Honda CR-V (2012) spied on UK roads

Published: 28 June 2012 Updated: 26 January 2015

Honda’s fourth-generation CR-V – to be built in Swindon in the UK – has been papped mostly undisguised on British roads for the first time.

Our spy photographer managed to just capture the new 2012 CR-V as it headed along the Fosse Way this week.

What details do we know about Honda’s CR-V 2012-style?

As can be seen in these spyshots of the new CR-V – naked all for a bit of masking tape – Honda’s crossover will lose the rounded-edge styling of the previous car in favour of an altogether sharper look.

The kink in the rear pillar is similar to BMW’s Hoffmeister kink, while more aggressive body surfacing echoes the look of Kia’s latest Sportage from some angles. 

Honda CR-V (2012): the engineering

The outgoing CR-V was launched amid much hoopla that it was the first mid-sized SUV with hatch-alike emissions. Honda hopes to make the new 2012 CR-V even cleaner as part of its Earth Dreams tech roadmap: weight is down and a suite of new engines, likely to include the new 1.6 i-CDTi diesel from 2013, are earmarked for this car.

Although four-wheel-drive will again be available, Honda is offering a front-wheel drive CR-V for the first time to trim emisisons. There’s even the possiiblity of a hybrid version, in keeping with the other petrol-electric models in the Honda stable: Insight, Jazz, and CR-V.

The new CR-V is roughly the same size as the outgoing SUV, but Honda promises more interior space and niceties such as an electric tailgate and flop-down rear seats at the tug of a lever. Such systems are offered in the US CR-V and should be available in Europe too.

When can I buy a new Honda CR-V?

That depends on where you live. The car has been on sale in the US since December 2011, but European buyers have a little longer to wait. A concept version was shown at the 2012 Geneva motor show and Honda Europe is about to unveil the full Euro-spec CR-V ahead of sales in autumn 2012. 

CAR expects prices to be broadly in line with today’s model; expect the new Honda CR-V to cost from £23-24,000.

Given that the CR-V is sold globally in 160 countries, Honda has a lot riding on the latest model. In the UK it has in fact dominated the 4×4 market in some months, peaking at 20,000 sales a year in 2007. Towards the end of its life, UK sales have now fallen back to some 13,000 annually.

By Ollie Kew

Former road tester and staff writer of this parish