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Used Honda CR-V 2012-2018 review

Category: Estate car

Section: What is it like?

Used Honda CR-V 12-18
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  • Used Honda CR-V 12-18
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  • Used Honda CR-V 12-18
  • Used Honda CR-V 12-18
  • Used Honda CR-V 12-18
  • Used Honda CR-V 12-18
  • New 2012 Honda CR-V review
  • 2013 Honda CR-V 1.6 diesel review
Used Honda CR-V 2012-2018 review
Star rating

What's the used Honda CR-V estate like?

SUV might stand for ‘sport utility vehicle’, but this fourth-generation Honda CR-V very much traded the ‘sport’ part of that description for ‘comfort’. Honda engineered its family SUV with an emphasis on cosseting, so gave it more comfortable seats than previous-generation CR-Vs. But Honda didn't compromise on practicality, because it's also very spacious inside.

Engines in early examples consist of a 2.2-litre diesel or a 2.0-litre petrol. Both could be had as either an automatic or a manual, with the diesel being the better option because the additional torque makes for a more relaxing drive. The CR-V received a refresh for the 2015 model year, which tweaked the look of the car slightly but consisted mostly of a new 1.6 i-DTEC diesel, replacing the old 2.2-litre engine, to provide a useful decrease in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

As you can probably guess, the CR-V was primarily aimed at those who wished to remain on Tarmac rather than go rock-crawling. To that end, the CR-V has accurate steering and pretty decent levels of grip. But, like other more road-biased rivals such as the Ford Kuga, Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe, rather than the Land Rover Freelander, the ride can be a tad fidgety and there's a bit of body roll in corners due to the tall body.

The CR-V is quite a large car and this is reflected in the interior, which is one of the biggest in the SUV class. The boot is noticeably larger than most of its rivals, except for the five-seat version of the Hyundai Santa Fe (which can also be found in seven-seat form, unlike this generation of CR-V).

The rear seats in the CR-V can also be made to fold flat, although it is let down by the fact that you only get a 60/40 split, whereas the Volvo XC60 and Santa Fe get a more useful 40/20/40 arrangement. The Honda does at least have handles in the boot to drop the rear seats, meaning you don’t have to go into the vehicle to flatten them.

Downsides are mainly focused on the dashboard and infotainment system; it’s just not as easy to use as it is in rivals, blighted by many confusing buttons, with screens that should be clearer and have long-winded menus.

The CR-V ran from 2012 through to 2018, when it was replaced by an all-new fifth-generation version. 

If you're interested in buying a used CR-V, or any of the other cars mentioned here, check out our used car classified pages here.