to the bumper at the front.

CR-V further features UV-resistant privacy glass that has dark tinting for the second-row windows. These windows are able to keep out UV light, ensuring that you get less fading as time goes by as well as cooler cabins even on hot days and better interior cooling. The rear side windows feature an ECON badge to certify the vehicle’s ECON function.

The Windows

All CR-V models have power windows that have individual controls. These individual controls are disabled with just a press of the master switch located on the driver’s window.

The Moonroof

EX and EX-L models of the new Honda CR-V also feature a power moonroof that has a tilt feature. The moonroof opens and closes at the touch of a switch. The moonroof was designed to allow for sufficient headroom. It has a sliding sunshade that opens with the roof and can be closed if you want to keep sunlight out. To slide or tilt the moonroof, the front passenger or the driver would need to press the switch found on the ceiling.

The moonroof will close or open automatically. If you want to partially open the moonroof, you can give the switch a lighter touch for full manual control. The moonroof can give the cabin much needed ventilation, while it has an auto-reverse feature that guarantees that it will not close on someone’s arm or hand. The auto-reverse can detect any obstruction and will automatically reopen the moonroof.

Press Release

Honda CR-V

All new for 2012, the fourth-generation Honda CR-V embraces a sophisticated and bold styling direction, offers multiple technology firsts for Honda and increases fuel economy on all models, American Honda Motor Co., Inc., announced. Long established as the benchmark vehicle in its class in terms of quality, refinement and popularity, the 2012 CR-V is designed to continue to exceed customer expectations for entry-level SUVs. Major enhancements include improved car-like interior comfort, a smoother and quieter ride, and more innovative features.


Significant reductions to the impact of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) throughout the body and chassis improve interior quietness and ride quality compared to the previous model. To achieve the improvement, the 2012 Honda CR-V has greater body rigidity, lighter suspension components, additional noise insulation and more aerodynamic features including underbody covers and a rear spoiler.

Exterior Dimensions

The 2012 Honda CR-V rides on a 103.1-inch wheelbase and measures 178.3 inches in length, 0.8-inches shorter than the previous-generation CR-V. At 71.6 inches, overall width is the same as the previous CR-V, and at 61.6 inches front/61.6 inches rear, the track is also the same. But the most significant departure is in height: at 65.1 inches tall, the 2012 CR-V is a noticeable 1.0-inch lower on AWD models and 1.4 inches lower on FWD models. Although the aggregate visual effect is of a lower, sleeker CR-V, even with these exterior dimension adjustments the new model is still roomier inside.

Exterior Styling and Design Concept

The size and proportion of the previous-generation Honda CR-V contributed to its success as the best-selling SUV in every calendar year from 2007 through 2010, as did refined styling features such as the multi-reflector halogen headlights, long full-body taillights, and exterior detailing that conveyed both ruggedness and sophistication.

Compared to the previous-generation CR-V, the 2012 model takes on a more aggressive and aerodynamic stance with deeper sculpting of the bodylines and a bolder front fascia. The front bumper's smooth-flowing lines are highlighted by a horizontal three-bar grille and deeply set multi-reflector headlights. The lower front bumper wraps smartly upward to convey SUV capability with a generous approach angle, while the lower front bumper design now integrates more smoothly with the fascia for improved aerodynamics. The CR-V's signature vertical rear brake lights, which originally debuted on the 1997 model, remain for 2012 with a more three-dimensional style that further compliments the design and aerodynamics of the vehicle. The CR-V's large wheels and bold fender flares emphasize the vehicle's dynamic presence and capability.

In aerodynamic efficiency, the new CR-V is targeted to be at the top of its class, with numerous design elements contributing to improved efficiency. The longer roofline and integrated rear spoiler help to lower the coefficient of drag.

The CR-V EX-L is equipped with silver roof rails that start at the A-pillars and sweep along the roofline toward the rear end of the vehicle (available as an accessory on CR-V LX and EX). These rails provide an attachment point for an accessory rack, while also providing a dramatic visual element. The rails are fully functional, with each side including three anchor points.

Side Door Design with Improved Ingress and Egress

When the doors are open, the side-sill garnish covering the rocker panel creates a more direct pathway to the ground when entering or exiting the vehicle compared to the previous generation Honda CR-V. The end result is less step-over distance for better comfort and a reduction in the likelihood of leg contact with the side of the vehicle.

Aerodynamic Enhancements

The CR-V gets significant improvements in aerodynamic refinement and efficiency for 2012, which reduces interior noise and helps to increase fuel economy. Among the improvements is a body design that significantly improves aerodynamic efficiency by helping air to move over, around and underneath the CR-V. In doing so, the floor uses new or enlarged undercovers beneath the engine, behind the front subframe, under the passenger cabin, and under the trunk area to help air flow more smoothly, resulting in less turbulence and drag. Additional details including radiator air ducts, air strakes and a rear spoiler, all combine to improve aerodynamic efficiency.

Rigid Unit-Body Construction

In the new 2012 CR-V, numerous improvements contribute to a higher-strength unit-body, which improves ride and handling, as well as interior noise levels. All-new engineering improves the overall strength of the front bulkhead, front and rear wheel arches, A-, B-, C- and D-pillars and body posts compared to the previous-generation Honda CR-V. As a result, overall stability increased, benefiting steering precision and feel, ride comfort and dynamic stability. The body side sills are also shaped to further improve ingress and egress ergonomics.

Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) Body Structure

Originally debuting on the 2005 Odyssey, the 2012 CR-V employs the Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. (Please see Safety section for more information.) The ACE body structure is a pioneering Honda unit-body construction technology. First introduced to CR-V in the 2007 model, ACE™ increases the vehicle body's ability to manage crash energy in a frontal collision, even if the CR-V should collide with another vehicle that is either larger or smaller.

Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Guidelines

All models receive a multi-angle rearview camera, visible on the 5-inch intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID). The camera can show a top view, 130-degree view or 180­-degree rear view when the transmission is in Reverse. The camera is located just above the license plate on the tailgate. Guidelines help drivers gauge how close they are to an object. The dotted line indicates the closest distance that the tailgate can be opened. On navigation system-equipped models, the image appears on its 6.5-inch screen. (Please see Interior section for more information.)

Visibility and Glass

Excellent outward visibility is a hallmark of Honda design and a key feature for the 2012 Honda CR-V. Like its predecessor, Honda's fourth-generation compact utility vehicle retains excellent front and rear sight lines for the driver, including a commanding eye point level and a short forward invisible length (the distance a driver needs to look to see the ground in front of the vehicle). This invisible length is further improved at the corners of the 2012 CR-V hood, enabling the driver to see shorter objects closer to the front bumper.

The CR-V also has UV-resistant privacy glass with dark tinting on the second-row windows. This glass filters UV light and results in less interior fade over time, lower cabin temperatures on hot days, and more efficient interior cooling. The rear side windows include an ECON badge in recognition of the CR-V's ECON function. (Please see Powertrain section for more information.)

Power Windows

Power windows, with an auto-up/down driver's window, are standard on all CR-V models. Individual controls are located by their respective windows. Pressing a master switch on the driver's window control panel can deactivate the passengers' windows.

