2012 Honda CR-V Concept: First Look

Honda released the first full image of the CR-V concept today. Honda’s concepts — like the one shown above — generally look similar to the production version. The 2012 Honda CR-V is slated to go on sale this fall.

Our early take? The next CR-V looks much more aggressive than the outgoing one, and the changes are definitely more significant than the recently redesigned Civic sedan and coupe.

The grille looks like a smaller version of the Accord Crosstour’s, but the rising headlights offer unique styling that’s not quite as off-putting as the Crosstour’s look.

Honda says vertical taillights will remain part of the rear design and that the interior will be more spacious with a lower cargo floor. 

The company also said the 2012 will be lighter and have a more efficient engine.

While it may look larger in this picture, the next CR-V will likely remain a two-row vehicle leaving the Pilot and Odyssey minivan as the company's only three options.

What do you think of the new CR-V? Tell us in the comment section below.

By David Thomas | July 25, 2011 | Comments (84)



looks like the people who helped destroy Acura have moved on and tried the same with Honda.


"The next CR-V looks much more aggressive than the outgoing one, and the changes are definitely more significant than the recently redesigned Civic sedan and coupe."

Let's wait for the production version before making this statement. Case in point is the concept Insight and Civic were very aggressive yet the production versions turned out to be passive.

Nothing about the shape is going to change, just like with the Insight and Civic. And in the case of this CR-V, that's a real pity, too.


I don't much care for it. The grill is awful, and the whole thing doesn't fit together well. Honda can no longer get away with bad design with Hyundai and Kia stepping up their game so much.


I really like it. Most dopes expect every new car design to be radical and when it's not all they do is whine. BMW and Acura, just to name two, screwed up highly successful models (5 Series, TL) by getting radical. Honda nailed the approach this time by taking the highly successful current design and improving it. I think the biggest improvement is that the size has been increased but not enough to take away from it's original DNA. No doubt Honda has another CRV winner on it's hands.


My only hope for Honda (and I own three Hondas right now) is that they follow the pattern of BMW in that Bimmer made some atrocious stuff in the early 2000's and is now finally making some beautiful vehicles. Honda has really done some terrible things to their exterior designs in both Acura and Honda recently. I see small glimpses of good looks, but they piece things together so awkwardly, it looks terrible. Case in point is the Odyssey, which looks like two halves of a van welded together. This new CR-V is not something to CRaVe like the outgoing model was. It was sharp, albeit bland, but that was their target market. Non risky new families who wanted a good looking CUV with strong reliability for a good price. Sad to see Honda do this to themselves.


Not a groundbreaking redesign but not as ugly as the redesigned Pilot, Odyssey and not as "same" as the redesigned Civic. The first time in a few years that I have said good job Honda/Acura.

Matt C

Same car with a new grill! Still ugly... but not as ugly.

Frontal design looks sleek. Rear is somewhat bulky. Would be great to know what's new and the tech. specs.


Everything from the B-pillar back is Volvo XC60. Atrociously unoriginal.


I think Honda did a very nice job. Several people can be very critical and criticize Honda but don't forget Honda has very smart and talented people working for them. No matter what they make there will be some grumblings from people. I guess negative views and thoughts and criticism get the press but sales will prove that the redesigned Honda CRV is favorably received in the marketplace.


Honda goes Kia?


i think it's actually pretty good looking: futuristic, edgy, but not obnoxious. although the similarities to the kia sportage are striking...


looks like they just slapped the ugly crosstour grille on the current cr-v with slightly revised taillights. i do like that the overbite is gone, but honda's styling efforts have been very poor the last couple generations.


does look 2 me like they're trying 2 emulate Kia...JMHO


true, it looks like a honda sportage. something about it makes it still instantly recognizable as a honda, especially what we see of the front. A good thing i guess, because this is one of hondas most important models and it is probably necessary for it to be recognizable as such.


Not bad looking for a Kia, cough, I mean Honda.


Well they cleaned up the unsightly overbite front grill - but they should have done a different C pillar. This had the potential to be a really sharp cute ute.


If this is what the new CRV will look like then Honda did a great job. It's funny how so many people criticize Honda for their styling yet for a small car company they still manage to have four highly successful selling models: Accord, Civic, CRV, and Ody. Honda clearly knows what it's doing.

Women will not like the design and that is who buys that thing!


OH YUK! Looks like a small Crosstour and that is not a compliment. What the heck is wrong with Honda stylists these days, or did they hire the ex GM people who worked on the Aztec?

I passed on an Acura TL because of it's looks, and now they're wrecking Honda too.

The Pilot is too square, the Crosstour is awkward and ugly from every angle and the Odyssey is just weird looking.

