First Drive: 2012 Honda CR-V

Honda plays it safe with the fourth generation of their bestselling small crossover.


The Honda CR-V is a respectable, classless sort of vehicle. It’s the sort of car anybody from any social stratum can purchase and not be ill-thought-of by one’s peers. Unless, of course, one’s peers are Toyota RAV4 die-hards. It also stands as the best-selling SUV-type-thing in the United States during the final year of its lifecycle, a testament to its usefulness, price and relative frugality, hallmarks of the machine since its stateside introduction in ‘97. Since then, the car’s grown from a funky, practical runabout into a mature pillar of suburban life. And until this newest CR-V, it had also consistently grown in size.