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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.