The new Civic is a step backward and the current Accord is perhaps the least-bad looking in Honda's lineup.

I dread seeing what the new Accord will look like. Perhaps it will resemble a notchback Crosstour, with the Odyssey's ugly zig-zag window line?


Agreed. Looks like they took their inspiration from Kia.


Was Sir Mix-a-Lot the chief designer?


Looks great! I've been looking for more clues every day. I'm guessing this is very close to the finished designed. It seems to match spy photos from the past few months. I've been considering an Audi Q5, but the design on this looks mighty nice, and I'm sure it represents good value. Patiently waiting for the gas mileage/engine stats. Third row seating? I'm somewhat interested in that. Will they do it?


Looks way better than the current CRV.


I am not sold on the styling based upon this one photo but will reserve judgment until I see more photos. However, Kia and Hyundai still have superior styling to almost any Honda/Acura product.


Looks great...but as with the civic concept the real thing will probably be a snoozer.

The CR-V has always been one of the duller SUVs. Just compare the current one to the new Sportage.


I like the front because I love the crosstour (it grew on me).

But from the angle of the picture the rear looks like a Pontiac Aztec.... Yikes!


Front looks okey.
I hope they didn't make it bigger.
Original RAV4 and CR-V were small SUVs. That is what many people want.
But every generation is getting bigger and bigger..
So there is now small SUVs anymore.


From the photo, it looks like they're trying to encorporate every styling cue they can. Its alot to take in, with the one photo. I'd need to see it in person to judge.
As a side note, will every vehicle made these days feature "cats eyes" lighting units?


looks like Kia and wheels are way too big


Honda tries to imitate Kia... I'll pass

Kevin C.

It looks like a new generation CRV and nothing else. I like the look so we'll definitely put it on our shopping list.


Love, love, love the new look. I can't wait to test drive it.


Looks like the old one, but sportier.....I like,,,,but would love to know why they didn't take a more aggressive take on the redesign? I was waiting for a drastic change,,,and this seems sort of "safe"....would really have loved a mix of the old CRV and a mini version of the Pilot.

Kevin J.

Reading the extreme comments on this is sorta amusing. People, design-wise, that's NOT an "agessive" or "daring" change! It looks like they just tweaked the current version somewhat. And it looks like less of a change than the current generation's change from the previous model.

Sure, the "rear overhang" and what looks to be a lower roofline perhaps makes it look a bit more "sporty" (depending upon your defintion of "sporty"). But I'd wager that most who like the current CR-V's design will likewise like this one, and vice-versa. It's mentioned that the new version will have more room, be lighter, and get better MPG (conveniently not mentioning what "better" is). We obviously can't discern those from this photo. And those may be valid improvements. But it's certainly not a daringly different vehicle at first glance.


Honda is not a small car company - it builds about 3 million cars per year! Get you facts straight before posting.


Toyota, GM, VW, Ford, and Nissan sell more auto's than Honda. Honda isn't Big 3, they're not even Big 5. Honda is a small car company and you're a Tool. Those are the facts.


I guess you need more than one dope slap, and now you're going to get it.
There are at least 50 companies that build cars around the world. Out of all those companies, Honda ranked #5 on one list I saw for 2009 and #7 on another list, manufacturing between three and four MILLION vehicles. They build more cars than Nissan, Mazda, BMW, Mercedes and Porsche. That's not a small car company by anyone's measure. I sincerely hope you get help for your anger problems.


Yes, wait for the real thing to come out. I think Honda has a tendency to have decent looking concepts but then when the real thing comes out it's quite toned down from the concept.


why cant you tint windshields like this?


Honda needs to bring back the look of the pre-2007 CRVs, before they decided to imitate the Lexus SUV design. The 2012 design is about as unattractive as those 3rd generation CRVs.


I've had Hondas since the original Civic. That's a long freakin time! This redesign is WAY better than some in the biz... thou it does look like they gave a nod to Kia with the wheels. I've had at least one Honda in the barn since '86 and will probably trade my '07 for one of these. Oh, and about the car, like TheGodFather says, "If you don't like it, fagetaboutit!"

Dander Loves Dope Slaps

Nissan outsells Honda globally, have your mommy Google it for you.
I'm done teaching you lesson after lesson as clearly you're not very bright.

- S4


^ this guy has manure for brains.


Dander is blowing smoke. See


Honda is going through some hard times. Peugot recently passed Honda in automobile sales (measured in units), but Honda is still significantly ahead of Nissan.

