By on July 25, 2011

Has Honda been gazing longingly at the new crop of Kia crossovers? From the pulled-back, smoked headlights to the sharp Hofmeister kink in the C-pillar, this “concept” version of the forthcoming 2012 Honda CR-V looks like it’s been stealing cues from Peter Schreyer’s sharp-looking lineup. Which is not to say the design is wholly unoriginal: the grille protruding into the headlights is one cue that I’ve seen precisely nowhere before. And lest we draw too many conclusions from this “near production” design, let’s just remember that the real thing won’t debut until later this fall.

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64 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: The 2012 Honda CR-V (In Concept) Edition...”


  • avatar
    MoppyMop

    Just about anything would’ve been an improvement over the current design. Unfortunately, they seem to be keeping the one ugliest aspect of that body style: the rear quarter window that doesn’t match the roofline.

  • avatar
    NulloModo

    I like the color and the wheels. The grill overlapping the headlights like that is new, but weird. I’d have to see a shot from the rear to really form a solid opinion on the rear windows, from this angle they look like they leave a huge blind spot plus make the cars rump look unnaturally large.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    From a styling stand point, is Honda even trying anymore?

    • 0 avatar
      tikki50

      I think they gave up, IMHO copying a kia isnt a bad idea because Honda has produced some of the worst looking cars in a long time. Even their bikes have become very ugly. How can you screw up a sportbike, really! I do find it funny, imports copying imports, LOL. Its actually a testement to Kia, having Honda copy your design, thats saying something.

  • avatar
    SecretAznMan

    While not pretty, it’s the most dramatic statement they’ve made in a long time.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Bring back Full-Width grilles.

    Ever since Honda re-designed these from the 2002 model we own, I always questioned the load factor, as these just can’t have the same cargo space ours does.

    As far as the rear quarter window “Hofmeister kink” styling feature, that debuted with the 1949 GM models. Herr Hofmeister can go back to the biergarten for all I care! Reverse-slant ala Rambler (and others), anyone?

  • avatar
    boxelder

    Somehow, it reminds me of an angry turtle.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    Looks like management gave them a Kia and said “See this?! Do this, but more!”

    Not successful in my book, though these days you need to see things in person.

  • avatar
    anchke

    As the owner of an ’05 with the spare on the back —

    I like the roofline treatment that doesn’t cut off interior space. The windshield looks too steeply raked than I’d like. That said, why would Honda then squinch the rear windows, creating blind spots? I’ve seen pics of testers, and it did indeed look like a big butt from the rear. It’s in that “minivanish” approach to CUV design. I don’t care much for fancy wheels on these things — gives it an aftermarket look. I wish they’d bring back the rear window that could be popped open, allowing long loads to be carried inside the vehicle. I heard the ’12 debut was bumped to December.

    My ’05 has never missed a day of service. It serves as a town runabout, a workaday hauler and a thousand mile vacation cruiser. This spring, it developed heat shield rattle. The mech asked if I ever parked in a field of dry grass with the engine running. When my reply was negative, he put it on the lift, removed and tossed the offending part, had the car washed and returned to me with “no charge” written on the bill. Couldn’t say any of that if I’d lost my mind and bought the Maserati Quattro.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Honda has lost me with this one. Our ’99 has been wonderful. Still love it. Can we have some simplicity back please? TDI with a six speed manual maybe? Some soundproofing? The 3rd gen has no manual option even. That alone has bothered me as I prefer a stick to stir.

  • avatar
    aristurtle

    Weird, everyone else is saying Kia but I’m seeing the current Accord sedan with a bad case of hydrocephalus.

  • avatar
    kkt

    I miss the bigger rear windows from the 1st generation CR-V. Visibility is good.

    How about the ground clearance? I’m not expecting a Jeep, but if I were buying a vehicle like this, it’s because I drive on crappy Forest Service roads to trailheads. I need more than 5 inches of ground clearance.

    • 0 avatar
      TEXN3

      I’m sure it’ll be around 6 inches or so. We recently took a camping trip with 2 other families. We were in the Outback, 1 family had an older MDX, and the other in an 08 CRV. The CRV driver had to be much more cautious than either myself or the MDX. I had the most clearance at just under 9 inches. I also had the most fun driving too, thanks to the 50/50 AWD, Geolanders, manual transmission, and a decently balanced vehicle (with load).

