A brand-new CR-V is set to debut for the 2012 model year. There were few details available at press time, but the concept car pictured at left previews the styling of the new CR-V. Until that car goes on sale at the end of the year, buyers will have to settle for the 2011 CR-V, which is a pretty good vehicle in its own right, offering versatility, spaciousness, and ease of use. The current CR-V has a 180-hp four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed automatic transmission and is available with four-wheel drive. Clever packaging includes an optional dual-deck shelf that splits the commodious cargo bay horizontally and a sliding rear seat that folds flat in three sections instead of the typical two. The car-based CR-V handles and brakes well, and it has a low step-in height for easy entry. Still, the CR-V is growing old: it could likely get better fuel economy with a more efficient engine and a six-speed automatic, and it doesn't offer some of the modern conveniences, such as Bluetooth and navigation, except in the top trim level. At least one of those shortcomings will be addressed with the 2012 model, as we do know that a more powerful 2.5-liter four-cylinder will be available.
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