As far as the CR-V is concerned, Honda had better equip the new model with an available third row and a 6 speed transmission. Otherwise, the Kia Sorento will continue to take market share away from Honda in the small SUV segment. I have owned four different Honda vehicles and really liked them all, but my next purchase will be a three row Kia Sorento if Honda blows the redesign of the CR-V. Given that Honda has already blown the redesign of the Civic, the company really needs a winner.


Thanks for putting in the link. It proves that S4's idiotic comment about Honda being a "small" car company is completely off base.


Better get the 2011 before this ugly turd comes out!


When are they going to start selling the 2012's?


I wish it had as much window space as the '04 crv. I wish it was going HYBRID!!!!!!!!!


Honda is the 6th biggest automobile manufacturer in the world, it surpassed Nissan as Japan's number 2 automaker in 2001 and has been killing them ever since. I sincerly hope that the 2013 Honda Accord doesnt get screwed u like the Civic, this is the 1st time a new civic has come out and I have not seen at least 5 or 6 a day. I have only seen one , and thats really sad Honda please fire your designers and hire some new blood, your current designers are killing you slowly but surely.


Ehh... I think the current style is much more appealing. I agree the a previous review about Acura ruining the MDX- which now has a cockpit and is user unfriendly :(
This looks like they took something good- and put a bad spin on it. As a woman I find the new model unappealing.


I have a second gerneration 2004 CRV and am hoping to get the new 2012. However, one thing that disappoints me is the rear visibility on the new 2012 concept CRV picture. Consumer Reports listed rear visibility as a problem on the 3rd genration Honda and I had hoped it would be corrected on the new 2012 CRV but apparently not.

Mike from Chicago

The rear looks too chunky from this angle.


This vehicle has a much more tougher look and appeal than the previous CRV models. I thought the previous CRV models looked a bit too feminine.

We are on our third Honda. We've owned Ford, GM and Toyota vehicles. Out of all of our cars, nothing has held up as well as Honda.

This last time we veered away from Honda and gave Toyota a try. It was a big mistake. Our Highlander was no end of trouble. Forgive us Honda for our lapse in judgement. We will never stray again.

Our 1999 Civic is still driving like a champ with over 250,000 miles and just general maintenance.

The 2012 CRV may very well be our next vehicle, as we will be getting rid of the Toyota.


Hey guys, don't be too negative here. I owned Honda CRV's since 1998 and saw improvements all the way. I am currently driving the LX model but not 100% happy with certain features on the car. I hope Honda will improve on it. I can see similarities with the current model but Honda knows it has to compete harder against similar SUVs (not KIA!!!), as all manufacturers boost up their offerings.

I am looking for smoother gears change (automatic), more advanced infotainment system (rear view camera is a must), more steering wheel controls and perhaps memory driver seat (LX model).


Yes, Honda might be surprising us with a Hybrid CRV. I will only look at a Hybrid CRV if it has more power. I have been driving quite a bit the Toyota Prius and got used to the different feel. Power is the issue here. If Hybrid is compromised by less power Honda will be on the wrong track. People will not upgrade their older CRV's.


Front end looks better than current CRV. But rear ?? Cannot see properly from this angle .. Shades of Pontiac Aztec at the rear end ??


I like the front of the crv, but i really cann't tell about the back


I like it! I just hope they put the gear shift in the floor and not off the dashboard. I have had 2 Honda's and they are great cars. Honda's may not be as flashy as other comparable vehicles but they last forever. That may be why they dont sell as many cars as other companies.


Honda has to change the window design so that we drivers can see when we back the car up and that the design of the windows looks like it fits with the car! I have a 2000 CRV and have been waiting for the change in design because I didn't want to buy the last generation (because of the mismatched windows of the CRV design that didn't match the look of the cars shape) The grill on this new CRV looks like a bulldog with an overbite...I might have to buy from another car manufacturer. Honda is struggling to get this car out do to the devastating earthquake/tsunami.


I so love my 2001 CR-V which I intend to drive until it's time to say goodbye. Truthfully, I'm not wild about the evolution of the CR-V and really don't care for the new look. I'm sorry to say I probably won't purchase another. Sad face. :o(


The rear looks too masculine. I was waiting for the 2012 before I made my move since I'm shopping around between Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Sorry, I will focus on the more feminine-looking 2011 . . . just wished the sports racks were vertical like the RAV4, instead of horizantal. . .


I just love how many folks posting here really think that their opinion is what counts and what will result in Honda CR-V sales or non-sales! Guys and gals, please learn that in life people have different tastes. Something you hate someone else may like, and vice-versa.

Personally (and I know this won't affect Honda or anyone else out there), I think the photo of the redesign concept 2012 is better than the outgoing model -- although maybe the actual model may not be. I almost bought a 2011 CR-V, but eventually decided against that because I wasn't that wild about that generation's "egg shape," and I just need to be satisfied more for a vehicle I'm likely to hold onto for a fairly long time.

