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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.


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


DeanMcManis (not verified)    December 21, 2020 - 9:39PM

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.

William Phelps (not verified)    December 22, 2020 - 8:21AM

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.

Richard Parker (not verified)    December 22, 2020 - 11:48AM

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.

Ephraim Allan (not verified)    January 4, 2021 - 8:35PM

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.

William Phelps (not verified)    January 5, 2021 - 7:01AM

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.

Rudy (not verified)    February 13, 2021 - 1:04PM

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.

max troukhan (not verified)    March 10, 2021 - 2:51PM

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?

Philip (not verified)    April 27, 2021 - 10:29PM

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.

Jack (not verified)    April 30, 2021 - 7:02AM

In reply to by Philip (not verified)

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 Deemer (not verified)    June 19, 2021 - 10:54AM

In reply to by Jack (not verified)


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.

Laureen Gaffney (not verified)    February 3, 2023 - 12:21PM

In reply to by Philip (not verified)

I agree with your comments. I just purchase a CRV Hybrid 2023 Touring AWD and most I have gotten is 29mpg combined city/highway. This is a big disappointment. Hopefully it will improve in warmer weather.

Marie C (not verified)    February 13, 2023 - 1:55PM

In reply to by Laureen Gaffney (not verified)

I also just purchased a 2023 hybrid crv sport and am only seeing 29 mpg combined city/highway. I do like the vehicle but super disappointed to have spent so much more for the hybrid. Almost seems I would have been better off purchasing the non hybrid

Pam (not verified)    May 15, 2021 - 6:58PM

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!

Eric Kueneman (not verified)    June 28, 2021 - 1:27PM

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?

William Phelps (not verified)    August 7, 2021 - 10:22PM

At roughly 6300 miles, driving my usual speeds and a bit more highway, fuel economy has climbed. Overall average last 850 miles is 37.1. Cannot explain why, but finally where it’s supposed to be.

Stephen A Hoste (not verified)    September 24, 2021 - 7:55PM

I averaged 37mpg on my first tank of gas, and 45mpg on my second. The difference was because on my first tank, I drove a bit of highway miles, and used the A/C. For the second tank, I drove entirely on city roads, and used windows down for climate control.

Hani (not verified)    November 11, 2021 - 5:13PM

What I’ve noticed if I fill up with premium gas, the fuel consumption average about 34-35 mpg . If I fill up with regular unleaded gas, I never get above 32.5 mpg. while it should be getting 38-40mpg average on regular gas in City and 35mpg in freeway. Honda needs to be informed as that is a major issue with their Hybrid functionality.
Is it possible to terminate the lease due to this manufacture defect?

denise (not verified)    November 20, 2021 - 7:30PM

I'm very disappointed with my mileage on the CRV-Hybrid. I'm averaging 32MPG w/less than 1500 miles total, in mild climate conditions and generally flat terrain. The average keeps dropping as well. I was told by dealer to try it in non-econ and that was worse. Now i'm told to try better quality fuel. Both those efforts caused mileage to DROP even more. the advertised range of 35-40 was one of the major selling points for me. very disappointed. Will average increase with more accrued milage?

Stephen Hoste (not verified)    November 22, 2021 - 9:51AM

My summer fuel economy on ALL city driving was 41.2 average. I did not use any accessories such as A/C. As winter has begun to set in, my fuel economy has fallen off precipitously. Much has to do with the length of a trip. For very short trips, such as to the local Starbucks, a mile or less, the gas engine runs the whole time, just to heat up the batteries. The average MPG is in the 20's. For longer trips, where the batteries have warmed up, the MPGs in the 30's.