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        kkt, you may be the first person who thought of taking this thing off road. The only time CRV’s normally leave the road is when mom gets distracted by the kids while she is texting and driving.

        On the whole, it think it looks good. The Target parking lots will be overflowing with them.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        Toad – we’ve had a tow hitch on our’s since our first week of ownership in ’99. We’ve been off road many, many times. In YOUR area they might not ever go off road. 224K miles and counting.

  • avatar
    Zykotec

    Nothing wrong as far as I can see, but it is a concept (allthough as it looks very production ready, I’m guessing it won’t change much) To me it looks alot more ‘interesting’ than the KIA’s, and better than the current Cr-V, while still having kept enough styling cues to make it seem like a natural evolution. Even as a (light) Honda fan I sometimes wonder; are they a small dying car maker or a huge successful one? (I’m guessing the last, because of the last 30 years, but still, they never take many chances or bother to make a diverse, full lineup like many other manufacturers)

  • avatar

    Honda’s concepts in cases like this tend to be 95% production intent.

    This is a huge improvement over the current one. Best they’ve done since the 2006 Civic.

    • 0 avatar

      Thank you Michael, finally someone with something positive to say. TTAC seems generally bound and determined to automatically hate all Honda’s these days. This is one their best recent designs, and its surprisingly clean and well balanced. A really important redesign for them.

      • 0 avatar

        And when I say “TTAC,” I refer more to its readers/commenters than to the writers.

      • 0 avatar
        mazder3

        Eh, we hate everything:
        Ford: transmissions
        GM: bailout, build quality, dated/underperforming engines, overweight
        Chrysler: bailout, exterior design, lack of small models and good four cylinder engines.
        Honda: Bloated and ugly
        Toyota: zzzzzz
        Porsche: bought by over-monied arschlochs and have crap reliability
        MB: Ditto
        BMW: Ditto x2
        VW: Ugly with skite interiors, 2.slow
        Nissan: ugly, nasty CVTs
        Hyundai/Kia: they were crap five years ago, can we trust them now?
        Suzuki, Mitsubishi, Mazda: Who??? Didn’t they go out of business???
        Saab: JUST DIE ALREADY!!!

  • avatar
    ixim

    They took the current, very successful model and…..tweaked the lines a bit. Looks better, I guess, but still clunky compared to the Hyundais. Better looking than the RAV4, too, I guess. YAWN….

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    I like the current model better.
    It looks just like it’s drivers.

    They both have that underbite that orthodontia someone failed to correct. They have that misshapened dowagers hump on their back, just above that creepy girdle bump squeezing out around the license plate frame. (Best use of a hexagon since the Datsun F-10.)

    Besides, the current model is so easily seen on the road. If you are looking for a middle aged white woman living alone with her three dogs, this is the vehicle! Does this new model have room for the Winnie The Pooh or Hello Kitty! aftermarket decor?

    Nah – this model looks way too attractive for their current drivers!

  • avatar
    BigOldChryslers

    My wife has a 2006 CR-V. Not an attractive vehicle but the styling isn’t offensive either IMO. I think the 2007-11 redesign looks quite ugly. If the production 2012 CR-V looks like the concept pictured, it will be the nicest looking iteration by far.

  • avatar
    trevorwhopkins

    They did the same thing they did to the new Civic. And for the record, yeah, Honda doesn’t make many “concepts.” Notice the new car is almost to market. That is 99% the new CRV.

    And it’s horrible looking. They used to Accord and Crosstour front end styles, and made the rest of the lines “busier.” I swear Honda has lost their minds. The clean, premium designs from early 2000′s have given way to oversized, over complicated, cheap looking crap. It’s like them and Kia switched places. Very sad.

    Honda has completely lost their minds, and they were my favorite companies. The only car I would even consider is the Accord Coupe. They have zero sports cars, their hybrids are a joke, Acura is in left field, they have lost all sense of appeal.

  • avatar
    boho

    The back looks like it might have space for 3rd row seats.

  • avatar
    cackalacka

    It’s only one picture, but this looks consistent with everything in Honda’s line since 2004.

    That is about as polite a comment as I can make.