One-Touch Power Moonroof with Tilt Feature

The Honda CR-V EX and EX-L models have a one-touch power moonroof with tilt feature that will fully open or close with a single touch of the switch. Construction of the moonroof mechanism was studied to provide ample headroom. The moonroof has a sliding sunshade that opens with the roof and can be closed to block sunlight. To tilt or slide the moonroof, the driver or front passenger needs only to fully press the ceiling-mounted switch once (instead of pressing and holding it for several seconds). The moonroof fully opens or closes automatically. However, if the operator wishes to only partially open or close the moonroof (such as to achieve partial ventilation), a lighter touch yields fully manual control. The moonroof can also tilt to provide ventilation. An auto-reverse feature is built in, helping to ensure that the moonroof will not forcefully close if someone's hand or arm is positioned in the path of the glass. If an obstruction is detected, the moonroof mechanism will reopen the moonroof.


The 2012 CR-V features a manual tailgate that can be unlocked with the remote or by pressing a button inside the driver's door. Twin gas-charged hydraulic struts ease opening the tailgate, and a single pull-down handle is located on the right side. The tailgate has a complete 360-degree gasket for a tight seal against the intrusion of water, dirt and wind noise. In addition, the rear aperture of the CR-V body is specially reinforced to strengthen the tailgate opening, which is the largest opening on the vehicle body. This increased rigidity at this critical location improves ride and handling, as well as interior quietness. The tailgate automatically locks whenever the CR-V is locked.

Windshield Wipers

Positioning the 2012 CR-V's windshield wipers behind and below the rear edge of the hood line keeps them below the driver's normal sightline for improved forward visibility. In addition, the wipers are positioned out of the airflow over the hood to reduce turbulence that can contribute to aerodynamic drag and interior noise. For pedestrian safety, the pivots are deformable. (Please see Safety section for more information.) A rear windshield wiper is also included.

Operation of the windshield wipers remains intuitively simple for the 2012 model year. As before, a stalk positioned next to the steering wheel controls the wipers. But on the new Honda CR-V, organization of the controls on the stalk was simplified to make operation simpler and more intuitive. With the new vehicle, pushing the stalk up or down operates the front windshield wipers, and twisting the outside part of the stalk operates the rear windshield wiper.

Multi-Reflector Halogen Headlights

The 2012 CR-V is equipped with multi-reflector halogen headlights for a dynamic and dramatic appearance. In addition, all CR-V models (expanded from just CR-V EX-L previously) have a headlight Auto-Off feature for added convenience. The Auto Off timer function can be customized through the i-MID. CR-V EX-L models finclude Auto On/Off as a premium feature.

The halogen high beams offer a bright and focused light beam that shines significantly stronger and wider than the low beam lights. By operating at a lower voltage, the halogen low beams serve double-duty as the daytime running lights (DRL), which automatically turn on when the ignition is on.

Taillights and Brake Lights

The 2012 CR-V taillight system features incandescent taillights and outboard brake lights, and attention-grabbing LED illumination for the Center High Mount Stop Lamp (CHMSL) that is embedded in the rear spoiler. The CHMSL lens is white with red-illuminating LEDs underneath.

The taillights are reminiscent of previous-generation Honda CR-V taillights, but are now more stylized and three-dimensional appearing. Along with the new body styling, they add an exciting and distinctive appearance to the rear of the new CR-V. Large rectangular backup lights provide bright illumination when backing up.

The complex taillight shape helps the CR-V meet aerodynamic as well as design objectives. The upper part owes its shape to aerodynamics. It is purposely designed to work in concert with the spoiler extending from the roof to better channel the airflow around the rear of the vehicle. At the other end, the lower part broadens significantly toward its base in a unique kink both forward and to the side to give the model its distinctive rear quarter appearance.

Fuel Tank

The CR-V's fuel tank is located forward of the rear multi-link suspension. Its lightweight polypropylene design offers low weight and good capacity for its size. The composite design allows a generous fuel capacity of 15.3 gallons, identical to that of the previous-generation CR-V. The CR-V also incorporates a returnless fuel supply system that helps reduce vapor generation.

Exterior Colors

An expressive color palette adds drama and personalized style to all 2012 Honda CR-V models. Twilight Blue Metallic, an all-new color, is available on all CR-V models, and sophisticated Glacier White Pearl is exclusively available on CR-V EX and EX-L models. Six CR-V colors return for 2012. All are available on all CR-V models except for Taffeta White, which is exclusive to the CR-V LX.

Side Mirrors and Expanded-View Driver's Mirror

CR-V's power side mirrors are aerodynamically optimized to reduce wind noise and minimize turbulence. The side mirrors can be manually folded in for greater convenience in tight parking situations. Side mirror housings on the CR-V LX model are black, and those on the CR-V EX and EX-L models are body color, to further compliment the overall vehicle design. The CR-V EX-L model adds heated side mirrors.

New on the 2012 CR-V is an Expanded-View Driver's Mirror. This mirror uses a flat reflective plane on the inner portion of the mirror closest to the door as required by law, while the outer portion of the mirror uses a convex element to provide a broader field of view. This adds an additional 5.5 degrees of visibility at the outer edge of the mirror's field of view, which can assist the driver in detecting other vehicles or road conditions that they might not otherwise see in their side mirror.


From a packaging standpoint, the Honda CR-V continues to offer a class-leading low cargo floor and lift over height for ease of loading along with a modest increase in passenger and cargo volume. It also benefits from a more car-like driving position compared to the previous generation CR-V. Put it all together, and the CR-V blends form and function like no other vehicle in the class.

Beyond its smart new packaging, the CR-V demonstrates new attention to the in-vehicle driving experience, with sophisticated and precise instrumentation and a full-color "intelligent" Multi-Information Display (i-MID) that offers a range of customizable features via fingertip controls on the steering wheel. A slightly lower and reconfigured seating position gives the CR-V a more carlike feel from inside the cabin, while retaining the same elevated driver vantage point that customers value in this class.

CR-V offers a variety of new standard and available technologies that are meant to enhance driving enjoyment. The CR-V's audio systems offer a new level of connectivity, led by a Pandora® internet radio interface. With an iPhone running the free Pandora app connected to the CR-V's USB port, Pandora station information appears on the color i-MID screen, and the driver can control the app with the steering-wheel mounted controls, or the touch screen navigation system (when equipped with navigation).

There's also a convenient SMS text messaging function that, when paired with a compatible phone, can read incoming texts aloud through the audio system and allow the Honda CR-V's driver to respond with any of six factory preset text messages. For 2012, the Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® phone interface is standard on all models, and offers intuitive hands-free calling convenience. For the first time, the CR-V now offers an available DVD Rear Entertainment System (RES), with a remote control.

Interior Packaging Concept

The CR-V has always offered a unique combination of virtues that continue to define the entry compact SUV segment: relatively small exterior dimensions for easy urban maneuvering, excellent fuel economy and a roomy, accommodating interior that offers great cargo carrying versatility. The new fourth-generation CR-V carries on in that same tradition with a newly designed interior that has a more spacious feel, more storage space and Easy Fold-Down 60/40 Split Rear Seat that combines with a 0.8-inch lower lift-in and load floor to provide more cargo loading convenience.

Increased Visibility

The 2012 CR-V's body and glass have been completely redesigned to provide added outward visibility for the driver and passengers. To make judging the length of the vehicle easier, more of the top of the hood is now visible from the driver's viewpoint.

Control Layout

During the design of the CR-V, designers set out to create a "smart interface" between the vehicle and the driver. The goal was an intuitive layout that would require minimal driver eye movement. Key design features include large analog instrumentation complemented with a color "intelligent" Multi-Information Display (i-MID) positioned high in the central part of the instrument panel within the driver's line of sight. The final element of the CR-V's smart interface approach is its steering wheel mounted controls. By allowing the driver to operate a range of features without taking their hands off the wheel, distraction potential can be reduced in certain situations.


