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The 2012 Honda CR-V: Who Knew Small Could Be So Big? #hondareview

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I’m an SUV girl, full-size please. I’ve never had any interest in the sub/small/mini SUV vehicles. That is, until I met the all new Honda CR-V EX-L (completely redesigned for 2012)!

Now, there’s no need to fear change here. It still has all the qualities that has made it the best selling SUV/crossover in America: solid build quality, roomy-feeling interior, good fuel economy (23/31 mpg), power controls, and Honda’s reputation for reliability.

While the basics are nice and all, this baby is all about the bells and whistles:

  • Hello 17in Alloy Wheels!
  • Cruise Control
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel and Shift Knob
  • Illuminated Steering Wheel-Mounted Cruise, Audio, Phone and i-MID Control
  • 8 Beverage Holders
  • 12-Volt Power Outlets (Front & Center Console)
  • One-Touch Power Moonroof with Tilt Feature
  • Remote Entry System
  • Heated Seats
  • Eco Assist™ to help you save fuel and get real-time feedback to help you develop efficient driving habits

And let’s dedicate an entire paragraph to it’s MANY entertainment features that are sure to keep the whole family satisfied. Ever heard of Honda’s Bluetooth HandsFreeLink? It allows you to finally throw away that soooo-2009 bluetooth ear piece and link your phone directly to the car’s audio system. With handy controls right on the streering wheel and voice-recognition capability, you can teach it up to 50 of your BFFs names so you can voice dial them easily and completely hands free. Yes, even if your phone is buried in the black hole otherwise known as your mom bag.

Mix in a little Pandora Internet Radio, XM Radio, USB Audio Interface and the MP3/Auxiliary Input Jack, and even the most gadget laden member of your family will find their techie needs met! PS – I don’t even have to sell you on how the SMS Text Message Function is cooler than any cucumber you’ve ever come across. YES – it will actually read your incoming text messages aloud to you and assist you in responding without touching your phone!

While I’m totally a gadget and gizmo freak, I have to say that the most impressive part about the Honda CR-V is how much space they managed to pack into what I would normally consider “small”. This 4 door, 5 passenger sport utility vehicle has room for everything from taking the kids to soccer practice to your next family camping trip to taking 4 bloggers, all their spring break vacation luggage and Oscar the Chimpanzee to the airport!

It features 37.2 / 70.9 cubic feet of storage with the back row seating up/down.  On top of all that room, it also has safety features that will keep any parent’s mind at ease.

  • Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control
  • Brake AssisO
  • Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD)
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  • Daytime Running Lights (DRL)
  • Side-Impact Door Beams

While the storage and safety features are awesome, I do want to point out that I wasn’t impressed with the legroom – in the front or back seat. Since I’m a shorty at only 5’2″ tall, I wouldn’t have even noticed this fault if I hadn’t looked down at my passenger’s legs. Average height (about 6 feet), his legs “appeared” to be cramped, but he insisted that he was “fine”. (the photos below show the front seat at about 3/4 as far back as it would go and thanks goes to Moosh for allowing me to photograph his legs. and hands. and feet.)

Personally, I think the dash was shaped a little weird and much too intrusive of front cockpit space. But what do I know.

Like most moms, I’m not a huge fan of having to play twister through my car seat’s seat belt maze. I really appreciate that the CR-V has Lower Anchors and Tethers for children in the entire second row. To keep even the sneakiest little sneakster where they belong, it even has Child-Proof Rear Door Locks. Yay.

So in the end, this “big” SUV lover was pleasantly surprised by the little guy, proving once again that good things do come in small packages.

A big thank you to Honda for loaning me this vehicle for a week to facilitate this review. No compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are 100% mine, all mine.

Be sure to check out these other great 2012 Honda vehicle reviews:


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  1. LOL – are we twins?!?!? I have a Jetta and her name is Emma :)

  2. Heather Garcia says:

    My husband needed a gas friendly car for work so we headed to the Honda dealership to buy a Civic for him and while we were there I fell in love with the CR-V!!! When it is time to trade in my Jetta the CR-V will for sure be my next vehicle. Now I just need to think of a name for her LOL (I name all my vehicles)

  3. I can’t remember if I commented on this one or not, but I love how much you can pack into a smaller SUV. I like to have room, but not be huge ya know.

  4. Wow… I am a “Big SUV” lover as well and would have never thought about the CRV, until this post. Thank you so much for all the wonderful information!!!

  5. Kristin Barclay says:

    Wow! Who knew less is more. We may have to add this to our list of vehicles to test drive when we get rid of our truck, we both need family friendly vehicles and this looks perfect!

  6. I own a 2011 Honda CRV and I absolutely love it! I actually wanted to get the 2012 model but it wasn’t out yet and I needed a car right then. We got a great deal on the 2011 though! Anyways this is a great family car for us. Even though we have one baby I’d say its a great 2 kid family car. There’s plenty of room for 2 car seats and 2 adults comfortably. We took a road trip recently and had no problem fitting all of our stuff plus all of the baby’s stuff. The back cargo area is actually very roomy. I also love that it has the anchors or LATCH system which makes it super easy to install a car seat. This car is perfect for me because it is big enough for my family but not a big gas guzzling SUV. I do wish that the 2011 had all the Bluetooth capabilities that the 2012 has.

  7. Of course Good things come in small packages ;) LOL I like it, although hubby may have the same problem as your passenger and be smashed in the front seat but I guess that means the car could be all mine ;)

  8. I love Hondas! My first used car was a honda and it was awesome. My mom will only drive Honda Accords! Has had them for years.
    Great review!

  9. meredith n says:

    Great review!! love the texting feature!!! Im a big suv user also so this is a good thing to see!!

  10. LOVE the interior! Great review – thanks for breaking down all of the important points!!

  11. Love it! We are Honda lovers. Have owned many. I love the SMS feature. That is such a necessity anywhere anymore. Plus look at all the room! Would definitely look into buying one, great review.

  12. I am small…and I feel big at times! ;) Looks like a lot of fun, D4D!

  13. How fun!!! I would totally love to try that car out!

  14. The storage space does appear to be ample, but the passenger space is just a little short, for my tastes. Good review!

  15. Great review. My sis has a 2011 and I have to say that this one is smaller yet the inside looks just as roomy as the older model. It will be less gas too! Thanks!

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Great for work! :-)

  17. Amazing review! Spoken from a “truck” only mom… I would totally consider this as a second vechile. And I HATE small cars/suv’s. You are totally right… the leg room sucks but other then that it’s really pretty cool!

  18. Nice. However, I prefer either larger car or smaller car. Larger car for family, and smaller efficient car my individual.

  19. awesome review. Makes me want to go out and buy one!!!!

  20. Scott Clendaniel says:

    I am surprised by the legroom on this- it also seems like cars today and becoming like driving computers. =)

  21. this car is like ,love on the first site ,the more you see the more you fall in love

  22. Grace Bonilla says:

    Great review…very informative!

  23. I so want that!!!!! I may not know how to use all the tech stuff but i definitely miss having an suv. i prefer a small one to the big ones so i can manuever better. I was thinking a hybrid would be best but this seems to get really good gas mileage. Thanks for giving me something to think about!

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