Honda's CR-V compact crossover SUV is the best-selling model in the brand's extensive lineup, and vies with the Toyota RAV4 for the title of best-selling compact crossover year after year. Honda has sold over 5 million units of the CR-V over the past 23 years, making it the best-selling CUV in history. Until now, all CR-V models carried a gasoline engine, but that's changing this year.
The CR-V Hybrid puts Honda into competition with Toyota's popular RAV4 Hybrid. The Honda also bucks a major design trend that automakers have been following. Most hybrids with all-wheel-drive use a dual-motor gas/electric front-wheel-drive system and then they use additional electric motors in the back to drive the rear wheels. Honda's system uses the gas/electric dual system in the front, but then uses a traditional driveshaft to send power to the rear axle.
The power package for the CR-V Hybrid includes a 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle gas engine, mated with an electric motor. The combined system offers 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. There is no transmission in the traditional sense, just a direct drive coupling with reduction gears. The rear axle includes a clutch that engages the rear wheels when traction is required.
The CR-V Hybrid is EPA-rated to return 40 MPG in city driving, 35 MPG on the highway, and 38 MPG in real-world combination driving. This compares to 27 MPG city, 33 MPG highway, and 29 combined for the gas-powered CR-V. The CR-V is also capable of driving in EV mode and using no gasoline at all for distances up to a mile.
One nice feature Honda has developed is the adjustable electric regeneration control. Using steering wheel paddles, the driver can adjust the intensity of the regeneration system.
On the road, the CR-V is quiet and smooth. There's plenty of power available, and the AWD system makes this model an attractive choice if your lifestyle includes remote camping or winter sports. The interior is typical of economy compact crossovers, and the dashboard infotainment system is easy to use. Higher trim levels include handy features like wireless device charging and GPS navigation.
The 2020 Honda CR-V hybrid starts at $27,750 for the basic LX trim, which includes LED headlights, keyless entry and start, and the AWD system. From there, you can step up to EX trim with LED fog lights, blind spot monitoring, and the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment. The EX-L trim comes with leather, heated steering wheel, and a power tailgate. The top of the line is the Touring trim with navigation, wireless charging, and both front and rear parking sensors.
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid
Base price: $27,750
Price as tested: $35,950
Type: Compact crossover SUV
Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder and electric motor (212 hp, 232 lbs-ft)
Transmission: Direct drive AWD
EPA estimated mileage: 40/35
Overall length: 182.1 inches
Curb weight: 3,469 pounds
Final assembly: Greensburg, Indiana
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.