Arab Today, arab today 2012 honda crv exl navi
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2012 Honda CR-V EX-L Navi

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Arab Today, arab today 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L Navi

London - Arabstoday

There\'s a conversation going on in the auto industry, at least among writer types, about whether Honda has lost its way. The new(ish) Odyssey is a hit, but the new Civic is a dog, likely prompting much of the conversation. Where\'s this new 2012 Honda CR-V fit in? It was actually a pleasant surprise for me mostly. I\'ll get to the mostly part in a sec. I will say it\'s a good combination of ride, handling, power and drivetrain smoothness. In fact, the engine is simply delightful: Honda smooth, enough power, mated to a really smooth automatic transmission. Of the four-cylinder utes on the market, this could be the best powertrain. I liked the ride and handling, too, as well as the steering, which while electric feels natural. Body motions are controlled and you don\'t get beat up. It\'s a poised and smooth-driving experience overall, again, for a small ute. Tire and wheel noise are minimal, which is another pleasant surprise. There\'s just no abruptness to the way it traverses Detroit\'s streets. So why do I say mostly? Because the interior materials were a huge letdown to me in a $30,000 ute. Everything you touch and see is shiny and brittle and looks and feels inexpensive. The interior is plenty roomy, the flat floor is handy and there\'s a good amount of cargo room, but it could use an upgrade inside. DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: It appears as though proverbial blind-squirrel Honda has found itself a nut with which to redeem itself after the recent 2012 Civic debacle. An evening in the new 2012 Honda CR-V Navi was all it took to realize that I was in a competitive compact crossover with impressive equipment levels for its just-more-than $30,000 price. I\'ll break with Wes on the interior: Considering the CR-V\'s price and mission in life, Honda did a nice job making the inside a tasteful, upscale place in which to spend time. Yes, the dash plastics are hard, but the fit and finish are outstanding, and the strip of dark zebrawood combined with a few brushed-metal-look accents offset the black leather enough for me without overdoing things. Also, the leather-trimmed seats were downright supple, a far cry from the near-vinyl trim found on most full-line automakers\' attempts at this price point. The overall effect is subtle and warm, a pleasant change from a company that tends to err on the side of just plain subtle. No one will ever call driving a Honda CR-V exciting, and the 2012 model continues that tradition. It is, however, extraordinarily good at transporting passengers with a minimum of fuss. Noise is kept at bay, the engine does what it should without complaint and the gearbox is smooth and unobtrusive. Really, considering the folks who shop the CR-V, the best compliment one can bestow upon it is that a pleasant driving experience requires an absolute minimum of thought or concern. Using the navigation and infotainment system is somewhat less intuitive--I far prefer the company\'s Pilot/Odyssey infotainment controls, which use one large screen and a multifunction knob, to the dual-screen, part-touch unit found in the new Civic and CR-V. It feels like a step back, it\'s difficult to see the icons on the small touch display, and the division of information doesn\'t make much sense, meaning that the driver has to scan two screens to find what they\'re looking for instead of just one. Honda also needs to do something about the doors. They close with a thin, tinny sound that\'s amplified whenever one of the exterior handles is used. Considering how much thought Honda obviously put into the interior touch points, I\'m surprised that the company allowed the four key points of contact on the entire vehicle to sound so inexpensive. I\'m looking forward to some seat time in the new Ford Escape so I can see how the battle of the 2012 compact utes is going to shape up. At this point, though, Honda has a strong entry that\'s going to keep a lot of loyal customers happy while it raises the refinement stakes for Hyundai and Kia. EXECUTIVE EDITOR BOB GRITZINGER: True to Honda form, what sets this CR-V apart from the CUV rabble is attention to powertrain engineering. There\'s good poke from 2.4-liter four, with steady torque as you wind up through the rev range. The engine and the transmission run as a refined precision unit, grabbing downshifts to provide ample revs when the call comes for more power. That said, I\'d recommend not running in Eco mode (note the little green leaf on the instrument panel) if you need any kind of responsiveness--the Eco setting noticeably dulls power. Simply flip off the fuel-saving mode for most commuter driving, and then punch it back on for the steady-driving miles. I found the vehicle handsome enough inside and out, with easy functionality built in to the driver controls and the center stack. There\'s every manner of hookup for music players in the center console. And I like that the center stack provides the right mix of touch screen and solid buttons to control various functions. Not too busy, not too obtuse. Seat comfort is also a strong point. Because of the similar features, size, similar five-speed automatic and ride height, I found myself mentally comparing the CR-V to the Subaru Outback. Both are right-sized, mechanically functional and focused all-wheel-drive people and gear haulers. The Subie was similarly equipped for comfort and convenience, but its powertrain upgrade to a flat-six put the Outback at a $6,000 price differential versus this CR-V. A four-cylinder Outback costs roughly the same, but unless you buy the six-speed manual you\'ll be saddled with a CVT. You get slightly more cargo room and a quieter cabin in the CR-V, but a smoother ride, better handling and more power from the Outback. Both are quite good. Tough call. 2012 Honda CR-V EX-L Navi Base Price: $30,605 As-Tested Price: $30,605 Drivetrain: 2.4-liter I4; AWD, five-speed automatic Output: 185 hp @ 7,000 rpm, 163 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm Curb Weight: 3,545 lb Fuel Economy (EPA/AW): 25/25.4 mpg Options: None

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