Two significant global compact SUVs unveiled at the LA auto show, the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape. But unlike the high expectations created over at Ford by building a spectacular concept (Vertrek) only to disappoint with the production version (Escape), Honda only gave LA auto show-goers the final production CR-V, managing expectations better.
The old CR-V was a fine piece of practical transport – I personally drove one for six months – but the exterior styling was a little odd in places, most obviously in how the front face seemed to be split into two sections by a curious air vent leaving the hood and grille estranged from the lower bumper. The 2012 CR-V resolves this by lowering and deepening the grille to fit its face better and teams that with a more dynamically pronounced and angled scuff plate below.
Meanwhile at the rear of the car, the side window graphic has become raked back to be more in keeping with the roof line and angular tail light shape beyond it (unlike the old model’s more rounded DLO) and the rear tailgate glass gets the smoked black treatment with the Honda logo tucked into the bottom of its pane – like the iconic old CRX. With a clever easy fold-flat rear seat system released from a lever in the boot wall as standard plus a slot to place the tonneau cover when not needed, the 2012 CR-V would seem to not only sport conventionally pleasing looks but have good design function too. Better.