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Some New Honda CR-V Hybrid Owners Report Lower Than Expected MPG

We polled Honda CR-V hybrid owners to see what they are getting for fuel efficiency. The majority fall into one small range.
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The all-new Honda CR-V Hybrid was a little late to the green crossover party but welcomed nonetheless. Owners of the CR-V Hybrid seem thrilled overall with their purchase, and the Facebook CR-V Hybrid Owners’ Club posts are almost entirely positive. We conducted a poll within the club to ask owners what MPG they are getting. Most of the answers fall within a tight range.

We asked what the combined average was. The CR-V Hybrid, like all modern automobiles, can record that information for the owner in the dash display, or the owner can measure their MPG using miles traveled and gallons consumed. We asked the owners to tell us how they measured their MPG since we saw a discrepancy between the two values when we tested the CR-V Hybrid.

What Fuel Efficiency Do Honda CR-V Owners Report?
The majority of owners that responded to our poll reported that they have observed “less than 36 MPG.” Almost exactly half of the group chose this range. This is less than good news. This falls short of the EPA-estimated 38 MPG combined rating for this new vehicle. About 10% of the respondents reported that their mileage was “28-30 MPG.” That was a range that our original poll didn’t include. It was a range added by owners. Facebook polls allow members to add in poll categories.

On the other hand, about 20% of those who responded reported a fuel efficiency of 40 MPG or greater, which is higher than the EPA estimate. We should note that some of the responders mentioned in the comments that they are located in the UK, where a gallon is larger than a U.S. standard gallon volume. Since that can only help the miles per gallon observed, we feel it does not invalidate our headline or theme of the story.

What Was Our CR-V Hybrid MPG Result?
In our own testing of the Honda CR-V Hybrid, we observed 36 MPG using the in-vehicle dash display. However, by calculating the miles driven (using the vehicle’s odometer) by gallons we put into the vehicle, our fuel economy was 39 MPG. Here is a report on that observation.

Do EPA Estimates Match Real World Results?
Typically, Torque News observes a very close correlation to test MPG to the EPA combined estimated number. In many cases, we exceed the EPA estimate. Our editor, Patrick Rall, once filled a Prius with a bunch of buddies and coolers and made an epic road trip to see Guns N’ Roses. Patrick drives either his Challenger Hellcat or Hemi-powered pickup as his daily drivers. To nobody’s surprise, his Prius MPG exceeded the EPA average. Even those of us with a heavy foot almost never see a combined MPG below the EPA estimate.

Draw whatever conclusion you like from our poll or our test results. The CR-V operated close to its estimated fuel economy for almost all owners and in our testing. Yet, the largest group reporting 36 MPG or less still has some meaning. What is your opinion on the matter? Feel free to reply in the comments below.

John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin


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Comments

This is not a great question to ask in wintertime, when MPG averages will be the lowest levels of the year. Especially with an EV assist. Also it is pretty vague just asking about "less than 36MPG" because 36MPG is almost no different economically from 38MPG, but under 30MPG would denote a real efficiency loss. The real disappointment for me is that Honda has not produced a plug-in hybrid CR-V, Pilot, Odyssey or Ridgeline yet. Let alone any BEV versions of those vehicles.
It really depends on where you live. There are flat areas south of my area where I can get 39 mpg. But I live in hills and mountains where I get 27 mpg with the defrost on and 29mpg when off. Summer I averaged 32.9mpg.
Some reviewers found the crv hybrid loses 15 mpg when used on long hills. See Alex on Autos CRV Hybrid viseo from 4 months ago.
I live in a mix of hills and flat areas here in Los Angeles. The most I can get, even after driving on average of 70 mph, is 28 mpg. When I went to the dealership, the Service manager pretty much laughed at my concern. I'm really disappointed.
I purchase mine in April when they first came out. My dealer explained that things like defrost and a/c kick the system to engine only. The140 hp engine is just to small for the vehicle. Honda should have used the 1.5 turbo as a hybrid engine.
In gasoline-powered Hondas, I've found the MPG display on the dash to be within about 0.5MPG either way, after calculating the refill with each tankful. I think the problem is that owners are taking the MPG display as the definitive word on mileage, being either too lazy to calculate it themselves, or never buying full tankfuls in which to calculate the mileage. With hybrids being a mix of propulsion technologies, I am not surprised the MPG indicated on the dash could be a few MPGs off from reality.
Mine actually match my vehicle read out and are the same with all my entries at fuel economy.gov
So far, after 4 fuel-ups, I could not get over 32.5 MPG. The last trip was all freeway, about 70 mph. This is quite disappointing, considering that the ad promises 38 MPG. BTW, with Lincoln MKZ, they admitted that the projected 45 MPG was far from the real 38 MPG, and they send all owners a check for about $650 as an apology. Should we expect something similar from Honda?
I’ve owned my 2020 CR-V EX-L for 11 months. I have never gotten more than 32mpg. I keep track in my own little database, and it usually is within 1mpg of the onboard display. I am VERY disappointed with this mpg result, as I was already getting over 30mpg in my 2017 CR-V gas Touring model that I traded in. This is reminding me of the scandal Honda went through with one of their first Civic hybrid models, resulting in a class-action lawsuit. Someone needs to look into that for this as well, I believe. To get almost 25% lower gas mileage is completely unaccceptable.
I too have been getting poor MPG. On a 70 degree day I average about 32mpg in both city and highway driving. What I’ve noticed is that if I fill up with premium gas, I average about 35mpg right after fill-up and that seems to be pretty accurate. If I fill up with standard gas, I never get above 32. That defeats the purpose of a hybrid that should be getting 38mpg average on regular gas. Honda has been going downhill for awhile I think. My next car will most definitely not be a Honda.
Paul about a second ago Best Answer If you want the best gas mileage you need to fill up with Ethanol Free Gas. I get 6 MPG better than Ethanol Gas. 22 MPG City with Ethanol and 28 MPG City Ethanol Free. With Ethanol Free on Highway after resetting the trip computer just before I got on the interstate I have gotten as high as 37 mpg at 65 mph cruise. Honda Auto Engines just like their Lawn mowers thrive on straight gas. There more energy in Ethanol Free gas. There no real benefit of wasting money on premium gas. If your getting better gas mileage with premium I'm betting it doesn't have ethanol in the higher grades. I get 28 MPG City and 37 MPG highway with a Regular non-hybrid CRV. Ethanol Free gas has more energy and puts out more emissions. That's why Ethanol gas is sold to reduce emissions. But if you want the ultimate range on a tank Ethanol Free is the way to go if you can find a station near you that sells it. I only get 22MPG city in Ethanol Gas but 28MPG city with Ethanol Free.
Very disappointed with the milage on my new hybrid CRV. What's the point? Dash display says 29.8 and 30.7. This was not worth purchasing. Would have gone for the Mazda if I knew it would be this bad!
I was wondering if something was wrong with my new 2021 CRV hybrid. I only get 27mpg though this is mostly freeeway at arount 75 mph and with aircon on. It is so that have the airconditioning on takes the car off hybrid functionality?