Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

Why This Family Refuses to Give Up Hondas

Tara Hamel is a car enthusiast. She’s worked at dealerships and mechanics for much of her life, and she’s personally worked on a number of different vehicles, including Jeeps, Chevys, and Porsches. Considering the fact that she spends much of her day around cars, she’s developed a fondness for particular models. Surprisingly, her favorite brand isn’t necessarily a company that often stands out.

“Oh yeah, we’re a Honda family,” Tara explained. “My husband owns the motorcycle [2005 Honda Spirit] and another Honda car [2010 Honda Pilot]. I own the CRV. We’re Honda through and through. I don’t think we’re ever going to leave the brand.”

The CRV was a particularly interesting choice, as Tara purchased the vehicle used. Having owned new Hondas throughout her life, she was now truly testing the reliability of the brand’s used cars. Fortunately, Honda came through again, as the 2012 CRV has proven to be just as capable and dependable as the former rides she purchased new.

The 2012 Honda CRV is actually a popular choice among car buyers, as potential buyers should be able to find the nameplate at their local dealership (including DePaula’s used inventory). Let’s see why Tara favors this brand, and let’s explore why she decided to pursue a used 2012 model…

 2012 Honda CRV Exterior

For some car buyers, it can be difficult to even settle on a particular brand or nameplate. Fortunately for Tara, she knew what she wanted before she ever headed into the dealership. Of course, Tara wasn’t only attracted to Hondas as a result of having driven the brand’s cars for so many years. She also appreciated the reliability and dependability of the vehicles, as she’s consistently seen Hondas last for several decades. While money isn’t necessarily tight, Tara didn’t want to have to dish out money for another car in ten years. Instead, she wanted to maximize her investment, and she certainly got that from the Honda CRV.

“It’s mostly just the reliability of the brand that we like,” Tara explained. “We’ve driven Hondas for two decades now. My previous one lasted me fifteen years. My husband’s lasted him for almost twenty. Just naturally, it was the easy choice when we were looking for another car to buy. I liked the used CRV just because all reliability reports on the Internet implied that it would last me pretty long on the road. I already knew from driving previous Hondas that, just because it was a couple years old and had more than forty-thousand miles on it, it wasn’t going to crap out anytime soon.”

While targeting a specific brand was all well and good, Tara still had to choose between the brand’s offering of vehicles. With her husband already owning both a Honda motorcycle and sedan, she decided to go another route with her used ride.

2003 Honda CR-V.

“I just wanted an SUV,” Tara said. “I have two young kids. I have all their school projects. The little one, I have to bring back and forth from all of his practices. I knew that I’d be able to use up all the space. Having driven other SUVs, the power isn’t the best that it could possibly be, but obviously I’ve never found myself lagging. When I’m driving to work, I never find that cars are piling up behind me. Plus the fuel economy is pretty good, and I find that I’m only filling up my tank twice a week. That’s pretty great, especially considering what I was getting for my previous vehicle.”

There’s no denying the roominess that the Honda CRV delivers. Drivers can utilize the 37.2-cubic-feet of space with the seats in place, an incredible amount of room. Drivers can maximize this storage space by removing the seats, thus unlocking the 70.9-cubic-feet of cargo room. As an avid camper, Tara said she’s found the CRV to be especially useful as her family is transporting tents and any other applicable equipment. She’s also found it to be easy as she hauls her kids from practice to practice.

Furthermore, Tara’s points about the engine are certainly warranted, although we’re pretty impressed by all the power. The 2.4-liter Inline-4 engine pumps out 185 horsepower and 163 pounds-feet of torque, numbers that are generally in line with compact SUVs. As Tara also mentioned, the fuel economy helps separate the CRV from the pack. With an estimated 23 city/31 highway mile per gallon efficiency, Tara’s been able to limit her trips to the gas station, while also maintaining a relatively low cost of ownership.

So Tara determined that she wanted a Honda, and she eventually chose a CRV. However, her decisions were far from over. Next, she had to determine which model year best fit her needs.

“I wanted a 2012 because it wasn’t too old, and it wasn’t too new,” she explained. “Obviously, I got a great deal on that specific [Honda]. It still had all modern technology. It really wasn’t missing anything. It was still low on mileage. It wasn’t more than five years old. Even if I wanted to re-sell it, I could still probably make some money off it. There are a lot of reasons why I ended up going for a 2012 model.”

Tara took a bit of a different approach than most used car buyers. Instead of zeroing in on a vehicle that delivers specific amenities or capabilities, Tara recognized that regardless of the model year, the CRV would generally deliver similar specs and similar features. A 2012 model was understandably more affordable than any of the more recent-year models, so she was also able to secure an unbeatable price on her used ride. Plus, she wasn’t really sacrificing any features and capabilities by opting for a 2012 model over, say, a 2013 or 2014 model.

Honda's 2012 CR-V was honored with both a 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award from AutoPacific, as well as a 2012 Top Scoring Car Award from

What does this all mean? Well, Tara’s reliance on Honda has paid off, as she’s only had to purchase a pair of vehicles over the past two decades. Plus, her unwillingness to switch brands and try something new is truly a testament of how much her family respects Honda’s products. 

Of course, you don’t have to take our (or Tara’s) word for it. Head down to your local dealership and see what the Honda CRV can truly offer.