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Honda Drops Specs On 2020 CR-V AWD Hybrid - RAV4 Hybrid Now Has Company

Honda has officially announced the 2020 CR-V Hybrid for America. Will its sales rival the top-selling RAV4 Hybrid AWD?


Honda has made it official; The 2020 CR-V Hybrid will arrive in the United States early this coming year. And yes, it does offer all-wheel drive. This new greener CR-V could well challenge the current top-selling green vehicle in America, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid AWD. "The Honda CR-V is the best-selling CUV over the past two decades and the updates we've made to the 2020 model, including a new hybrid-electric variant, solidify its position as a leader in the compact SUV market," said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "The CR-V Hybrid also signifies our direction to bring Honda hybrid-electric technology to all core models and to invest in the production of electrified vehicles in America."

Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD

The new 2020 CR-V Hybrid will be powered by the two-motor system that Honda now uses to propel the Accord Hybrid. The engine will be a 2.0-liter, 16-valve DOHC Atkinson cycle engine with greater than 40 percent thermal efficiency. Honda says buyers should expect a 50% increase in the city fuel economy compared to the conventionally-powered CR-V. Expect a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 41 MPG. The RAV4 Hybrid AWD presently offers a 40 MPG Combined rating.

The CR-V's two-motor hybrid drive system operates without the need for a conventional automatic transmission. It provides smooth and seamless power delivery similar to a pure electric vehicle. The CR-V Hybrid will be capable of EV-only operation in certain situations. The intelligent power unit (IPU) is very compact and contains the hybrid battery pack and its control systems. Mounted under the cargo floor, it allows the new CR-V Hybrid to offer excellent cargo utility, including a 60/40 split rear seatback with a flat load floor. Peak total system horsepower for the CR-V Hybrid will be 212, making it the most powerful CR-V offered.

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The CR-V Hybrid will be the first application of all-wheel drive to Honda's two-motor hybrid system in the U.S. When the available traction is low, Honda says an electronic clutch activates, sending the appropriate level of power from the electric motor to the rear wheels. This will enable all-weather operation.

The new 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid will be an almost entirely-American-Made vehicle. Honda's Russells Point, Ohio, plant will manufacture the CR-V Hybrid's two-motor power unit and the crossover will be assembled in the company's Greensburg, Indiana plant. Dealers will have inventory on-hand in early 2020.

In addition to covering green vehicle topics, John Goreham covers safety, technology, and new vehicle news at Torque News. You can follow John on Twitter at @johngoreham.


DeanMcManis (not verified)    September 18, 2019 - 4:21PM

I am very glad that Honda is coming out with this CR-V hybrid. I do believe that it is overdue, and it should be a plug-in model. But I suspect that it will be a sales hit regardless. I only wonder how much more it will cost. The Accord Hybrid is a meager $1450 over the base car, whereas the Clarity plug-in hybrid costs nearly $10K more before subsidies, but the price difference is relatively small once those are figured in. Acura has offered hybrid models, but none of them are PHEVs either and they are all pitched as "Sports Hybrid" in a similar way that BMW sells their hybrid models as green performance. Acura shows off their hybrid NSX as their green flagship model, and it does look great! If they keep the CR-V price low like the Accord hybrid, it should be wildly successful.

John Goreham    September 18, 2019 - 6:22PM

In reply to by DeanMcManis (not verified)

I agree that the CR-V hybrid could really take off. The RAV4 Hybrid is selling at amazing levels. As much as 30% of all RAV4 transactions. In combination, the CR-V hybrid and RAV4 Hybrid could help shift the dynamic in the segment. Time will tell. I also have a PHEV version on my mind. Either of the two could easily be adapted to a PHEV version later by adding a larger battery and crossovers have ample space in which to place one. This is an exciting new model.

Digitaldoc (not verified)    September 18, 2019 - 4:39PM

This new hybrid CR-V will likely be popular, although too long in coming. The extra horsepower will be a hit compared to the 1.5T. This new hybrid may be a good way to get away from the oil gas dilution issues that have plagued the CR-V over the last 3 model years. I am eager to see if for 2020, Honda finally addresses the issue for at least the new cars, or if this hybrid version just will help to sweep it under the rug.

David Tindall (not verified)    September 20, 2019 - 8:40AM

The RAV4 hybrid has a gas tank issue that Toyota is, as of now, unable to fix. It involves the gauge and the ability to fill the tank. I have one so I know. Great car, but if you cannot put gas in it not so much. Buyer beware.

Amanda (not verified)    September 25, 2019 - 1:46PM

I'm eager to get my hands on a CRV hybrid but I'm even more eager to see the OFFICIAL fuel economy numbers. Everyone is estimating pending EPAs numbers but I can't any mention anywhere of WHEN the numbers are likely to come out. Are we talking a week, a month, 3 months, what?