The Honda CR-V uses clean and simple analog instrumentation with a sophisticated and technical appearance. The centrally positioned speedometer is the largest feature on the instrument panel. It is complemented by a central LED screen that is controlled using the Select/Reset knob positioned just above and to the right of the speedometer. The display provides a range of information and trip computer functions.

Progressive Instrument Illumination

The CR-V's instrument system uses progressive illumination sequence when the driver enters the vehicle. When the door is opened, the instrument brightness turns on at 10 percent. When the key is put in the ignition (encircled with an illuminated ring), the instrument illumination ramps up to 100 percent in one second. When the ignition is turned on, the illuminated instrument needles and enunciator lights come on, indicating all systems are go.

Intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID)

All CR-V models include a new intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) that allows for convenient, line-of-sight access to vehicle information, audio track titles, personal wallpaper and more via simple steering wheel-mounted controls and a 5-inch color screen. Positioned in the upper center portion of the instrument panel, this bright, full-TFT LCD display is easy to see and interpret. The i-MID serves as the audio system display and features on-screen icons and prompts to make navigation through a range of screens intuitive. In addition to audio information, the i-MID also includes an SMS text messaging function and a Pandora internet radio compatibility. It also displays fuel-economy information, as well as Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® information. Turn-by-turn navigation directions also appear on the i-MID on the CR-V EX-L Navi. User-support features include customizable settings and a customizable wallpaper display. Recommended wallpaper pixel dimensions are 234x480, 468x960, 702x1440 or 936x1920. The i-MID also displays warnings such as door ajar, parking brake and TPMS.

Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with Guidelines

All CR-V models are equipped with a rearview camera that offers multiple perspectives from behind the vehicle. The image appears on the i-MID, or on the navigation display in vehicles equipped with navigation. When in reverse, the driver can select from among three views by pushing the audio select knob, or with soft keys on the navigation screen in vehicles equipped with navigation. The primary view is "Normal View," which delivers 130-degrees of rearward visibility. Additionally, there is the "Wide View," which delivers 180-degrees of rearward visibility. Finally, the "Top Down View" generates a straight-down perspective.

Maintenance Minder Display

All CR-V models have a Maintenance Minder system that tracks service related items based on vehicle usage. The Maintenance Minder system automatically indicates when to have standard service performed based on actual driving conditions (tracked by the ECU) and minimizes the guesswork related to whether the vehicle is being used in standard or severe use conditions for maintenance interval purposes. The display indicates when to change the oil, air cleaner, transmission fluid, spark plugs or coolant, as well as when to rotate the tires. Maintenance Minder information appears in the i-MID display.

Eco Assist

All CR-V models come with Eco Assist™. Located in the upper instrument panel located on either side of the speedometer, the CR-V's Eco Assist has illuminated arcs that show if the vehicle is being driven in an efficient style. The system operates in essentially the same manner as on Insight, CR-Z and Civic, in this case with white and green "coaching" bars that illuminate. A white color signifies inefficient driving, while green means a more efficient driving style is being used. The color changes gradually in response to driving style.


Every 2012 CR-V is equipped with a green ECON button to the left of the steering wheel, a feature that recently appeared on the 2012 Civic. This button engages ECON mode, in which several operating characteristics of the vehicle are modified for enhancing fuel efficiency. 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 and other climate control system characteristics are altered based on the conditions. See the Powertrain section for more information on ECON Mode.

Steering Wheel

The 2012 CR-V's new 3-spoke steering wheel features an expanded range of manual tilt and telescope steering wheel adjustment in order to better accommodate drivers of various sizes. All CR-V models now include audio controls on the left side of the steering wheel, with four controls arranged on one ring - rather like the four points on a compass - to simplify the layout and provide for intuitive toggling between functions. All controls are positioned ergonomically where they are easy to reach and operate. They also offer a pleasing tactile feel that reduces the need for the driver to confirm operation visually. The left-side steering wheel controls also include i-MID functionality, while cruise control buttons are positioned on the right. Bluetooth HandsFreeLink control buttons are positioned on the lower left side of the steering wheel.

Climate Control

All CR-V models provide air conditioning as standard equipment. The front climate controls on the CR-V are mounted centrally on the instrument panel for easy accessibility and feature rotary knobs for temperature settings and fan control. Push buttons allow control of airflow through the various vents inside the vehicle (i.e. defrost, heater, split level, etc.). The Honda CR-V LX and CR-V EX have a manual climate control system; the CR-V EX-L and above have an automatic dual-zone system.

The CR-V's micron air-filtration system is capable of filtering nearly 100 percent of particulates over 8 microns in size (the size of most pollen). It can also filter out approximately 40 percent of particulates down to 0.3 microns (about the size of diesel emissions). To improve cooling capacity, the high capacity condenser with integrated receiver drier runs the liquid refrigerant through a sub-cooling condenser, after the main condenser.

Interior Materials

Inside the CR-V, every tactile surface, from the interior door handles to the seat controls to the instrument panel, steering wheel, and controls are designed to be pleasing to the touch—and easy to operate. Cloth velour upholstery is standard in the CR-V LX, while the CR-V EX has upgraded fabric with a suede-like feel. The CR-V EX-L has standard leather seating surfaces.

Front Seats

For 2012, the front seats of the CR-V have been completely redesigned with a more supportive seat construction, structure and padding. The seats are now wider with more supportive side bolsters that give the seats a secure feel particularly when cornering. The driver's seat height adjustability range has been increased by 0.4-inch and the driving position now has a more car-like orientation, even though the driver's vantage point above the road and commanding view is essentially unchanged.

Easy Fold-Down 60/40 Split Rear Seat

To enhance the CR-V's rear passenger comfort and cargo carrying versatility, the CR-V has a newly designed One-Motion 60/40 Split Rear Seat. With supportive padding, reclining seatbacks and a flat floor with plenty of legroom, the backseat offers a high level of passenger comfort. But if cargo carrying is a priority, the seats can be quickly lowered to provide a large cargo deck. Each side of the split-folding seat is operated independently via an easily accessible release handle, one on each side of the cargo area. There is also a release strap for each seat that's accessible from each rear door. A single pull on either the handle or strap stows the seat completely, by automatically tilting the seat base forward, lowering the outboard headrest and folding the seatback forward. The process only takes seconds. To put the seats up, simply raise the backrest, flip up the headrest and swing the seat base back into position.

Interior Storage

To maximize convenience and utility, the CR-V's interior has a wide range of storage features. The generously sized front console has a large 10.8-liter central storage compartment that's roomy enough to hold a typical purse or laptop, and the sliding cover keeps contents out of view. Two beverage holders and a small storage tray are positioned at the front of the console within easy reach. Compartments in the side of the console and dual storage compartments in each door panel provide additional space for small items. The front doors also include bottle holders. In the rear seating area, a flip-down center armrest includes two beverage holders.

Cargo Capability

The CR-V is designed to offer cargo capability to suit the needs of active owners. Even though it is slightly shorter bumper-to-bumper and lower in overall height, the CR-V has gained cargo space behind the rear seats (up from 35.7 cubic ft. to 37.2 cubic ft.). Total cargo volume with the seats down is now 70.9 cu-ft. compared to 72.9 cu-ft. for the previous model. The negligible decrease is attributable to the new One-Motion 60/40 Split Rear Seat design, which creates a nearly flat floor surface when folded forward.

For easier loading, the CR-V's lift-in height has been lowered by 0.8-inch. The cargo floor has also been lowered by 0.8-inch, making it among the lowest cargo floors in the class.

