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New Honda CR-V Hybrid Brings More Than Improved Fuel Mileage

The 2020 Honda CR-V, one of America's most popular small SUVs, just got better. Check out two things the CR-V Hybrid brings more than improved fuel mileage.


Compact SUV shoppers have a new option from Honda as they bring a new 2020 CR-V Hybrid model for shoppers to put on their list. The CR-V has been the top-ranked compact SUV competing against a strong field like Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester, Mazda CX-5, and Ford Escape. Now it brings the hybrid powertrain with improved fuel mileage and two more attributes that set it apart further from the crowd.

The 2020 CR-V Hybrid provides a higher fuel economy than the regular CR-V, but it also brings more power and standard all-wheel-drive to the lineup. The hybrid comes in LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring trims. This week we test-drive the all-new top-of-the lineup 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring trim.

2020 Honda CR-V, CR-V Hybrid, specs, features, fuel mileageFeatures & Options

The top trim 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring ($35,950 including destination and delivery) comes standard with 19-inch wheels, blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross traffic alert, a sunroof, a larger infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a multi-angle backup camera, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Touring adds leather, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, LED fog lights, wireless phone charging, navigation, and a 330-watt 9-speaker audio-system upgrade. It also comes with push-button start, roof rails, hands-free power tailgate, parking sensors, turn-by-turn directions, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

The Honda Sensing suite of active driver aids is standard on all models and includes collision-warning and autonomous braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and traffic-sign recognition.

2020 Honda CR-V, CR-V Hybrid, specs, features, fuel mileageInterior Highlights

The CR-V Hybrid cabin is roomy, comfortable, and ergonomically friendly for both short and tall drivers. The leather seats and steering wheel add an extra level of luxury and along with the premium sound system and 12-way power driver’s seat with memory. The only thing we don’t like is the outdated infotainment system.

We liked the well-designed center console offering a sliding tray that can be flipped up for holding larger items, and there's no need to put your cellphone in the cupholder since the CR-V Hybrid comes standard with a non-slip charging pad positioned conveniently in front of the USB ports.

We made liberal use of the heated steering and heated front seats this week as a spring snowstorm blanketed the region. It also comes with heated outside mirrors that quickly rid the mirrors of ice and snow. Rear-seat space is excellent, and the CR-V also has rear USB ports, cupholders, and a fold-down center armrest for rear passengers. The rear seats fold flat with the pull of a handle for loading extra cargo, and they're easily lifted back into place.

2020 Honda CR-V, CR-V Hybrid, specs, features, fuel mileage

Rear cargo space in the hybrid is down a little from the regular model because of its battery pack. Space drops from 39.2 cubic feet with the seats up to 33.2 cubic feet, and from an overall 75.8 cubic feet to 68.7. The hands-free power tailgate makes it easy if your hands are full.

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The new Honda CR-V Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine couple with two AC synchronous permanent-magnet motors. It has a total of 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque, vs. 190 horsepower, and 179 lb-ft of torque for the standard gasoline model engine. It has an electric range of 1 mile.

The Honda CR-V Hybrid is not only the most powerful CR-V variant, but it’s also the most efficient. The EPA estimates the CR-V Hybrid gets 38 mpg combined (40 city/35 highway). That's an improvement over the regular CR-V which gets 29 mpg with all-wheel-drive. The hybrid comes standard with all-wheel drive. The CR-V hybrid’s all-wheel-drive system stays in front-drive mode for improved fuel economy unless it senses a loss of traction, at which point it sends power to the rear wheels.

Driving Dynamics

The new CR-V Hybrid has more power than the standard gas model and we could feel it immediately. The extra 22 horsepower helps but the extra 53 lb-ft of torque makes the biggest difference. The Hybrid gives a quick burst of power when you leave a stop, and it has no problem making quick passes when you need it even at high altitude in Colorado where we tested the new Honda CR-V hybrid.

2020 Honda CR-V, CR-V Hybrid, specs, features, fuel mileage

We tested the standard all-wheel-drive in a few inches of snow that fell this week, and the new system seemed to work well. We pushed it hard in the wet spring snow and it pulled us up a steep two-lane road without issue. It handled well in the slick corners and never lost grip.

The hybrid runs on electric power for about one mile but only while traveling at low speeds. After you get up to higher speeds, it transitions to combined gas/hybrid power. The transition is smooth and almost undetectable. The only indication of the switch is the sound of the engine starting up, which replaces the Hybrid's buzz-hum pedestrian warning tone.

Paddle shifters on the steering wheel allow the driver to adjust the amount of regenerative braking. This is an unusual feature for a hybrid, and you can use it to maximize fuel economy. You can use it to charge up the batteries quicker using regenerative braking to keep your speed in check on downgrades or coasting while in stop-and-go traffic. Overall, the CR-V Hybrid offers a comfortable ride on the highway and is easy to live within urban commutes.


Buying a 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid instead of a comparable regular CR-V will cost you about $1,200 more. The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring is a tempting choice with its extra luxury. The Hybrid offers excellent fuel economy and doesn't compromise on the regular CR-V's positive attributes such as a roomy cabin and a comfortable ride. The extra power and standard all-wheel-drive are two positives.

You Might Also Like: You Love The CR-V More Than Any Honda Model In Long-Term One-Owner Satisfaction

Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our TN Honda page and be sure to follow Denis on FacebookTwitterInstagram. Check back tomorrow for more Honda news and updates.

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Photo credit: Honda USA


DeanMcManis (not verified)    April 29, 2020 - 5:27PM

For only $1200 I wouldn't have to think twice about getting the Hybrid option for the CR-V. I've enjoyed owning many Hondas over the years, and had a CR-V until last year when it got rear ended. I do hope that soon Honda does offer a proper plug in hybrid CR-V. Hopefully Toyota will have great success with their upcoming RAV4 Prime PHEV, and that might push Honda forward with their own plug in hybrid crossover sooner.