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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I’ve been researching both the 3rd and 4th gen CR-V’s. I’ll be buying one in the next two weeks. So far I’ve managed to find a couple of contenders. I’m from Canada so below is in kilometres)
1) 2011 (NA 3rd gen) EX-L (no nav/no backup camera), 77,000 kms (!!!)
2) 2012 (NA 4th gen) Touring, 102,000 kms

So as you can see, very nice example! Both are White on Black leather. I test drove both, and for whatever reason, I found the 3rd gen more responsive and peppier to drive! A little more cabin road noise but nothing too bad.

My question is: which would you choose and why? The 4th gen is far better equipped and the asking price is $1,500 Cad more with more mileage. The 4th gen’s steering felt mushy, is this normal? I personally like the exterior design better on the 3rd gen, but the lack of backup camera, Blutooth and other goodies make me wonder if I’ll regret it.

I’m coming from a German car background (both oldschool and new) so I’m trying to remind myself why I’m opting for a Honda: reliability and low cost maintenance. :)
 

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Having owned both I'd say Gen4 is better to drive, it's more like a car. Gen3 feels more like a rhino. Your experience comes down to tires.

I do like Gen3 better and would like to own a nice one some day. Probably not going to happen.
 

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I know my wife's 2012 AWD feels more like a car, but my 2016 AWD feels more like an old Ford Explorer -- which is a good thing. I don't know about the 3rd gen... try them both and see.... I like how the 2016 drives.
 

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Hi everyone, I’ve been researching both the 3rd and 4th gen CR-V’s. I’ll be buying one in the next two weeks. So far I’ve managed to find a couple of contenders. I’m from Canada so below is in kilometres)
1) 2011 (NA 3rd gen) EX-L (no nav/no backup camera), 77,000 kms (!!!)
2) 2012 (NA 4th gen) Touring, 102,000 kms

So as you can see, very nice example! Both are White on Black leather. I test drove both, and for whatever reason, I found the 3rd gen more responsive and peppier to drive! A little more cabin road noise but nothing too bad.

My question is: which would you choose and why? The 4th gen is far better equipped and the asking price is $1,500 Cad more with more mileage. The 4th gen’s steering felt mushy, is this normal? I personally like the exterior design better on the 3rd gen, but the lack of backup camera, Blutooth and other goodies make me wonder if I’ll regret it.

I’m coming from a German car background (both oldschool and new) so I’m trying to remind myself why I’m opting for a Honda: reliability and low cost maintenance. :)
Go with the third Gen. Save the money, backup cameras are 100 bucks USD. USB is cheap. A good GPS with lifetime maps will cost you what a yearly Honda upgrade will cost. Do you want low mileage transportation or trying to impress neighbors that are in debt?
 

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I own a 4th gen and love it. It’s been an amazing vehicle. However, I’d go with the 3rd gen based on price and mileage. You can buy a rear view camera from Best Buy. I like to save a buck, so that’s the route I would go. You’ll be happy with either though. Depends if you want to spend $1,500 more for 30k more kms.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for your honest opinions. I’m most concerned with the air compressors and clutch failure on the 3rd gens. Do the 4’s suffer the same issues?

That’s interesting that some of you say the 3rd gen feels like rhino/fridge to drive. I thought it felt like a little go-kart versus the 4th gen’s lackluster steering and acceleration. Could something be contributing to the numb feeling? The dealership tells me they’ve inspected and serviced it. Always difficult to believe them but again, I might be expecting too much from the VTEC engine.
 

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Make it a no regrets purchase. Get the one you want to drive everyday.

The steering feel may be explained by changes in the steering. In 2012 Honda went to electric steering. The lock to lock and steering ratio changed to. Gearbox gearing and final drive ratios changed as well. Lots of subtle changes elsewhere as well.



Good luck with your decision.
 
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I went through this few months back shopping for daughter. We were gearing for 3rd gen as obviously it’s priced lower. Test drove a nice EXL 2010 or 2011 with 95k miles. Surprisingly that it didnt impress us. Then test drove a 4th gen in 2013 with 130k and it drove much better quieter and rpm stayed around 2000-2500 on interstate driving while the 3rd gen was working harder for some reason. Had to cough up more $ to get the 4th gen but honestly thought it was worth it. You might want to try again on a different ones to make sure.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
I checked the VIN of the 2011 with a Honda dealership, all 3 open (Canadian) recalls had been done, including the airbags and the rear frame stiffener rust-prevention treatment. Once that area is treated, is it something I need to keep an eye on for as long as I own the car? I’m planning on parking indoors so I’m guessing extra rinsing on the undercarriage is important...

I was surprised to find out that there are NO recalls that exist at all on the 2012. I’m now leaning towards the gen 4, not only based on some of your feedback but the fact that it sounds like it’s more reliable overall.

Scheduled a second test drive with the Gen 4 and this time I’m asking the sales rep to remove the 4 summer tires out of the trunk. It was preventing me from trying to hit the gas pedal too enthusiastically.
 
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