If you want good seating comfort and interior space, and good versatility, but you don't need three-row seating, the 2012 Honda CR-V is one of your better bets on a budget.
The 2012 CR-V still has seating for five, and its interior feels almost minivan-like in how passenger friendly it is. Front seats are buckets that are on the soft side, but supportive enough for a long day. And the rear split bench seat has more generous dimensions and better padding than most in this class; you still won’t fit three adults happily across, but there’s plenty of thigh support, as well as legroom and headroom, to keep everyone happy.
We think that the CR-V has the best rear seat-folding arrangement of any vehicle in this class. Open one of the back doors, and with one arm and a simple pull of a strap, in a very fluid motion the lower cushion tumbles forward into the footwell, the headrest angles forward, and the rear seatback flips forward, all tucking nearly behind the front seat, to a completely flat position.
Cargo capacity with the rear seatbacks up is an impressive 37.2 cubic feet. A side cargo net is included, and EX levels and above get a removable and retractable cargo cover. Fold the back seats down, and you get a continuous cargo floor that’s 61.4 cubic feet long—although it does have a slight step up at the base of the seatbacks. Honda is proud that it’s dropped the cargo floor—and the liftover height itself—to 23.6 inches.If you're a busy parent, you'll also probably be quite glad that Honda hasn't really changed that much about the overall package of this redesigned 2012 Honda CR-V. It still fits neatly into most compact-car parking spots and has a low cargo floor that doesn’t require a lot of reach or lift.
Honda has retuned the suspension for a better ride and reduced harshness, compared to the previous version, added double door seals, and bolstered the body structure, and it’s clear that a lot less road noise makes its way into the cabin. Ride comfort is on the soft side.
However, hard plastic dash and door materials, along with very simple, economy-minded trims are aspects of the cabin that may prove hard to warm up to. If you want to feel upscale, the CR-V's interior isn't so much the place to be.