Vijay (not verified)    December 8, 2021 - 9:55AM

I purchased 2021 CR-V hybrid.
Average miles only come to 29 mpg
Not good choice. Cost lot more then fuel efficient

Stephen A Hoste (not verified)    December 8, 2021 - 9:39PM

My average fuel economy changes a lot, depending on many factors. Low outside temperatures require the gasoline engine to run for the first couple of minutes just to heat up the batteries. Using accessories such as the A/C also causes the gasoline engine to run. Driving on the freeway also causes the gasoline engine to run. The best fuel economy I got was 42 mpg this past summer. I never used the A/C, I and stayed off the freeway.

Alton Marsh (not verified)    December 13, 2021 - 8:44PM

My 2021 Honda CRV touring that I got January 20, 2021, was reporting 27 miles per gallon after 8,000 miles, but that recently decreased to 26.3 and I have 10,000 miles now. My 2017 Honda CRV Touring got 33 miles per gallon after 60,000 miles, and it of course. didn’t travel much in 2020.
Why can’t they just tell us they tweaked the engine so the car would heat up faster and so it wouldn’t mix its’ gasoline and oil, and that has caused lower mileage?

While I’m at it, why don’t they admit that the car does unnecessary braking when a car in adjacent same-direction lane starts to either leave the highway or just happens to be the wrong color (often white). Both my 2017 Honda CRV and my 2021 Honda CRV do that.

Deirdre Blocker (not verified)    January 7, 2022 - 3:13PM

I am receiving 21-23mpg for my 2021 CRV HYRBID! It was 35mpg, but I have been off work for a few weeks and NOT driving much. Does not make sense as to why the MPG has significantly decreased. Very disappointed. Reported this to Honda and was advised to take the vehicle in for inspection as this is not right. Off the lot at the dealer the fuel range was 500miles. Then it was anywhere from 400-460 and now just under 330! : (

Tim Clancy (not verified)    January 11, 2022 - 12:03PM

Very disappointed in the gas mileage of our new 2022 CR-V Hybrid Touring. Have driven 8,600 miles thus far, and have consistently been getting 23-27 MPG. I've taken it in to the dealership, and they basically say there's nothing that can be done. They cautioned that factors such as "thinned out winter gas", driving habits, and the number of "systems" running in the car (such as heater, radio, etc.) can negatively affect MPG. They also said that they don't set the MPG, the EPA does (suggesting that Honda doesn't "own" the MPG rating). Personally, I think this is an issue that must be known to Honda, and I think it's something that needs to be looked into, especially if Honda isn't willing to do anything about the wildly differing performance as compared to how the car is being marketed. I'd feel differently if this wasn't a BIG MPG difference on a HYBRID car, which most people buy for the IMPROVED gas mileage. Something's not right here, at least with respect to my vehicle (17 MPG difference between what's advertised and what I am getting - that's not even close....)

Tami Weber (not verified)    January 26, 2022 - 7:13PM

In reply to by Tim Clancy (not verified)

I also just purchased a 22 CR-V Touring Hybrid. I have had it less than 2 weeks and have about 1300 miles. Highest mileage I have had was 24 in town and 21 on the highway in a recent trip. I am very disappointed!!!! I called the dealership thinking there was something wrong with my new vehicle and got the same B.S....its cold, winter blend fuel, too many accessories running, etc. When they advertise 35/40 MPG and the vehicle only gets 21/24MPG, this is totally unacceptable! At no time during the sales process did they say, "Oh, by the way, you may not get the gas mileage posted on the sticker." This qualifies as deceptive advertising!

Zak (not verified)    February 4, 2022 - 6:49PM

In reply to by Tim Clancy (not verified)

I bought a 2022 Honda CR-V hybrid strictly for the high mileage ratings plus, Car and Driver’s 75 mph test claimed they got 35 mpg. The dealership had the complimentary full tank and the first week, I was averaging 35 mpg. The next week and there on, with standard 87 octane (some ethanol) gas and 11,400 miles later, ONLY 32-33 mpg!
This is an outrage! Honda needs to own up. The dealer ignores my complaint and sends me off. One service advisor said he could get me a new car but, it’s idol talk and they’re not serious