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. Considering the fact that it debuted here in 1997, the automaker’s sold more than 5 million copies. Final yr by itself, the CR-V accounted for practically sixty% of the brand’s SUV revenue. Plainly, clients take pleasure in this vehicle’s mix of reliability and affordability, effectiveness and spaciousness. 

Constructing on that inherent goodness, the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is more cost-effective, highly effective and refined than the regular model. In short, it is really an even superior CR-V. 

A cornerstone of Honda’s electrified potential

Despite offering different hybrid versions for a long time, Honda has in no way experienced a gasoline-electric SUV in its American lineup, but the CR-V Hybrid ultimately alterations that. This crossover’s introduction is section of a greater push to reduce emissions and increase effectiveness. The automaker is aiming to electrify two-thirds of its worldwide car lineup by the yr 2030.

Helping get to that aim, this CR-V has a two-motor hybrid procedure underneath its hood, basically the very same one particular utilised in the Accord Hybrid. The coronary heart of this powertrain is a 2.-liter four-cylinder gasoline motor that runs on the fuel-saving Atkinson cycle. As for those people electric motors, one particular is utilised for propulsion even though the other handles commencing and electrical power-building duties. A one.four-kWh lithium-ion battery pack is mounted underneath the rear flooring, storing and releasing electricity as dictated by driving circumstances. Overall procedure horsepower is 212, a welcome bump around the a hundred ninety hp you get in a typical CR-V. Greatest torque clocks in at 232 pound-toes.

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

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

It really is tricky to explain how Honda’s two-motor hybrid procedure capabilities, but it works incredibly well.

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As for fuel overall economy, this Honda is believed to return forty miles for every gallon town, 35 mpg freeway and 38 mpg combined. In accordance to the EPA, likewise equipped versions of equally the Toyota and the Ford are a bit more efficient on each and every examination cycle, but in genuine-planet driving you most likely would not notice a variation. A conventionally driven CR-V with all-wheel push is rated at 27 mpg town, 33 mpg freeway and 29 mpg combined. This means the hybrid model is practically 25% more efficient in mixed driving, a massive variation.

The CR-V Hybrid has many push modes, all of which are effortlessly obtainable through a sequence of chunky buttons mounted to the right of the equipment selector. Activity method boosts throttle response and, by means of the Active Seem Management procedure, makes the motor note more aggressive. As its identify implies, Econ method optimizes the vehicle’s effectiveness, building it sense a little bit lethargic in the course of action. You will find also EV method, which allows the CR-V Hybrid function only on electricity, but only for short distances.

Considering the fact that this car is neither a pure electric nor a plug-in hybrid, its battery-only driving vary is incredibly limited, only about one or 2 miles, relying on circumstances. It really is meant for silently motoring by means of parking constructions or pulling into your garage with out waking up the family, not for carbon-neutral cross-state drives.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

The CR-V Hybrid capabilities a distinctive instrument cluster.

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Responsive and refined

Not only does this powertrain sense smoother and seem significantly less thrashy than the one.5-liter turbo-four located in the typical CR-V, it also delivers superb general performance. Many thanks to its electric torque, the hybrid model is punchy off the line, pulling well at all speeds. 

This CR-V’s powertrain is significantly more pleasurable than Honda’s former hybrid endeavours. I remember testing the Perception sedan a few a long time ago, and even though efficient, its drivetrain was bonkers. Motor pace and sounds concentrations had been in no way associated to how significantly throttle you had been using. Sometimes, even though carefully accelerating, the motor would make all varieties of racket, other moments it was information to merely idle. Its actions was more than a little bit disconcerting. Luckily, the CR-V Hybrid’s drivetrain has none of these terrible behaviors. It really is peaceful and easy, fading into the track record.

That laudable refinement applies to the rest of this crossover’s driving actions. The CR-V Hybrid feels reliably solid, with no rattles or reverberations detracting from the working experience. Its steering is nicely weighted and the wheel has a thick rim which is effortless to maintain.

Regenerative braking is another large place. The pedal is nicely weighted, neither as well grabby nor overly squishy, additionally it is really effortless to modulate. Regenerative braking in some hybrid cars feels inconsistent, with the transition in between regen and friction braking annoyingly obvious.

Place the variances

Visual variances in between the CR-V Hybrid and its fuel-only counterpart are slight. Up entrance, you’ll find typical LED headlights, slitted foglamps and a blue-hued Honda logo. The entrance fenders have hybrid badges and at the back, Touring versions get a distinctive bumper. You will find also a “concealed” tailpipe tucked underneath the rear fascia, while it is really still effortless to spot.

Inside, the CR-V Hybrid gains from Honda’s common push-button shifter in its place of the clunky mechanical one particular located in the typical model. It also gets a distinctive instrument cluster that exhibits how the hybrid procedure is running. A pair of steering wheel-mounted paddles allows you adjust how aggressive the regenerative braking is, a helpful attribute. 

The CR-V Hybrid is made available in four trim concentrations: LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. Relying on the model, it also provides capabilities like wireless product charging, embedded navigation and blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross site visitors warn. Apple CarPlay and Android Car are also made available, as well as leather-based trim and twin-zone local climate control. The Honda Sensing suite of protection techniques is also typical across the board, with capabilities like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping guide.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

CR-V Hybrids attribute a push-button equipment selector in its place of a mechanical shifter.

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Just like the regular CR-V, this gasoline-electric model capabilities an superb interior. The entrance seats are comfy and the 2nd-row bench is spacious. The components utilised are prime-notch for the section and the interior’s ergonomics are admirable. My only genuine gripe is about the antiquated infotainment procedure, which is unattractive and obtuse.

A person of the most effective gets even superior

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is accessible at dealerships right now. The base value for one particular of these fuel-sipping crossovers is $28,870, which includes $one,120 in desired destination costs. That’s just $one,two hundred more than an all-wheel-push LX model with the regular powertrain. 

As for the loaded Touring model viewed here, it checks out for $37,070, a good little bit more than the entry-level model, but still a affordable sum. If you do not head paying out that modest upcharge, this hybridized CR-V is the one particular to get. It really is more refined, in some means superior to push and, of class, significantly more efficient.

Editors’ note: Journey expenditures associated to this story had been lined by the maker, which is common in the auto business. The judgments and views of Roadshow’s workers are our have and we do not take paid out editorial information.