That would allow the 2012 CR-V to retain a competitive horsepower number but would keep it behind the class curve for torque. The 2012 CR-V would also remain off the pace if Honda chooses to continue fitting a five-speed automatic as the sole transmission. Top new rivals use more efficient six-speed automatics. CR-V’s default drivetrain layout will again be front-wheel drive, which puts the weight of the engine over the wheels that propel the car. That benefits wet-pavement traction. AWD will continue available at extra cost as a grip-enhancer on snow or loose surfaces.
It’ll again be a crossover-typical system that normally operates in front-wheel drive and automatically reapportions power to the rear wheels when the fronts begin to slip. CR-V’s design brief will never include severe off-road duty, but Honda would enhance the next-generation’s backwoods mobility by fitting it with a driver-selected switch to lock AWD into a 50:50 front-rear split at low speeds. Many rivals offer such a feature. While the 2007-2011 CR-V wasn’t known for responsive acceleration, it was a compact-crossover benchmark for sharp handling and composed ride. That leadership is likely to continue, given Honda’s suspension-design expertise, though some reduction in wind and road noise is necessary to keep the fourth-generation CR-V in line with more refined new rivals.