Pictured above is the 2012 Honda CR-V Concept, previewing the all-new model due to hit showrooms later this year. In typical Honda fashion, the company is vague in the details, but they did confirm a new engine with improved fuel efficiency, and reduced weight. The CR-V Concept is without a doubt more aggressive in appearance than the current model, which has been an enormous success for Honda. We’ll keep you posted as more details become available.
What’s also notable is what will not be returning for 2012. Honda announced at the end of 2010 that 2011 would be the last year for the Element, and it would not be replaced. With a roomy, highly versatile and rugged interior, the Element had a cult following of small business owners, outdoor enthusiasts and dog lovers. Over the course of a nine-model year run, 325,000 cars were sold in the US. Honda is quick to point out more people simply prefer the CR-V, which offers much more in the way of refinement. My guess is that Honda looked at the sales numbers, and figured their best bet was to devote their resources to the CR-V than follow-up with a new Element.
In our farewell to the Element, one point we must point out this car pioneered the boxy utility car movement in the US. I have doubts we would see Scion xB’s, Nissan Cubes, and Kia Souls roaming our streets if the Element had not been well-received here. It’s just a shame that Honda blazed the trail for this market, and now they are letting the competition reap the benefits.
Marching on for 2012 is the somewhat controversial Crosstour. Changes are minimal-just the addition of auto on/off headlights, rearview camera, Bluetooth and a USB interface as standard equipment this year, and the choice of a couple new colors. Again, typical Honda, who is not known for making any notable changes when a new car is only entering its second year. What is noteworthy is that the Accord moniker has been dropped. An interesting move, since I saw Honda naming it the Accord Crosstour as an expansion of the Accord family, but apparently after one model year, Honda execs had second thoughts.