Comprehensive Review of the Honda CR-V (4th Generation)

The 4th generation Honda CR-V, available in Australia from 2012 to 2017, offered a blend of versatility and performance. The CR-V came with a range of engine options, including a 2.0-litre petrol engine powering the front wheels, a 2.4-litre petrol engine with all-wheel drive, and 2.2-litre and 1.5-litre turbo diesel 4-cylinders, both of which featured all-wheel drive.

Keep in mind for manual transmission enthusiasts, this feature was available only in the base spec front-wheel drive variant, as all others came with automatic transmissions.

Overview of Pros and Cons


  • Reliability: This Honda model is well known for its excellent reliability, especially the 2.4-litre variant.
  • Practicality: The 4th generation CR-V is praised for its superb practicality, making it an excellent choice for various everyday needs.
  • Ageing: These models are often noted for ageing well, making them a great pick even years after their initial release.
  • Understated: The CR-V's design is hugely understated, appealing to those seeking a vehicle that blends effortlessly into any surroundings.


  • Driveability: Some may find the drive experience to be less engaging than in other models.
  • Diesel Models: The diesel variants have been flagged as models that might require extra caution.
  • Infotainment: The infotainment system can be a bit challenging to navigate, which might be a drawback for some.
  • Design: Its practical and utilitarian design might not appeal to everyone.

It's essential to remember that experiences can vary widely based on how the vehicle has been maintained and used by previous owners. Always consider these factors when purchasing a used vehicle.

Trim Levels

The trim levels for the 4th generation CR-V were straightforward. There were primarily three levels: VTi, VTi-S, and VTi-L, with diesel versions of the higher-spec models also available. Some limited editions and CR-V+ models were released, but these are rare finds in the used market.

The CR-V underwent a mid-life update in November 2014, which saw a mild facelift, improved interior treatments, an engine upgrade from 2.2 to 1.6-litre turbo diesel, and an increase in tech and equipment.

It's worth mentioning that although the 4th generation CR-V was a Honda, it wasn't built in Japan. Production took place in Thailand, with diesel versions produced in Swindon, UK.

Performance and Practicality

On the upside, the 4th generation Honda CR-V is reliable, practical, and has aged well. However, its performance can be seen as uninspiring by some, particularly in the diesel models. The infotainment systems have been known to cause frustration, and the aesthetic may not appeal to everyone.


Body Styles:

  • 5-door wagon

ANCAP Rating:


  • 2.4-litre 4-cylinder engine (VTi-L, VTi, VTi-S, VTi Plus)
  • 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine (VTi, VTi Navi, VTi Plus)
  • 2.2-litre 4-cylinder engine (DTi-L, DTi-S)


  • 140kW – 2.4-litre 4-cylinder engine
  • 114kW – 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine
  • 110kW – 2.2-litre 4-cylinder engine


  • 222Nm – 2.4-litre 4-cylinder engine
  • 190Nm – 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine
  • 350Nm – 2.2-litre 4-cylinder engine


  • 5-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
  • 5-speed Sports Automatic

Fuel Consumption:

  • 5.8 – 8.7L/100km


  • Length: 4545mm
  • Width: 1820mm
  • Height: 1685mm
  • Wheelbase: 2620mm

Kerb Weight:

  • 1460 – 1774kg


  • 600kg (unbraked), 1500kg (braked)
  • 600kg (unbraked), 2000kg (braked) (DTi-S)

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    Model Range, Pricing & Features

    The 4th generation Honda CR-V offered a selection of both petrol and diesel engines. The base model came with a 2.0-litre petrol engine, while options for a 2.4-litre petrol, 2.2-litre turbo diesel and a later 1.5-litre turbo diesel were available, the latter three variants offering all-wheel drive.

    For those interested in the manual transmission, it was only available in the base-spec front-wheel-drive variant, with all others being automatic.

    Trim levels were straightforward to navigate, primarily featuring three tiers - the VTi, VTi-S and VTi-L. Diesel versions were also available for the higher spec models. Limited edition and CR-V+ models were on offer but are quite rare on the used market.

    Given the CR-V's age, pricing will vary based on factors such as condition, kilometres driven, and features. For more accurate and current pricing, we recommend using Driva's smart match tool which can provide a tailored quote.

    Noteworthy is the comprehensive mid-life update in November 2014. This update brought a facelift, improved interior treatments, replaced the 2.2-litre turbo diesel with a more efficient 1.6-litre variant, and saw a boost in tech and equipment levels.

    Despite not being manufactured in Japan, the 4th generation Honda CR-V retains solid practicality, excellent reliability, particularly with the 2.4-litre variant, and is ageing very well. The only downside some may find is its toned-down off-roading capabilities compared to previous models.

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    Known Issues

    The 4th generation CR-V is generally a reliable vehicle, but like any car, it does have its potential issues. For instance, there have been instances of water leaking into the driver and passenger side footwells due to insufficient sealing, as well as some electronic anomalies.

    The AC Compressor's internal components may corrode over time, potentially causing the AC to stop working. Also, the heater core may get blocked, causing irregular heating distribution in the vehicle.

    Excessive battery drainage has been reported, potentially due to issues with the Vehicle Stability Assist or the AC Clutch Relay. Uniquely, the soy-based wiring coverings may attract rodents, leading to potential damage.

    Lastly, the engines have their strengths and weaknesses. Regular servicing every 10,000km is highly recommended, and following the manufacturer's transmission and differential service schedules can prevent many mechanical issues.


    There were a couple of notable recalls affecting the 4th generation Honda CR-V:

    • June 2015: Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) may unexpectedly activate while driving due to misinterpretation of roadside objects as obstacles.
    • October 2017: Misalignment in the welding of the right lower control arm and subframe push collar, potentially making the vehicle undrivable.

    Remember, when purchasing a used vehicle, it's always important to check for any unresolved recalls.

    In conclusion, the 4th generation Honda CR-V, with its broad range of engines and trim levels, offers a variety of options for the prospective buyer. Regular servicing is critical to maintain reliability and performance. Potential buyers should be aware of the known issues and recalls and consider these factors during their purchasing process.


    The 4th generation Honda CR-V, available in Australia between 2012 and 2017, offers multiple engine options and a range of trim levels, providing flexibility for prospective buyers. Despite a shift away from Japanese manufacturing, this model has maintained a solid reputation for reliability, practicality, and the capacity to age well.

    However, it's crucial to be aware of certain issues, including occasional electronic quirks, AC complications, battery drainage, and minor mechanical concerns. Regular servicing is a must to maintain the vehicle's performance. Also, potential buyers should check for any unresolved recalls.

    Overall, the 4th generation Honda CR-V can be an excellent option for those seeking a reliable, practical, and versatile vehicle that can adapt to a variety of needs and situations. As always, we recommend thorough research and consideration before purchasing any used vehicle.

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    Philana Kwan

    Philana Kwan is the marketing coordinator at Driva she has a demonstrated history in customer service excellence and is knowledgeable in all things car and finance related. When she’s not working Philana enjoys learning new things and keeping up with the latest trends in marketing and technology.

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