2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid review: Like a nice night out

Nancy J. Delong

It is really excellent that Honda hasn’t fallen prey to the very same addiction to massive grilles as the rest of the sector.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is like a great date night that won’t go overboard, financially speaking. Let us say you want to take care of on your own, but you’re not going all-out with a vacation to a single of all those stuffy, 3-figure-per-plate steakhouses. Probably you want to shell out just a smidge much more cash than common and get down with some approachable, quasi-upscale cuisine, like a Cooper’s Hawk or a Wildfire, because you should have some thing great every single after in a whilst. Which is what Honda’s new electrified SUV feels like: a gratifying evening meal out that won’t split the lender for the middle class.

Like

  • Quick on the eyes
  • Quick on the road
  • Quick on the fuel

Really don’t Like

  • Mediocre infotainment
  • No spare tire
  • Lags opponents in gasoline economy

Extravagant-lookin’ appointments

Though the full Honda CR-V line gained a visual refresh for the 2020 product 12 months, the new-for-this-12 months Hybrid trades paper napkins for fabric with a number of special bits that make it feel a little much more upscale than any other variant. The new grille integrates properly with my tester’s LED headlights and the revised decrease fascia that adds in some flashy fog lights, organized in a bar condition on the Hybrid compared to the typical CR-V’s round men. There’s also some particular badging, because who won’t enjoy patting on their own on the back again, as properly as a tailpipe which is tucked bigger up into the human body.

Slide by a single of the CR-V’s doorways, even though, and which is wherever the bigger-end appreciation genuinely kicks in. Honda has completed a terrific occupation revising the crossover’s cabin for 2020. On the aesthetics entrance, I’m specifically impressed with the matte-finish faux wooden trim scattered about, a finish typically reserved for much more highly-priced automobiles (with precise wooden). The dashboard, whilst mostly plastic, consists of some eye-catching faux stitching, and there are a lot of fascinating angles that make the CR-V feel a little considerably less mass-market than it is. Heck, even the “floating” infotainment display appears to be like rather terrific right here. The suit and finish feels a action over CR-Vs past and opponents current.

But purpose matters much more than kind when it arrives to a loved ones motor vehicle. Thankfully, there’s a lot of it right here. A revised centre console incorporates an spectacular amount of money of junk-tucking place, and I like the sorta-open-air modularity of the sliding trays that include the under-armrest cubby. The cup holders are voluminous, both on the door panels and in the centre console, and Touring models like my tester get an Apple iphone-compatible Qi wireless phone charger tucked under the drive-button transmission controls.

The second row has first rate storage, as properly, but the genuine profit to being back again there is legroom, given that Honda gives a few inches much more of it than the levels of competition can supply. I’m 6 toes tall, and I definitely was not seeking for house, which implies children really should have even much more place to faff about. Though the added hardware required for the CR-V Hybrid won’t try to eat into cabin house, it does choose a smidge of cargo ability. At 33.2 cubic toes, the hybrid crossover’s storage house is about four cubic toes scaled-down than the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s, and it is really about 6 cubes powering the normal ol’ CR-V. The Honda is, even so, in advance of the Ford Escape Hybrid, which has just thirty.7 cubic toes of stuff storage. If you’re looking for a spare tire, you will never obtain it, given that Honda ditched it in favor of the hybrid hardware — a challenge the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid won’t appear to have, given that it nonetheless rocks a backup.

Easy operator

The crux of the CR-V Hybrid is concealed under the human body. It relies on the very same two-motor hybrid program which is in the Honda Accord: A 2.-liter, Atkinson-cycle I4 fuel motor mates to a 1.four-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery and a pair of electric powered motors to make 212 horsepower and 232 pound-toes of torque, generating the Hybrid variant the most effective CR-V in the garage. All-wheel generate is typical, and energy routes to all four corners by way of some thing Honda phone calls an eCVT, even though it is really not genuinely a suitable pulley-dependent continually variable transmission, as it uses a clutch to permit immediate motor-to-drivetrain propulsion under light hundreds only.

This implies most of the time the CR-V Hybrid is running, the electric powered motors supply the propulsion whilst the motor sits in the track record, focusing on maintaining the compact battery topped off. This Honda does present an EV-only method, but like most regular fuel-electric powered hybrids, it is really only usable for a mile or two at a time. This electric powered-ahead concentrate implies every single start is easy and laden with torque, and that immediacy continues to component in at bigger speeds, generating for effortless on-ramp hustle or slow-driver passing. When it arrives time to juice up, the motor will kick on in the track record — the fact that the motor revs don’t correlate to road pace can be a little discombobulating at initially, but it is really effortless to get utilised to, even if the motor does increase to a gentle clamor at times when much more charging is important. Mother nature of the beast, I suppose.