For maximum cargo capacity, the Easy Fold-Down 60/40 Split Rear Seat can be quickly lowered, creating a nearly flat load floor. The load area is sized to accept large suitcases stored vertically, four golf bags or a stroller (rear seats upright), or two mountain bikes (rear seats folded).

The ease of converting the cargo area to its maximum-possible cargo mode has improved for 2012 with a simpler one-touch fold-down mechanism for the left- and right-side rear seats. The release levers make it possible to quickly and conveniently flip and fold the rear seats forward while standing at the tailgate opening. Pulling a release first flips the seat base forward, then lowers the head restraint, and finally lowers the seatback forward.

A generously sized elastic storage net and well is located on the left side of the cargo area for holding small items securely. In addition, four "D" rings for tying down cargo are located on the cargo area floor. The front "D" rings are chromed for an attractive finished appearance.

The CR-V also includes a retractable cargo cover that can hide items stored in the cargo area behind the second-row seats. The cover and mechanism can be quickly removed and stowed on the floor. Located underneath the cargo floor is a temporary spare tire and vehicle jack.

Audio Systems

The Honda CR-V LX is equipped with a 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with four speakers. The CD player can also read CD-Rs loaded with Windows Media Audio (WMA)4 or MP3 audio files. The system also includes Bluetooth®2 streaming audio and Pandora internet radio compatibility (with compatible iPhones). Audio information is displayed on the color i-MID screen positioned high in the center section of the instrument panel. An auxiliary input jack is standard, along with the USB Audio Interface that can allow an iPod, iPhone or flash drive to be connected to the system.

The system features Speed-Sensitive Volume Control (SVC). With SVC, as the vehicle speeds up and exterior noise increases, the audio system automatically raises the music's volume, and then lowers it as the vehicle slows down. If desired, SVC can be deactivated at any time.

The CR-V EX has an upgraded AM/FM/CD audio system with six speakers. CR-V EX-L and CR-V EX-L Navi models provide an even more impressive 328-watt, 7-speaker premium audio system including subwoofer and XM® Radio.

USB Audio Interface

A USB Audio Interface is located in the center console of all models. It can read flash drives and compatible digital music devices, such as iPods, that contain MP3 or WMA music files. It is important to note that only the iPod video, iPod nano and other 5th-generation or later iPods are compatible with this system. The iPod shuffle, mini, and older iPod models are not compatible. When an iPod is connected, the Honda logo will appear on the screen of the compatible iPod showing it is ready for use. The iPod or flash drive can then be controlled using the steering wheel-mounted or radio controls. Information such as song title, artist, album art and other information will appear on the CR-V's i-MID screen. The system will also charge the iPod while it is connected.

XM Radio

XM® Radio is a standard feature for the CR-V EX-L and EX-L with Navigation and provides more than 130 digital channels of programming with near CD-quality sound. With XM Radio, CR-V owners can listen to their choice of music anywhere in the contiguous 48 states along with select areas of Canada.

XM programming includes channels devoted to music, sports, talk, traffic, weather, children's programming and entertainment. Of the 130 XM channels, 69 are commercial-free. When the CR-V's audio system plays XM, the i-MID display screen shows the current station, song title, and artist's name.

Pandora Internet Radio Compatibility

The CR-V incorporates a wide range of entertainment features to accommodate the ever-changing preferences of customers. A first for Honda, all CR-V models are designed to provide a convenient interface for Pandora internet radio. Pandora is a free music service that allows users to open an account online and create up to 100 personalized internet "radio stations" that are based on favorite songs or artists. Users can choose among their stations and listen via computer, and can also download a free smartphone Pandora app, which allows users listen to the same list of personalized stations via their compatible phone. Though Pandora is free, phone data charges apply.

At this time, the Pandora Audio interface in the CR-V is supported only on the iPhone. To use Pandora in the CR-V, an iPhone is connected via the USB port located in the center console. The vehicle's audio source is set to iPod, and using the phone, the Pandora app is launched. (If the Pandora app is not launched, the phone will function as an iPod.) The i-MID (or navigation display in vehicles with navigation) displays Pandora information and album art, and the audio controls allow listeners to choose from among existing stations, pause, resume, skip forward, and mark a track with "like" or "dislike" ratings. To ease driver use, some functionality of the Pandora iPhone app is locked out when using the CR-V's Pandora interface. On all CR-V models, Pandora operation is controlled by the up, down and skip buttons on the audio system head unit, and by the buttons on the left side of the steering wheel. When equipped with navigation, Pandora is controlled by the left-side steering wheel buttons, and the touch-screen navigation display.

Pandora internet radio audio can also be streamed wirelessly to the CR-V by a compatible cell phone (not only the iPhone) via the HandsFreeLink Bluetooth connection. With this type of connection, however, Pandora must be controlled directly with the phone. Though the CR-V's volume control can be used to set the sound level, the other features of the CR-V's Pandora interface are not available.


The 103.1-inch wheelbase, wide front and rear track dimensions, fully independent suspension design, and features such as VSA® and new Motion-Adaptive EPS all contribute to the CR-V's objective to provide a premium driving experience. The CR-V's suspension system uses a MacPherson strut design in the front and a precise multi-link rear suspension. The compact multi-link suspension helps maximize second-row seating and cargo space, while also providing outstanding handling characteristics and ride quality.

Front MacPherson Strut Suspension

The front suspension is specially designed and tuned for compact packaging, supple ride comfort and the long wheel travel and ruggedness necessary to meet harsh roads. Primary components of the front MacPherson strut suspension consist of a subframe-attached lower control arm and heavy-duty wheel hub connected to a shock absorber and coil spring assembly. The damper and coil spring assembly acts as one unit and is attached to the wheel hub at its base and a reinforced portion of the of the vehicle body at its top.

The front suspension geometry incorporates a high caster angle along with inversely wound springs for confident straight-line tracking and excellent toe-control dynamics for sharp and responsive steering. When cornering, the inner wheel is designed to remain close to perpendicular (relative to the ground plane) throughout a wide range of travel, which improves tire adhesion. To improve ride comfort, the compliance angle on the lower control arm is tuned to transmit minimal harshness. Specially tuned bushings and precisely calibrated suspension geometry ensure optimal ride, handling and steering feel in a wide variety of road conditions.

Rear Multi-Link Suspension

The CR-V is equipped with a rear multi-link suspension that helps provide a smoother ride, improved handling and additional cargo space. The dynamics offered by the three-link suspension create excellent stability under cornering and braking. The rear independent multi-link suspension system with aluminum knuckle fits compactly underneath the rear seating and storage areas while providing excellent ride and handling characteristics, with low NVH. The suspension uses large-diameter trailing-arm bushings to reduce harshness and improve ride comfort. Front and rear stays increase the subframe mounting point rigidity, to the benefit of stability and steering feel.

Front and Rear Stabilizer Bars

All models feature front and rear stabilizer bars to reduce body roll during cornering. The diameter of the tubular front stabilizer bar measures 20 mm, and the solid rear stabilizer bar measures 19 mm.

Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS)

Following the 2012 Civic, the new CR-V is the second Honda in the North American market to use Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS). Standard on all 2012 Honda CR-V models, this sophisticated new system incorporates driving stability technology which initiates steering inputs that prompt the driver to steer in the correct direction during cornering and in slippery road conditions.

Using vehicle speed and steering angle data, Motion-Adaptive EPS works with Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) and Electric Power Steering to detect instability in slippery road conditions both during cornering and under braking and automatically initiates steering inputs aimed at prompting the driver to steer in the correct direction. This new advanced technology supports the driver's action in operating the vehicle more safely and comfortably.

