The latest shiny new thing from Honda in their crossover lineup is the 2020 CR-V Hybrid, a vehicle competing with the growing field of electrified crossovers offerings including the RAV-4, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue just to name a few.
For 2020, the Honda CR-V and it’s Hybrid model got a mild facelift starting with a new grille and front fascia design that’s more squared off and has more visual weight to the chin. The Hybrid gets its own style with special LED fog lights and blue Honda logo on the grille.
At the rear for 2020 are also some slick looking dark-tinted taillights and revised trims. A unique rear fascia with hidden tail pipes and Hybrid badges all around also set this CR-V apart visual from the others. Our Touring trim grade shows off a newly design 19” wheel as well.
The interior of the CR-V Hybrid differs from non-hybrid models with a push-button gear selector in its center pod instead of a traditional shift lever – not my favorite. Various switches are located around it for various selectable drive modes.
Also unique is the instrument cluster with its display of power and charging status, power distribution and regeneration, all the expected stuff for a Hybrid. What might seem to be shift paddles are instead controllers for degenerative braking that I found to actually be kind of fun to use on the fly in traffic.
The rest of the interior is classic Honda with high quality fit and finish, top-grade materials all around and switchgear that’s comparable to some of the best cars money can buy at any price. The leather chairs in my Touring model were as comfortable as they look handsome and were fully power adjustable.
At the rear cargo area you will find no usable space lost as its lithium-ion hybrid battery pack is stowed under the standard floor level. You will however be minus a spare tire because much of the space where it would go is used.
That leads us to it’s hybrid powertrain which is largely shared with the Honda Accord Hybrid, with the exception of AWD found in our CR-V Hybrid Touring model. It consists of a two electric motors and a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine.
Total system horsepower is 212 and it puts down an impressive 232 pound-feet of torque. Power is routed either through the front wheels on 2WD models or through a traditional mechanical AWD system with an electronically controlled disconnect clutch.
I found power delivery to be downright impressive in city driving. The dynamics of its transmission and its orchestrating of gasoline and electric power is well executed, which means it just works with you plant your right foot. The refinement? Top notch.
Fuel economy is rated at 40 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, 38 combined. In my short time with it I observed about 36 city with the AC on and with aggressive driving. Even at that, pretty impressive for a heavy crossover SUV.
The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid starts out at $27,750 but spans up to $37,070 including destination as in our fully outfitted Touring model tester.