Pushing buttons isn’t really my beloved way to change gears, but packaging is significant when you’re hoping to make the most of every single location in the cabin.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

A number of powertrain modes are on present, including the aforementioned EV method, but they’re not really beneficial. Econ tamps down consumer inputs in the identify of boosting effectiveness, and whilst it works, it leaves the CR-V Hybrid emotion a little pokey. There’s a Sport method, which enhances throttle reaction and uses a audio synthesizer to boost its aural profile, but this tech just feels like a gimmick to me — which is not the stage of this SUV in anyway, and we all know it. There is, even so, energetic audio cancellation, which feels considerably much more ideal in this use scenario.

The remaining corners of the CR-V Hybrid’s driving expertise return to the eating-out metaphor, giving an upscale expertise with a palatable rate tag. My Touring-trim tester rocks the greatest wheels on present at 19 inches. They are wrapped in suitably meaty 235/55 Continental CrossContact LX Sport all-year tires, which do a terrific occupation of soaking up unpleasant road bits that the metal springs simply cannot. The steering is properly weighted, and it turns the wheels — about all the praise wanted on a mass-market crossover. The brakes are really properly tuned, mixing friction and regeneration into easy deceleration if you enjoy making use of momentum to leading off the battery, the wheel-mounted change paddles enable you boost or decrease the regenerative braking to suit.

The EPA estimates the 2020 CR-V Hybrid at 40 miles per gallon city and 35 mpg highway — terrific figures for an all-wheel-generate crossover that, in my expertise, are effortless to accomplish with out the lightest foot on the block. In context, even though, this Honda’s food stays excellent, just not as excellent as what is actually out there throughout the spectrum of dining establishments. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, by comparison, is much more economical at forty one mpg city and 38 mpg highway, whilst the Ford Escape Hybrid rings in at forty three highway and 37 city.

See all all those orange bits? Really don’t touch all those.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

Wonderful safety tech, Okay infotainment

1 section of the Honda CR-V Hybrid’s technological complement that will unquestionably generate accolades with families is Honda Sensing, the automaker’s suite of energetic and passive safety techniques. This collection is typical on every single CR-V, incorporating automated unexpected emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, lane-continue to keep support and adaptive cruise manage. The techniques work terrific, with ACC providing easy inputs whilst LKA won’t wrestle for manage of the wheel to continue to keep the automobile centered in its lane. Honda’s LaneWatch digital camera has ultimately fallen by the wayside in favor of suitable blind-location checking, which is a welcome substitute which is way considerably less distracting in practice.

As the leading trim on present, my Touring tester arrives bedecked with every single tech up grade out there. The wireless unit charger is positioned properly and retains the phone from inadvertently sliding all around and dropping its inductive connection. Weirdly, even though, the two USB-A ports in the entrance present a paltry 1 and 1.five amps, the previous of which isn’t really even enough to retain a net good cost if a phone is operating processor-intense applications like Waze or Google Maps by Apple CarPlay or Android Vehicle (the latter integrations are typical on all but the foundation trim). The rear seats, even so, rock a pair of faster-charging 2.five-amp USB-A ports, which really should be the typical all all around.

This CR-V also packs a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment program. It is really not the hottest, biggest edition of Honda’s Display Audio hardware, so the graphics search like they’re about a decade previous, if not much more, primarily in the confront of flashier getups from Ford or Toyota. Responsiveness is suitably quick, and the quantity knob’s return is definitely welcome, but it is really higher time Honda updates its telematics right here. The backup camera’s resolution could stand to be a little bigger, too.

1 display that won’t disappoint, even though, is the a single that replaces the gauge cluster. In addition to sporting a special energy meter that allows me know irrespective of whether the CR-V Hybrid is making motive force or recuperating power, the cluster displays all make a difference of pertinent details — from the hybrid system’s workings to whatever’s on the radio — entrance and centre to lessen distraction.

Honda’s Display Audio is in dire require of some current graphics. Practically every single competitor leaves Honda in the dust in this arena.


Andrew Krok/Roadshow

How I might spec it

At $37,070 (including $1,120 for destination), the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid’s highest trim is basically considerably less than present-day normal new-motor vehicle transaction rate, this means you’re acquiring hooked up with an appreciably posh expertise at a mass-market rate. So, the Touring is the CR-V Hybrid product I might choose, given that it is really loaded with terrific functions like Qi charging, parking sensors, a fingers-absolutely free tailgate and rain-sensing wipers. Budget-minded individuals will nonetheless obtain a lot to like on other trims, even though. Pure benefit-seekers can grab a foundation CR-V Hybrid for just $28,870, with the EX and EX-L splitting the variation among the extremes.

Down to brass tacks

Honda’s two largest opponents in this house are rather properly packed in their individual rights. The Toyota RAV4 has blockier appears to be like, much more effectiveness and a much more present day infotainment program, but it feels a little considerably less upscale than the Honda. The Ford Escape is rather considerably the very same, supplying much more miles per gallon than the Honda, but its cargo house is scaled-down and its inside appointments don’t feel as properly bolted together as Japanese opponents.

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is a terrific way to take care of on your own and your loved ones on a spending budget. For a reasonable amount of money of cash, you get an inside and a journey that borders on high-class, whilst the pragmatically minded among the you will have a lot to take pleasure in in conditions of storage, effectiveness and typical tech. 

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