Three examples of how Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS) functions in conjunction with VSA are:

Stabilizes Braking — Corrects the driver's steering input to reduce vehicle instability when the driver is braking hard on road surfaces with different friction coefficients (such as pavement that is only partially covered with dirt or snow)
Mitigates Understeer — Corrects the steering inputs to mitigate understeer and help the driver trace the curve
Mitigates Oversteer — Corrects the steering inputs to mitigate oversteer and help the driver trace the curve
With Motion-Adaptive EPS, a sophisticated electric power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system takes the place of a conventional hydraulic power steering system. EPS responds instantly to steering input and automatically changes the amount of power assist appropriate to the vehicle's speed.

The Motion-Adaptive EPS system consists of a rack-and-pinion steering gear with an electric motor installed concentrically around the steering rack. To control the level of assist the Powertrain Control Module receives signals from a speed sensor and, coupled with a steering sensor for torque and rotation, then calculates the optimal amount of assist and sends a signal to the electric motor.

When compared to the operation of a conventional hydraulic pump power steering system, the more simple and lightweight Motion-Adaptive EPS increases efficiency because it does not draw a continuous amount of power directly from the engine. Other advantages of electric power-assisted steering include its simplicity and compactness (no hydraulic system is needed to power it) and its lower power consumption, which helps improve fuel efficiency.

The steering ratio on all CR-V models is 16.7:1 (previously 15.7 in 2011), resulting in 3.2 turns lock-to-lock (previously 3.0 in 2011) and a turning diameter of 37.0 ft. (37.3 ft. EX) curb-to-curb (previously 37.8 ft. in 2011). All 2012 CR-V models have a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel.

4-Wheel Disc Brakes with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)

All CR-V models are equipped with 4-wheel disc brakes (front ventilated disc and rear solid disc) for confident braking. The system incorporates 4-channel ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist as standard equipment. A power brake booster offers a solid feel with high pedal rigidity. The ventilated front disc brakes are 11.7 inches in diameter and the solid rear disc brakes are 12.0 inches in diameter.

The 4-channel ABS independently modulates braking power at each wheel to help the driver retain steering control during heavy braking. EBD automatically optimizes braking force between the front and rear wheels, helping to ensure that the CR-V stops in the shortest distance possible, regardless of the number of passengers or amount of cargo that it is carrying. Brake Assist recognizes emergency braking situations and almost instantly applies added braking force when appropriate.

For 2012, the CR-V wheel hubs receive improvements. The rear hubs in all models feature low-friction bearing seals, while the rear brakes in AWD models additionally feature low-drag springs. The enhancements contribute to the CR-V's improved fuel economy.

Hill Start Assist

New for 2012, Hill Start Assist helps to prevent the vehicle from rolling backwards when the driver switches from the brake pedal to the accelerator pedal while the vehicle is stopped on a hill. Hill Start Assist automatically activates when the vehicle senses a certain incline and is fully stopped in any forward or reverse gear. The system uses a longitudinal G-sensor along with a wheel speed sensor and steering angle sensor to control the hydraulic brake modulator. While activated, the brakes are released when the driver depresses the throttle to make the vehicle move.

Wheels and Tires

CR-V EX and EX-L models are equipped with 225/65R17 all-season tires with 17x6.5-inch aluminum alloy wheels. The CR-V LX is equipped with 215/70R16 all-season tires with 16x6.5-inch stamped-steel wheels.

Space-Saving Spare Tire

The spare tire is a space- and weight-saving temporary unit for all CR-V models. Mounted on a steel wheel, it is located under the carpeted floor in the trunk.

Fuel System

The 15.3-gallon fuel tank is molded of high-density polyethylene for low weight, corrosion elimination and impact resistance. It is positioned immediately ahead of the rear wheels to help guard against collision damage. Corners of the tank are rounded and the inside of the tank is baffled to diminish the likelihood of sloshing-fuel noise. A new fuel pump housed inside the fuel tank is lighter and more efficient compared to the previous generation's fuel pump. The fuel-filter is a lifetime design that never needs replacement. The CR-V's minimum fuel grade requirement is regular unleaded.


When equipped with a Honda dealer-installed accessory towing package, the new 2012 CR-V can tow up to 1,500 pounds. The available towing package includes a Class II hitch, towing kit, ATF cooler and wiring harness.


The CR-V's transmission works in conjunction with the engine's Drive-By-Wire™ throttle control to smoothly shift between gears. Additionally, Honda's unique Grade Logic Control system can intuitively hold the most appropriate gear on hilly roads, reducing unnecessary shifting. For drivers who desire the four-season confidence of all-wheel drive, the new Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System debuts on the 2012 CR-V and is available to help provide traction in low-grip driving conditions such as snow, rain and unpaved road surfaces.

The electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system replaces the previous-generation CR-V's Real Time 4WD™, a hydraulically activated "dual-pump" system. Compared to the prior system, the electronically activated system offers a faster, more intuitive initial response when a loss of traction is detected. It also reduces weight by 17 percent and minimizes internal friction by 60 percent. The advancements help to further minimize the negative impact on fuel economy inherent to virtually all four-wheel-drive systems.

185-horsepwoer 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC 4-Cylinder Engine

The 2012 CR-V is powered by a dual overhead cam (DOHC), all-aluminum, 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder 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. Despite its added power, the engine also delivers superior EPA-estimated fuel economy compared to its predecessor, up by over 10 percent on the highway compared to the 2011 model, in both front-drive and all-wheel-drive versions.

A host of innovative features are designed to deliver a cutting-edge combination of performance, fuel efficiency, and low emissions. Most apparent is the i-VTEC "intelligent" valve-control system, a technology that combines VTC (Variable Timing Control) - which continuously adjusts camshaft phase - with Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) - which changes valve lift, timing, and duration. The combination of these two systems results in impressive horsepower and torque - with good fuel economy and low exhaust emissions.

In keeping with Honda's proven commitment to the environment, the CR-V engine meets strict California Air Resource Board (CARB) Ultra Low Emission Vehicle-2 tailpipe emissions standards and Federal Tier 2-Bin 5 emission standards.

Engine Block/Crankshaft and Low-Friction Engine Design

The 2.4-liter engine uses a two-piece, die-cast aluminum block and bearing cap design that helps maximize strength and rigidity while minimizing noise and vibration. The compact upper element features cast-in iron cylinder liners for outstanding durability and the lower element consists of a single-casting crankshaft carrier fitted with ferrous-carbon bearing-cap inserts that add to its overall structural rigidity. Each journal on the forged-steel crankshaft is micropolished to help reduce internal friction and improve durability.

The CR-V's 4-cylinder engine makes use of new friction-reducing technologies designed to improve engine efficiency. The outer skirts of lightweight aluminum pistons now feature a low-friction coating applied in a unique dot-pattern application. The result is reduced overall friction as the pistons move within the cylinder bores. New low-tension piston rings also reduce friction. Plateau honing further lowers the friction level between the pistons and the cylinders by creating an ultra-smooth surface. Plateau honing is a 2-stage machining process that uses two grinding processes instead of the more conventional single honing process. This also enhances the long-term wear characteristics of the engine. Low viscosity oil (0W-20) is also used to reduce friction.

To improve smoothness throughout the rpm range and help lower noise levels, the CR-V is fitted with an internal balancer unit. Consisting of a pair of chain-driven counter-rotating shafts located in the oil pan, the balancing system helps quell the inherent second-order harmonic vibrations that normally impact in-line 4-cylinder engines.

