The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid goes from diesel to a 184 hp petrol-electric hybrid engine. The CR-V gains a smooth ride and has (almost) all the arguments for its customers accustomed to diesel transits to the hybrid. we like a lot of things from this car, including that Space on board and good comfort, Free rein / Balanced chassis & City consumption and moderate pace. but this car is also not flawless. what are they?
If Toyota is the world leader in hybridization, Honda has also been working on the subject for a long time: the first hybrid model in 1999 and 2.4 million units sold to date. The brand has not always been successful in this niche (its Insight sedan remained in the shadow of the Prius) but with the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid, a cap is crossed. Its technology is much more developed than before and its efficiency is real. This CR-V hybrid based on the newly released model is available with two transmissions ( 4×2 and 4×4 ) and it sounds the death knell of CR-V diesel in Europe (only a few Asian markets are still entitled).
Honda is, therefore, making an energy transition choice for certain countries. This policy of electrification of the models however corresponds to the aspiration of certain customers, pushed by the public authorities which block more and more the way to diesel. But can the customer find their way in terms of budget for use with a hybrid SUV?
Honda CR-V Hybrid Price
First good news for the hybrid CR-V, its price is not delusional (from 34 600 €) and its penalty plays muted (45 €). Compared with the CR-V diesel, price inflation is measured: € 2,000 difference between a 184 hp 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid 4×4 and a former CR-V diesel 4×4 BVA 160 hp which today would have more malus than the hybrid. This price is the result of a conventional hybridization and not a hybrid-rechargeable system much more expensive to implement. It allows customers to transit more easily from diesel to the hybrid, especially that Honda offers a tempting rental to take the plunge: 399 € per month with maintenance over 5 years / 50 000 km for a CR-V Hybrid 4×2 Executive very well equipped (after the contribution of 5 260 €).
To go from 4×2 to 4X4, the hybrid CR-V claims € 2,000 more with a small penalty of € 75. Honda expects 60% of sales with this AWD. The 4×4 transmission is the same as that of the petrol version with the transmission shaft and disengageable clutch, and not an electric motor on the rear axle as is the case on other hybrid models. Our trial version fits this definition: Honda CR-V Hybrid 4 WD Exclusive at € 45,970 is the high end of the model. Note that for technical reasons, the CR-V can not have seven seats, available as an option on the thermal version.
New Honda CR-V Hybrid Power
Honda engineers have concocted a new hybrid technology. Known as the i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive), it is based on a 145-hp i-VTEC Atkinson cycle engine, a lithium-ion battery, and two electric motors. The cumulative power of the hybrid CR-V is 184 hp and the torque is 315 Nm. One of the two electric motors is actually a generator that provides power to the second who is responsible for propulsion, and it incorporates an e-CVT transmission in its machinery. Note that on the road or with the Engine Drive mode, the engine can directly drive the front wheels by connecting via a clutch to avoid friction and energy losses of other elements.
Despite the lithium-ion battery and the electrical machinery necessary for its hybridization, the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid 4WD manages to limit its mass to 1,672 kg. At the wheel, we do not feel too heavy as is sometimes the case with this type of gear. Tried here in 4WD version, the CR-V even manages to distill a behavior that finds an interesting balance between comfort and reactivity. The steering and braking provide a consistent consistency and the craft is conducted in a natural way. This is much better than the current RAV4 Hybrid and it will be interesting to see Toyota’s reaction with its new model that will be tested in February 2019.
The complex operation of the hybrid system is forgotten while driving. The kilometers parade smoothly, in silence and without any jerk. There are three driving modes, the best is to leave in Hybrid Drive, a mode where energy flows are very well managed. According to Honda, the CR-V rides 50% of the time in the electric city and 30% on small roads. When a need for power to raise or double, the 184 hp and 315 Nm of torque allow a quick reaction. In case of loss of traction of the front wheels, up to 60% of the torque can switch on the rear axle on this version 4WD via the disengageable drive shaft.
Without being dynamic, this CR-V is nevertheless pleasant to lead. The only downside comes from the disconnect between the effort of the mechanics and its sound during a strong solicitation. A phenomenon due to the almost constant speed of the engine since it is the generator that provides the power. It is, therefore, necessary to change one’s habits in the way of “listening” to mechanics, but this is very well done. The sound balance is however positive compared to a diesel roaring and vibrating at low speed, where the hybrid system is a total silence.
It is obviously the test of the consumption of gasoline which poses question compared to the diesel, especially on a heavy vehicle, high and thus energy-consuming. The 5.5 l / 100 km certified mixed consumption (low NEDC value) for this 4×4 version does not satisfy us because too often far from reality. This first grip allowed us, however, to note controlled consumption. On a 50 km road course between 70 and 90 km/h, we observed 6.3 l/100 km at the onboard computer. The consumption in town at less than 5.5 l is also a very good value that will surely interest taxis.
Our motorway journey confirms that this type of route remains the bête noire of hybrid SUVs: set at 130 km / h, consumption remains above 10 l / 100 km. These values will be confirmed during a longer test, but they can already satisfy the majority of motorists, less to the big wheels who will be interested in staying on a diesel SUV.
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Interior
The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid presents a spacious and airy cabin. The presentation is identical to that of the thermal versions. The assemblies are well executed and the materials of average quality. The meter display suffers from too much information and delays between the menus. The multimedia system is too slow, not intuitive enough and the graphics on the screen is nondescript. The Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connection are delivered serially from Elegance. The box control is original and practical to use. Driving modes are easy to access. Royal livability in the back, almost flat floor, and good comfort: the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is family friendly. The chest does not suffer from the presence of batteries: good volume, flat floor and easy access to charge.
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Review – Verdict
The Honda CR-V is positioned on the road of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which was the only one of its kind to date. The new RAV4 will be marketed in early 2019 as the CR-V hybrid and it is not their tariffs that will decide between: starting price € 34 600 for the Honda against € 36 990 for the Toyota, which however displays a higher cumulative power: 218 hp against 184 hp
At Mitsubishi, the choice of hybridization goes through a plug-in system (rechargeable batteries for greater electric autonomy). The Outlander PHEV 4WD manages to control its price despite its expensive technology: from 36,990 to 49,450 €.
To put the cost of a hybrid SUV in perspective compared to a gasoline model, you just have to look at the new Citroën C5 Aircross . It is a little smaller than the CR-V but just as habitable. Its price in petrol version PureTech 180 ch EAT8, with performance comparable to that of the Japanese, is between 33 150 and 36 250 € in 4×2 (only available transmission). In 4×2, the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid spreads its price from 34,600 to 40,470 €. In both cases, the penalty is minimal.
This New generation of CR-V is the first to switch to the hybrid. It does quite well with a driving pleasure that mixes walking silence and docility. The integration of the hybrid system does not encroach on the cabin, thank you for the family. If the diesel and heavy wheels will regret the disappearance of diesel, all others can consider this hybrid SUV with attention: its controlled consumption in most situations (to be confirmed) and the convergence of the price of fuels (gasoline and diesel) abound in its meaning.