  • avatar
    jaje

    How low Honda has fallen with quirky and flaccid designs that polarize customers and average everything else – it makes sense for Honda to copy what others are doing as Honda going it alone is not working. Seems Honda / Acura design studios are prison like (not allowed out in the real world) but filled with non-functional contemporary design furniture as their design inspiration.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    I don’t think there is much of any KIA in it at all when you look at the Honda Crosstour. In fact, it looks very much like the Crosstour. I guess that is Honda’s direction now with its crossovers.

  • avatar
    TEXN3

    Looks good to me, the CRV is a great cruiser. Everytime I’ve bought a car in the past 10 years, new or used, I’ve considered one…it’s always been a top 10 candidate. The rumor of a 3rd row really would push it over the top for us, but we have no reason to be buying new cars.

    • 0 avatar
      joeaverage

      Why would Honda bloat the Cr-V so much that it could have a third row? At that point why would a person choose a CR-V over a Pilot or vice-versa?

      The ‘V needs to be the smaller of the two. Four cylinder always. Bring back a manual tranny. Add some soundproofing (think they already did in the 3rd gen).

  • avatar
    Invisible

    I see NO KIA in that.

    Looks like an updated CR-V to me. Actually doesn’t look like a clean sheet design either, more like an update.

    Speaking of KIA, KIA on the other hand has been bad about Kopying Honda. Take the Kia Kivic Koup. Blatant Kopy of the Civic.

  • avatar
    dwford

    Nothings wrong with it, aside from the obvious fact that this is merely a nose and tail restyle job of the kind we used to lambast GM, Ford and Chrysler for.

  • avatar
    Invisible

    I also get a bit perturbed every time “Hofmeister kink” is referenced.

    Go take a look at the Kaiser cars that predate Hofmeister’s copy of the Kaiser Kink!

    http://hooniverse.com/2010/09/23/encyclopedia-hoonatica-hofmeister-kink/

  • avatar
    stuki

    That has got to be about the single ugliest car I have ever seen. Man, if people wanted a BIG looking car, wouldn’t they just buy a big one?

    I can’t think of anything sillier than trying to make a car look heavier than it actually is. It makes about as much sense as love handle implants.

  • avatar
    don1967

    The proportions say “KIA”, but the details say “Pontiac”.

  • avatar

    It looks much nicer than the current model, although I still wouldn’t call it pretty.

    I think the original CR-V, Ford Escape, and Rav-4 looked nice, and since then all three have become progressively uglier. I learned a long time ago that you can’t expect much attractiveness for the most part from the compact crossover segment.

  • avatar
    newfdawg

    It looks like a cross between an Odyssey and a Crosstour. The front end and the sides look okay, but at least from the angle of the photograph, the rear end looks-well-unusual. The rounded shape
    just turns me off.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Sure it looks more interesting than the current CR-V, but then again a freshly squeezed out dog turd looks more interesting than the current CR-V.
    IMHo Honda’s designs of the late 90′s/early 2000′s were the last time they made good looking cars. Now? It’s like they’re just throwing as many design ideas at a concept as possible in the hope that one will stick – when in fact the whole thing looks only a tad less disjointed than the Crosstour.

  • avatar
    carguy

    It looks much better than any of the other designs that Honda has come up with lately. Let’s hope there was also some budget for an improved interior and a six speed auto.

  • avatar

    Looks good for a Honda.

  • avatar
    nrd515

    Like someone else said, they don’t even seem to be trying anymore. I’ve never been a Honda lover, they have been boring me for over 30 years, but it seems like they pick ugly over anything.

  • avatar
    srogers

    I like it. It looks original and fresh enough for this market.

  • avatar
    siuol11.2

    The more I see of these awful designs, the more I’m reminded of Douglas Adams’ rather ingenious idea to rid ourselves of those responsible.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    It looks like a current CR-V with a version of the Crosstour’s grille and stupid show-car wagon wheels. When it shows up on a production-rational wheel and tire combo, it will quietly take on the roll of the functional and lovable CR-V. Too bad they didn’t go back to a flat roof and good rear visibility, but there aren’t enough logical people for it to matter.

  • avatar
    StatisticalDolphin

    Seems about right — all it needs is that kink in the lower window line, you know, like the current version of the Odyssey.

    The ‘Alabama’ kink.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    My parents, loyal Honda owners since 1987, bought an ’11 CR-V, knowing full well that a redesigned version was coming within a year, because they figured the redesign would be bigger and/or uglier.