Aluminum Cylinder Head

The i-VTEC engine uses a compact, lightweight cylinder head made of pressure-cast aluminum alloy. Its 4-valve-per-cylinder design has double overhead camshafts driven by a silent-type chain to ensure extremely precise control of the cam phasing. The cam drive is maintenance-free throughout the life of the engine. Each combustion chamber is designed with a relatively large "squish" area that promotes faster flame propagation on the power stroke. This results in more complete burning of the air-fuel mix and subsequently, low emissions.

i-VTEC Valvetrain

The Honda CR-V uses an advanced valve-control system to combine high power output with high fuel efficiency and low emissions. This "intelligent" version of the system combines Variable Timing Control (VTC), which continuously adjusts the intake camshaft phase, with Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC), which changes valve lift, timing and duration of the intake valves. The pairing of VTEC and VTC results in excellent drivability, including more horsepower and torque at lower rpm levels, along with enhanced fuel economy and significantly lower emissions.

The i-VTEC system on the 2.4-liter DOHC engine employs two rocker arms with friction-reducing roller followers for each pair of intake valves, along with an intake cam that has separate lobes configured to optimize both low- and high-speed operation. Depending on engine load and rpm, an electronic controller determines which cam profile will be used and exactly how each intake will operate.

At low revs, where low lift and shorter duration provide optimal operation, the timing of the two intake valves is staggered and the lift asymmetrically skewed in favor of the primary valve. This helps to create a swirl effect within the combustion chamber that increases the efficiency of the burn process. At higher rpm, a hydraulically actuated spool valve causes a locking pin to engage the secondary rocker arm with the primary one, transitioning the secondary valve into a high-lift/long-duration mode that improves output above 5000 rpm on the CR-V.

VTC allows the timing of the intake camshaft to be continuously varied throughout the engine's entire rpm range. Along with to helping boost power, VTC also provides a more stable idle (allowing idle speed to be reduced) and reduced pumping losses by effectively creating an internal EGR effect at low and mid engine speeds. The result is increased fuel economy and lowered NOx emissions. Operation of the VTC is electronically controlled and is determined by input from sensors that monitor rpm, timing, throttle opening, cam position and exhaust gases. Depending on conditions, VTC can vary the phasing of the intake cam (change its position relative to the crankshaft) by +/- 25 degrees. VTC activation is accomplished hydraulically via a spool valve that sends high-pressure oil to passages in the cam's drive sprocket.

At idle, the timing is almost fully retarded to minimize valve overlap. In normal highway driving, the intake camshaft timing is advanced to provide overlap for EGR effect. With the throttle wide open, valve timing starts in an advanced condition at lower RPM and gradually changes to a delayed condition when redline is approached. This allows optimum cylinder scavenging and pumping efficiency and provides outstanding power and torque throughout the rpm range.

Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI)

The CR-V's Programmed Fuel Injections (PGM-FI) is a sequential multi-port fuel injection system that continually adjusts the precision of the fuel delivery to yield the best combination of power, low fuel consumption and low emissions. Multiple sensors constantly monitor critical operating parameters, such as throttle position, intake air temperature, coolant temperature, ambient air pressure, intake airflow volume, intake manifold pressure, exhaust air-fuel ratio and the position of the crankshaft and cams. The CR-V engine's fuel injector nozzles create extremely small fuel droplets, which improves atomization and flame propagation inside the combustion chambers. The better atomization enhances combustion and reduces emissions.

Regular Unleaded Fuel Operation

To keep operating costs to a minimum, the CR-V is designed to use relatively less-expensive regular unleaded fuel, thanks to compact four-valve combustion chambers and precise fuel injection and spark control.

Drive-by-Wire Throttle Control

An electronic drive-by-wire system helps enhance the driving character of the CR-V from both a throttle pedal feel (good tip-in with direct response) and a transmission refinement perspective (less shift shock with short gear change intervals). With smart electronics connecting the throttle pedal to the throttle butterfly valve in the intake manifold, the engine response can be optimized to suit the driving conditions and to better match the driver's expectations. By eliminating the direct throttle cable connection to the engine, the ratio between pedal movement and throttle butterfly movement can be continuously optimized.

The CR-V uses a DC motor to control the throttle butterfly position in the intake tract. To establish the current driving conditions, the system monitors pedal position, throttle position, vehicle speed, engine speed and engine vacuum. This information is then used to define the throttle control sensitivity.

The throttle system also works to enhance the 5-speed automatic transmission's ability to make shifts faster and smoother. By coordinating the throttle opening with the transmission's shifting functions, engine power can be precisely tailored to the needs of the transmission at every point during the shifting process. That means less shift shock and delay, no matter the driving situation.


All CR-V models are equipped with an ECON button on the left side of the instrument panel as part of the Eco Assist™ system. When activated, ECON mode alters the Drive-by-Wire throttle system response curve in the range from about 10 percent of pedal movement to 80 percent. With less gain, the throttle opening in this range increases more gradually to reduce a potentially excessive peak input for better fuel efficiency. ECON mode also alters the operation of the cruise control system and the air conditioning system, allowing for slightly increased variances with the set speed or the set temperature in order to conserve fuel whenever possible.

High-Efficiency Catalytic Converters

Key contributors to the CR-V engine's excellent emissions performance are its high-efficiency catalytic converters. The exhaust manifold is cast directly into the aluminum-alloy cylinder head to reduce weight and to position each primary catalytic converter as close as possible to the combustion chambers. A high-efficiency close-coupled converter mounts directly to the cylinder head's exhaust port for extremely rapid converter activation after engine startup. A second converter is positioned shortly downstream, beneath the passenger compartment floor. Both converters use a new thin-wall design that increases internal reaction area and improves efficiency. A high-efficiency exhaust system and high-density catalytic converters help the CR-V engine meet stringent ULEV-2 emissions certifications in California and Federal Tier 2 Bin 5 certifications.

Maintenance Minder

The CR-V's vehicle maintenance schedule is calculated by the Maintenance Minder system. The Maintenance Minder system automatically indicates when to have standard service performed based on actual driving conditions (tracked by the ECU) and minimizes the guesswork related to whether the vehicle is being used in standard or severe use conditions for maintenance interval purposes. The display indicates when to change the oil, air cleaner, transmission fluid, spark plugs or coolant, as well as when to rotate the tires. As calculated by the Maintenance Minder system, the CR-V has an engine tune-up interval of 100,000+/- miles or more. (See Interior section for more details on the Maintenance Minder display that appears on the i-MID.)

Multi-stage Alternator Control

To improve battery life and help reduce fuel consumption, the CR-V has a new multi-stage alternator control system. By closely monitoring the battery's charge state, the system can adjust alternator output more precisely than the previous high/low mode system. This fine control reduces excessive charge or discharge and can help increase battery life by up to 30 percent. By inhibiting surplus power generation, the multistage alternator control along with other electrical system improvements contributes to an improvement in fuel economy in the range of 0.5 miles per gallon.

5-Speed Automatic Transmission

A 5-speed automatic transmission with Grade Logic Control is standard on all Honda CR-V models. It's a compact three-shaft transmission design that is engineered for smooth operation and fuel efficiency. The CR-V's Powertrain Control Module (PCM) manages overall powertrain operation, and provides precise management of the interaction between automatic transmission and engine. This integrated control strategy makes for smoother shifts with reduced shift shock.