The 2012 seems a bit more sportier in design, plus it supposedly will have a bit more room (which I'd use for cargo). Also, it's likely that the new model will get a bit more MPG. Perhaps good reasons to eschew the 2011 for the 2012. But until it's released for sale, those factors remain to be seen.


Are you morons looking at the same photo? Obviously you have horrible taste, you all probably have your mother or wives lay out your matching clothes in the morning. Nice job Honda!!


Most of the clowns commenting on here show a combination of ignorance and blatant arrogance regarding not just Honda, but most other new concepts with other manufacturers. This is a sign of the times and should be ignored by most readers who are interested in a better set of wheels. My suggestion is to stick to the reviews and merely gloss over immature/amature comments if at all. Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, and Kia will all be at the forefront of modern automobile manufacturing, albeit a few bumps along the way, for a long long time. Count on it!


Well, I'm a woman, have owned four Hondas including my current 2008 Honda CR-V. I think the new model is fine. I want a reliable car to take me from point A to point B. This is much ado about a medium priced vehicle - it's not an Aston Martin for crying out loud.


I love how the entire Acura line-up was destroyed, now I guess it's time to move onto Honda. Civic, Ody, CR-V; now only Accord is left to be butchered. What are they smoking here?

For my own opinion looks exactly how I wanted!
Not so far ago I couldn't decide what to do - bye CR-V before new release or wait this car I love so much in the new body.
But now I'm sure with 100% that I'm going to wait one more year! =) Thanks for this article!

Someone told about KIA and Hyundai.
About them I only can tall that I took a test-drive and it was terrible!!! Diagnose: don't drive, don't break, all inside squeak like an old cupboard!
No ergonomics at all if compare with Honda!
Also I know what IS Kia and Hyundai sedans because I own civic. Does anyone like design or not depends on preferences but all other is quite objective.


I'm LOVIN it!!!!!! I was never interested in the CRV until now..! Now as far as a Honda goes sorry people they are built to last!!!! Sleep on them if you want to! I have a 92 Honda Civic with almost 260,000 miles on it... not pretty to the eye... ps, I have seen a whole lot worst. Just doesnt fit my Diva style is all.. But "He" is a soldier.. keeps going and going... I was looking to roll around in a NEW Honda and this one made me melt. Good job Honda.... Always and forever...


I'm liking the new design. If this new CRV looks close to the concept I may actually have a Honda in my garage for the first time in 10 yrs. If not I'll go with a new Edge Ecoboost instead.

For those wondering what the rear looks like follow the link below.



I was so hoping that Honda would actually make a sleek new CRV -- but as usual (and I am a honda owner) the new CRV is just as ugly as the one I own....why can't they understand that people would like to have a beautiful vehicle instead of these awkward looking dorky cars....UCK I am sooo disappointed!!!

CRV owner

Why is everyone hung on the looks, good or bad?

The CRV is the least expensive small SUV that one can drive over a 5 or more year period! This has always been Honda's strength.

I'm interested in such offer,The sound quality in these podcasts is really poor. I feel bad about complaining about something that is free, but I think it is important.

12 year CRV owner

We're not worried about the look as much as we are the longevity. If it lasts as long as our current CR-V, 12 years old and 180,000 practically trouble free miles, than the look doesn't bother us.

Eric watterson

As current owner of a late model CRV I can tell you elimination of floor spot with console ruined 2012 CRV my wife puts her purse their now what? Bad marketing when you get rid of vechicle best feature

2012 crv owner

First tank fillup 14.8 pergallon? what about the 22 25 30 PER GALLON ACCORDING TO HONDA REPORTS?

2012 crv owner

Be carefull standing under rear hatch when open,if you are over 5/11 tall YOU WILL HIT YOUR HEAD,not much thought on that design


I love my 2005 CRV and want to get a new one and the new design is just fine in my opinion.

My biggest issue is that I would like to get more MPG, I get 24-25 and would love to get high 27+. If they had a hybrid version it would be great.

John Rowley

I have owned a CRV since 2002 and it is still going strong at 135000 miles because I do not like its successors. Why because the roof is lower, cheap chrome fittings inside, less window area and ugly looking.
Honda should be able to confirm this in sales figures!

I own a 2004 Honda CR-V and love it, still growing strong. I really like the newer designs too, and with the improved gas mileage I will definitely look to purchase a new CR-V once mine goes. Such great cars!


I have a 2012 Honda crv. Thought I loved it till a friend tried to open the trunk just under the back window since it looks like a place where you open it and ripped out the intire thing! Talk about.poor design.wonder what that's. Going to cost me!

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