    Looks like they made the right call. How much do you want to bet the K24 and 5-speed carryover, with a cheaper interior?

    As for the folks suggesting knockoff Kia styling: Go away. It’s clearly a tweaked version of the old model. Besides, nothing’s original anymore – complaints about Japanese/Korean styling unoriginality are really getting old.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    As I read through all the comments from the deroiters, I have to wonder.

    First, I think detroiters clearly know the CRV, which along with the Rav4, are the best in the segment, and these negative comments are just the standard detroit smear job.

    But, after reading more of the comments, I think the possibility exists that you don’t recognize this new CRV as being the best of the best. Do you really think that detroit garbage can compete with the 12 CRV?

    My east coast eye thinks this is the best looking CUV I have ever seen. By far. Give Honda credit for this future CUV of the year.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    “Has Honda been gazing longingly at the new crop of Kia crossovers?”

    This is an insult to Honda and Toyota fans. Kia competes with GM and Ford. Honda and Toyota are superior to any Kia, Hyundai, GM, or Ford.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    I bet detroit executives, stylists, and engineers are having a cow after seeing this picture. Detroit, better get back to the drawing board.

    • 0 avatar

      Boy, all three of your comments are such fun!

      For what “Detroit B-word” I possess (and I do tend to prefer the Ford/GM/Chrysler designs to their Japanese counterparts) I will admit that I do like one Japanese crossover: The Subaru Forester. It isn’t pretty, but it’s darn capable offroad and has a nice amount of space. It doesn’t try to look swoopy or sexy, just a plain, simple, capable vehicle. My uncle owns one, and it serves him and his family very well.

      I think that the current-edition Ford Escape, Chevy Equinox, and Jeep Patriot are probably in dire straits compared to this vehicle, just as you said. They’re way, way behind the times in terms of mileage and they’re definitely showing their age. But two are about to get major updates, like within the next year. The Escape, based off the Euro Kuga, is going to definitely compete with Kia, Honda and Toyota, because it has a track record of doing so outside of America. Patriot I don’t know about. It will still be my favorite, being a Jeep, but I don’t know what they’re going to do to really push it to the top.

      I for one like the new CR-V a lot better than its predecessor, particularly from the front and side, but I still think it’s ugly. I don’t like the way the grille intrudes into the lights. The rear window swoop thing is still awful looking, and I think that the D-pillar looks awkward.

      What do you want people to say? That it’s pretty because it’s a good vehicle? No. Styling is completely subjective, and I and many others think it’s ugly. You want the truth? This vehicle could fly to the moon and shoot rainbows from its tailpipe and I’d still call it ugly, because I think it’s ugly. As it is, it runs well, probably forever, probably has an interior to die for, all the know-it-all East Coast types like you will buy it up and continue to snub your noses high at all the unwashed peasant trash like me, and I will continue to think it’s ugly and will not buy it because I think it’s ugly and don’t really care what you think.

      P.S. For what it’s worth, I think the 2012 Honda Pilot Honda also showed today looks quite nice. The new Pilot is very conservatively styled, with sensible lines, and minus the hideous “edgy” nonsense they force on compact vehicle drivers nowadays.

      • 0 avatar
        joeaverage

        A friend bought a Patriot. The only things that struck me as questionable for the short time I saw it was the plastic intake manifold, the carpet material didn’t look like it would wear well, and the seat cover material that promised to give up long before they were ready for it to. Fortunately our ’99 CR-V has perfect seats despite 224K miles.

        Otherwise the Patriot seemed to be the right size, the right power, the right shape (most room from it’s foot print). We’ll see how it ages.

  • avatar
    segfault

    I like the styling. I hope they include some sound insulation, as it seems to be missing from most of Honda’s products.

  • avatar
    drifter

    Weirdest in its class by far.

  • avatar
    Junebug

    Styling – Sma-ling, if they don’t change that pitiful excuse for a motor, it will be another tarted up CUV with not enough power to pull a greasy string out of a cat’s ass.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Honda’s designers need to be locked in a warehouse with the late-1980′s-early 1990′s Accord, Civic, and Prelude and not be allowed out until they study every corner, angle, knob, switch, window arc, grille, corner lamp, door hinge and roofline. Then, no supper until they incorporate what made those designs work into their current vehicles. And if they can’t do that, shoot ‘em. Hire some more and repeat the process….


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