For 2012, the transmission incorporates a range of features that combine to help improve the CR-V's EPA-estimated fuel economy. A new Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) warmer uses the heat of the engine coolant (which warms more quickly after a cold start-up) to help bring the ATF up to operating temperature faster. New lower viscosity ATF is also used. The response of the lock-up clutch has been improved, and the number of clutch discs has been reduced, thanks to a new high-friction material. Finally, the CR-V has revised gearing to reduce cruising rpm.

Grade Logic Control

To reduce gear "hunting" and unnecessary shifting, Grade Logic Control and Shift Hold Control systems are integrated into the shift programming of the automatic transmission. Grade Logic Control alters the 5-speed automatic's shift schedule, reducing shift frequency while traveling uphill or downhill. Using inputs monitoring throttle position, vehicle speed and acceleration/deceleration, Grade Logic compares the operating parameters with a digital map stored in the transmission computer. When the system determines the CR-V is on a hill, the shift schedule is adjusted to automatically hold the transmission in a lower gear for better climbing power or increased downhill engine braking.

Shift Hold Control

Shift Hold Control prevents upshifts to higher gears (fourth and fifth) in repeated winding-road situations where the throttle is quickly released and the brakes are applied. This reduces disturbance to the chassis when entering a corner, and ensures strong power is available without a downshift. Shift Hold Control improves throttle responsiveness and reduces unnecessary shifting on curving roads.

Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System

New for 2012, the CR-V offers Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System™, which represents a major advancement to Honda's original Real Time 4WD system used in previous-generation models. The more compact and efficient Real Time AWD introduces a high degree of four-wheel-drive sophistication in rain, snow, dirt roads and dry pavement. System operation is completely automatic and virtually transparent in smoothness. Unlike some four-wheel-drive systems that require the driver to select a drive mode based on the perceived need, 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.

The capabilities of the system are prioritized to further support high fuel efficiency and all-around drivability on-road as well as off-road. Assisting the front wheels when it is beneficial, Real Time AWD instantly powers the rear wheels when starting from a stop, even on dry pavement, working in cooperation with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and the new Motion-Adaptive Electric Power Steering (EPS). For comparison, the previous-generation Real Time 4WD was designed to allow the front wheels to slip a small degree before torque was transferred to the rear wheels and its primary benefit was at low speeds. Plus, it did not interact with VSA. The new Real Time AWD system can operate at all speeds when needed. When torque transfer to the rear wheels is not required such as when cruising, drive to the rear wheels is decoupled for reduced drag.

The Intelligent Control System function of Real Time AWD cooperates with the VSA and EPS to assist the driver in maintaining vehicle control. For efficiency, the electric motor activating the hydraulic pump is idled when not required, further reducing drag within the system and helping to reduce energy consumption. Compared to the previous model's Real Time 4WD, the new Real Time AWD design weighs 17 percent less (approximately 36 pounds total system weight) and has 60 percent less rotational drag compared to the previous-generation's Real Time 4WD system.

The CR-V's all-wheel drive system's major components consist of the conventional front-wheel-drive system, a compact transfer case that distributes torque to a propeller shaft running the length of the vehicle, the rear differential, a new electronically-controlled hydraulic pump, a multi-plate clutch, and left and right rear-wheel driveshafts.

The previous-generation Real Time 4WD system was mechanically actuated using a pair of hydraulic pumps (one driven by the front wheels and one driven by the rear wheels) along with a ball cam mechanism to operate the clutch that sent power to the rear wheels. If the front wheels began to turn faster than the rear wheels, as would be the case if they were spinning on snow or ice, the difference in pressure between the two pumps would cause the clutch to be engaged, sending power to the rear wheels. The ball cam mechanism was designed to help speed engagement. The system was designed to react to front wheelspin quickly and then send a portion of the vehicle's power to the rear wheels.

The new Real Time AWD still uses a multi-plate clutch, similar to the clutches used in Honda automatic transmissions, to connect the propeller shaft to the rear differential. But in place of the twin hydraulic pumps and ball cam mechanism used previously, the system now uses an electric motor driving a single hydraulic pump, which operates the clutch. The electric motor is controlled by the Intelligent Control System, which means that the system can actively apportion power based on the conditions. The system doesn't merely react to front wheelspin; it minimizes wheelspin before it happens by sending power to the rear wheels accordingly.

When starting on snow for example, the system sends power to the rear wheels right from the start, minimizing the potential for front wheelspin. The system can also detect when the CR-V is climbing a hill and send a greater amount of power to the rear wheels in cooperation with the newly added Hill Start Assist feature. Hill Start Assist maintains brake pressure briefly after the brake pedal is released, giving the driver time to accelerate and smoothly resume motion. The Intelligent Control System instantly assesses the road's slope angle using a G-sensor and the level of grip as detected by VSA in case of wheel spin, allowing added initial apportioning of torque to the rear wheels for smooth starts.

In summary, Real Time AWD offers the optimal balance of confident capability and user friendliness in a lightweight and fuel-efficient design. The driver can simply step on the accelerator and let the system maximize use of available grip and climbing capability.


Additional standard safety features include front seatbelts with automatic tensioning system and load limiters, driver- and front-passenger seatbelt reminders and daytime running lights (DRL).

Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) Body Structure

Following the lead of other Honda vehicles, the 2012 CR-V utilizes the latest version of the company's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure technology to enhance occupant protection and crash compatibility in frontal collisions. The ACE design utilizes a network of connected structural elements to distribute crash energy more evenly throughout the front of the vehicle. This enhanced frontal crash energy management helps to reduce the forces transferred to the passenger compartment and can help to more evenly disperse the forces transferred to other vehicles in a crash. Additionally, ACE helps minimize the potential for under-ride or over-ride situations that can happen during head-on or offset frontal impacts with a larger or smaller vehicle.

Unlike most conventional designs that direct frontal crash energy only to the lower load-bearing structures in the front end, the ACE system actively channels frontal crash energy to both upper and lower structural elements, including the floor frame rails, side sills and A-pillars. By creating specifically engineered "pathways" that help distribute these frontal impact forces through a greater percentage of the vehicle's total structure, the ACE system can more effectively route them around and away from the passenger compartment to help limit cabin deformation and further improve occupant protection. Integral to the ACE concept is its unique front polygonal main design structure.

Pedestrian Injury Mitigation Design

Structures in the front of the 2012 CR-V are designed to help absorb energy in the event of a collision with a pedestrian. Research by Honda shows that the following features can dramatically improve a pedestrian's chance of survival if struck by a moving vehicle.

Specific pedestrian injury mitigation features include:

The hood is designed to deform if contact is made with either an adult or a child pedestrian
Sufficient clearance exists between the hood and hard engine parts
The windshield base has a unique section structure for efficient impact energy absorption
Energy-absorbing fender mounts and supports
Deformable windshield wiper pivots
Deformable hood hinges
Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control

Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) is an Electronic Stability Control system that works in conjunction with the CR-V's Drive-by-Wire™ throttle and its 4-channel ABS systems to enhance control capability while the vehicle is accelerating, braking, cornering or when the driver makes a sudden maneuver. VSA® functions by applying brake force to one or more wheels independently while also managing the throttle, ignition and fuel systems to help the vehicle maintain the driver's intended path of travel.

The VSA system constantly analyzes data from sensors that monitor wheel and vehicle speed, steering input, lateral G forces and yaw rate. It compares the driver's control inputs with the vehicle's actual response. Whenever the actual response falls outside of a predetermined acceptable range, VSA® intervenes with a corrective action. For instance, if VSA® detects an oversteer condition, the system may apply braking force to the outside front and rear wheels to counteract the unintended yawing effect. In the event of understeer, VSA® may apply braking to the inside rear wheel while reducing engine power to help return the vehicle to its intended course.

