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Honda CR-V

The Honda of compact SUVs.

Honda’s CR-V was redesigned for 2012, but fans of the cute ute will immediately recognize it as a “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle.” As always, interior fit and finish is admirable, and the controls are straightforward and easy to use (although the upper models’ navigation system has a rather dated look and feel). The crossover continues to be powered by the same 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine (and five-speed transmission) from the previous generation, but it has been modified to provide better power and better fuel economy. The engine now makes 185 hp, and engineers have eked out between one and three more mpg over the last generation, but the car sacrifices little in the name of saving fuel. It’s punchy if not quick, and although the five-speed transmission languishes behind the competition in the number of forward gears, its responsiveness and shift smoothness are still near if not at the top of the segment. Steering and grip are admirable as well. The CR-V’s convenience features are its greatest strengths, however. The rear cargo area’s load floor is quite low, and drivers can fold the 60/40-split rear seat remotely with levers mounted to either side of the trunk. All in all, the CR-V proves to be a well-thought-out, well-executed mix of sport and utility, something we’ve come to expect from Honda.

COMPETITORS

Chevrolet Equinox

GMC Terrain

Kia Sportage

Toyota RAV4

new for 2013

The CR-V is unchanged for 2013 after a full redesign for 2012.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, and side curtain air bags are standard, as are ABS, a tire-pressure monitoring system, and stability and traction control.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 22–23

HWY 30–31

PRO

Punchy engine

Good ingress and egress

Great cargo space/folding seats

CON

Transmission has only five gears

Predictable styling

Base Price Range: $23,400–$30,900 (est.)

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel, 4-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: LX, EX, EX-L

BODY STYLE: SUV/crossover, 5-passenger

ENGINE: 2.4L I-4, 185 hp, 163 lb-ft

TRANSMISSION: 5-speed automatic

PASSENGER VOLUME: 101.5–104.1 cu ft

CAPACITIES: Towing 1500 lb; cargo (rear seats up/down) 37.2/70.9 cu ft

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