2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid first drive review: Electrified version is the one to get

The CR-V is a cornerstone of Honda’s American lineup. Because it debuted here in 1997, the automaker’s marketed additional than 5 million copies. Very last yr on your own, the CR-V accounted for just about 60% of the brand’s SUV product sales. Clearly, clients appreciate this vehicle’s mix of reliability and affordability, efficiency and spaciousness. 

Developing on that inherent goodness, the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is additional affordable, highly effective and refined than the conventional model. In shorter, it’s an even superior CR-V. 

A cornerstone of Honda’s electrified foreseeable future

Inspite of presenting a variety of hybrid versions for a long time, Honda has hardly ever experienced a gasoline-electric powered SUV in its American lineup, but the CR-V Hybrid eventually improvements that. This crossover’s introduction is aspect of a bigger press to lower emissions and enhance efficiency. The automaker is aiming to electrify two-thirds of its world automobile lineup by the yr 2030.

Aiding attain that goal, this CR-V has a two-motor hybrid method underneath its hood, essentially the similar 1 made use of in the Accord Hybrid. The coronary heart of this powertrain is a two.-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine that runs on the gasoline-conserving Atkinson cycle. As for these electric powered motors, 1 is made use of for propulsion although the other handles starting off and ability-building responsibilities. A 1.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is mounted beneath the rear ground, storing and releasing energy as dictated by driving situations. Total method horsepower is 212, a welcome bump more than the one hundred ninety hp you get in a typical CR-V. Utmost torque clocks in at 232 pound-toes.

Like the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, the CR-V Hybrid has all-wheel push as typical. Ford, meanwhile, gives you a choice of drivetrains — the Escape Hybrid can be experienced with either front- or all-wheel push. 

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

It really is difficult to make clear how Honda’s two-motor hybrid method features, but it will work really well.


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As for gasoline financial state, this Honda is estimated to return forty miles for every gallon town, 35 mpg freeway and 38 mpg combined. According to the EPA, equally outfitted variations of both equally the Toyota and the Ford are marginally additional effective on each and every examination cycle, but in genuine-world driving you almost certainly will not discover a big difference. A conventionally powered CR-V with all-wheel push is rated at 27 mpg town, 33 mpg freeway and 29 mpg combined. This implies the hybrid model is just about twenty five% additional effective in blended driving, a enormous big difference.

The CR-V Hybrid has several push modes, all of which are easily available via a sequence of chunky buttons mounted to the correct of the equipment selector. Activity manner will increase throttle response and, by means of the Energetic Seem Handle method, helps make the engine take note additional aggressive. As its title suggests, Econ manner optimizes the vehicle’s efficiency, making it sense a bit lethargic in the procedure. You can find also EV manner, which allows the CR-V Hybrid work exclusively on energy, but only for shorter distances.

Because this automobile is neither a pure electric powered nor a plug-in hybrid, its battery-only driving range is really constrained, only about 1 or two miles, relying on situations. It really is meant for silently motoring by means of parking constructions or pulling into your garage with out waking up the family members, not for carbon-neutral cross-place drives.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

The CR-V Hybrid options a one of a kind instrument cluster.


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Responsive and refined

Not only does this powertrain sense smoother and audio considerably less thrashy than the 1.5-liter turbo-4 found in the typical CR-V, it also delivers outstanding overall performance. Thanks to its electric powered torque, the hybrid model is punchy off the line, pulling well at all speeds. 

This CR-V’s powertrain is considerably additional enjoyable than Honda’s prior hybrid attempts. I keep in mind testing the Perception sedan a couple a long time ago, and although effective, its drivetrain was bonkers. Motor velocity and sound degrees were being in no way associated to how much throttle you were being making use of. From time to time, although gently accelerating, the engine would make all types of racket, other periods it was information to merely idle. Its behavior was additional than a bit disconcerting. The good news is, the CR-V Hybrid’s drivetrain has none of these terrible practices. It really is silent and clean, fading into the qualifications.

That laudable refinement applies to the rest of this crossover’s driving behavior. The CR-V Hybrid feels reliably sound, with no rattles or reverberations detracting from the expertise. Its steering is properly weighted and the wheel has a thick rim which is straightforward to maintain.

Regenerative braking is an additional large point. The pedal is properly weighted, neither far too grabby nor overly squishy, furthermore it’s straightforward to modulate. Regenerative braking in some hybrid vehicles feels inconsistent, with the changeover amongst regen and friction braking annoyingly noticeable.

Location the variations

Visible variations amongst the CR-V Hybrid and its gas-only counterpart are slight. Up front, you will find typical LED headlights, slitted foglamps and a blue-hued Honda emblem. The front fenders have hybrid badges and at the again, Touring versions get a one of a kind bumper. You can find also a “concealed” tailpipe tucked beneath the rear fascia, though it’s however straightforward to place.

Inside, the CR-V Hybrid positive aspects from Honda’s familiar press-button shifter as a substitute of the clunky mechanical 1 found in the typical model. It also receives a one of a kind instrument cluster that reveals how the hybrid method is running. A pair of steering wheel-mounted paddles allows you alter how aggressive the regenerative braking is, a helpful function. 

The CR-V Hybrid is supplied in 4 trim degrees: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. Relying on the model, it also delivers options like wi-fi machine charging, embedded navigation and blind-place monitoring with rear-cross targeted visitors alert. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also supplied, as well as leather-based trim and twin-zone local weather regulate. The Honda Sensing suite of protection methods is also typical across the board, with options like adaptive cruise regulate and lane-holding aid.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

CR-V Hybrids function a press-button equipment selector as a substitute of a mechanical shifter.


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Just like the conventional CR-V, this gasoline-electric powered model options an outstanding inside. The front seats are relaxed and the next-row bench is roomy. The components made use of are prime-notch for the phase and the interior’s ergonomics are admirable. My only genuine gripe is about the antiquated infotainment method, which is unattractive and obtuse.

One of the finest receives even superior

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is accessible at dealerships correct now. The foundation value for 1 of these gasoline-sipping crossovers is $28,870, which include $1,120 in spot costs. That’s just $1,two hundred additional than an all-wheel-push LX model with the conventional powertrain. 

As for the loaded Touring model noticed here, it checks out for $37,070, a good bit additional than the entry-level model, but however a fair sum. If you really don’t brain spending that modest upcharge, this hybridized CR-V is the 1 to get. It really is additional refined, in some ways superior to push and, of training course, considerably additional effective.


Editors’ take note: Vacation charges associated to this tale were being included by the maker, which is common in the automobile sector. The judgments and thoughts of Roadshow’s personnel are our very own and we do not settle for paid editorial information.

Very first printed March seventeen.