VSA® also provides a limited-slip differential effect for the front wheels by applying braking force to a slipping wheel, thereby redirecting driving force to the wheel with more traction. VSA® is calibrated to function in a near-transparent manner, and in many cases a driver will not even be aware of its operation. However, anytime the system is enhancing vehicle stability, an indicator light flashes in the instrument cluster. While the driver can deactivate the VSA® stability enhancement and traction-control functions via a switch on the instrument panel, ABS remains fully operational at all times.

Brake Assist

A function of the VSA® system, the Brake Assist feature recognizes emergency braking situations and almost instantly applies added braking force. This Brake Assist feature is controlled by a special logic in the system that evaluates the pedal application rate and force to recognize a panic stop situation. At that point, the VSA® modulator pump increases braking pressure while the pedal is still being pressed to ensure maximum stopping force, an action that helps shorten braking distance as much as possible.

Advanced 4-Channel ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution

The CR-V is fitted with 4-wheel disc brakes that have vented front rotors and solid rear rotors. (Please see Chassis section for more information.) The ABS system also incorporates Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) circuitry that automatically proportions force based on the vehicle's weight distribution.

Dual-Stage, Multiple-Threshold Front Airbags

Both the driver and front passenger are protected by advanced front airbags (SRS) that incorporate dual-stage and multiple-threshold activation technology. One or both of these airbags will be deployed only in the event of a sufficient frontal impact. If deployed, these airbags are capable of being inflated at different rates depending on crash severity, seatbelt usage and/or other factors. Like other Honda vehicles, the driver's front airbag is located in the steering wheel while the passenger airbag is located on the top of the dash. When deployed, the passenger airbag inflates upward and then rearward to maximize its protective potential while reducing the likelihood of injuries being caused by the activation process itself.

Driver and Front Passenger Side Airbags with Front Passenger Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS)

Driver's and front passenger's side airbags mounted in the outboard area of each front seatback are designed to provide pelvis and thorax protection in the event of a severe side impact. In addition, the front passenger's seat is equipped with the Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), an innovative system designed to deactivate the side airbag if a child (or small-stature adult) leans into the side airbag deployment path. When the passenger returns to an upright seating position, the side airbag reactivates so it can deploy to help protect the occupant in a side impact. This unique system utilizes weight sensors and sensors in the passenger seatback to determine the height and position of the occupant, and determine whether to deploy the side airbag.

Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor

All outboard seating positions include a side curtain airbag with rollover sensor system, which is standard equipment. The side curtain airbags deploy from modules in the roof in the event of a sufficient side impact, providing a significant level of head protection in the window area. In the unlikely event of a rollover, a roll-rate sensor, along with multiple G sensors determine the rate of roll and deploy the side curtain airbags accordingly. Like the other airbag systems in the vehicle, the side curtain system utilizes sensors to determine the most appropriate timing of airbag deployment.

To provide the optimal level of protection for occupants, testing was performed to determine the most appropriate timing and rate of deployment in the unlikely event of a rollover. The system uses algorithms to continually evaluate the situation and determines whether a rollover is imminent. The roll-rate sensor and multiple G sensors determine the "scenario" and calculate the angle of roll and the speed of the vehicle in order to deploy the airbags at the correct point for optimum protection. In the case of a rollover, the side curtain airbags on both sides of the vehicle will deploy. However, in the event of a sufficient side impact that does not result in a rollover, only the airbags on the impacted side of the vehicle will deploy. The airbag maintains full inflation for approximately three seconds after inflation to allow for the increased duration of a rollover accident.


Three-point seatbelts are standard for all seating positions. The front seatbelts are equipped with automatic tensioners and load limiters to help minimize injury potential in a frontal collision. When an impact occurs, the automatic tensioner tightens the seatbelt (shoulder and lap) to help hold the seat occupant firmly in position. Each front seatbelt retractor incorporates a load limiter that works in conjunction with the automatic tensioner. The load limiter functions by permitting a small amount of controlled seatbelt slack shortly after the automatic tensioner is activated to limit the peak restraining forces, thus reducing the potential of serious injury. The front seatbelts also feature adjustable-height shoulder anchors. To help increase seat-belt usage, a reminder for the driver and front passenger has been incorporated into the instrument cluster. After starting the vehicle, a weight sensor detects whether the front passenger seat is occupied. If the driver or front passenger has not already fastened the seat belt, an icon in the cluster illuminates and a chime sounds as a reminder to do so.

Whiplash Mitigation Front Seat Design

Both of the front seats are designed to help mitigate the severity of neck injuries in the event of a rear impact. In general terms, the new seat incorporates a "softer" design compared to the 2007-2011 seats by using greater spring range settings in both the seatback and bottom cushions. In the event of a rear crash, this allows the seat to more evenly disperse rear impact forces against the occupant as the seatback cushion compresses relative to the occupant's head. The seatback springs are optimized so that in a rear crash, when the seatback is pushed forward into the occupant, the seat will more equally absorb the occupant's mass in manner that can minimize the severity of a whiplash injury. For greater comfort, the head restraints have been pushed back 9 mm compared to previous model.

The prior-generation Honda CR-V's active front seat head restraints and the new Whiplash Mitigation Front Seat Design accomplish approximately the same effect. The prior model had a mechanism within the seatback that would push the head restraint up and forward to help equalize forces on an occupant during a rear crash. The new 2012 seat design accomplishes a similarly effective range of motion via the overall spring and cushion tuning of the entire seat relative to the head restraint.

Adjustable Head Restraints for All Seating Positions

The front and rear seats feature individually adjustable head restraints for all passenger seating positions. All rear head restraints comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for rear passenger head restraints that took effect for any all-new 2011-model-year-and-later vehicle. The new rules closely specify the size, position and operation of the rear-seat head restraints.

Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH)

Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) provide a simple and convenient method to install compatible child safety seats in a vehicle. In the 2012 CR-V, the rear outboard seating positions are fitted with dedicated LATCH attachment points. The LATCH system features built-in, ready-to-use anchors and tethers allowing compatible child safety seats to be installed without using the vehicle's seat belt system. In addition, the rear center seating position features top tether anchors that can be used to secure a single child safety seat. The ability to choose which location works best for individual needs can help families more conveniently maximize interior space.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The Honda CR-V is fitted with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) that alerts a driver whenever the air pressure in one or more of the vehicle's tires decreases significantly below the recommended level. Using four sensors (one in each tire) TPMS monitors and transmits information on tire air pressure to the ECU. When the pressure in one or more tires drops to a potentially critical level, it causes a low tire-pressure indicator (located in the instrument cluster or in the i-MID) to illuminate.

Safety R&D Facilities

Honda operates two of the world's most sophisticated crash test laboratories specifically created for the development of improved safety designs and technologies. The Tochigi facility in Japan contains the world's first indoor multi-directional car-to-car crash testing facility and plays a critical role in the development of enhanced designs for occupant safety, pedestrian injury mitigation and vehicle-to-vehicle compatibility. Honda R&D America's development center in Raymond, Ohio performs advanced testing on all North American-developed models. The facility features the world's first pitching test sled, which aids efficiency by enabling economical and speedy crash-test simulations with certain interior safety components, such as seats and seatbelts, prior to conducting a crash test with an actual vehicle. It also features one of the world's highest-resolution impact barriers, which enables precise measurement of the distribution of impact load forces on a vehicle.

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