The hybrid crossover segment has a pretty short roster of competitors, which currently includes newcomers like the Kia Niro and MINI Countryman E Hybrid, along with the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, a legendary stalwart that likes to sit at the top of the list, until now.
Enter the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. A formidable competitor with specs and features that is sure show the RAV4 Hybrid that being the best comes down to a game of inches.
Late to the game
Honda typically likes to show up fashionably late. Whether it’s via certain tech features or worthy category competitors, the brand has shown time and time again that they know how to follow suit, even if it takes a minute or a year. That’s basically the case for the new CR-V Hybrid as the model showed up in the European market last year and finally has arrived on U.S. shores complete with a fuel-efficient powertrain and a new facelift.
This is the first hybrid CR-V that Honda has ever produced, so it’s not too shocking that they sourced the powertrain from their tried-and-true Accord Hybrid. That’s not a bad thing, though, as the 2.0-liter, 16-valve Atkinson Cycle engine, which is combined with two electric motors, nets 212 total horsepower and 40 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, 38 mpg combined. The engine and motor combination is hooked up to a CVT transmission that puts the power to all four wheels, thanks to a standard Real Time AWD setup.
As with the gas-powered CR-V, the 2020 CR-V Hybrid comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of driver-assist features. This package includes driver aids like adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, collision mitigation braking system, and road departure mitigation. On top of all of that, the CR-V Hybrid did receive top marks from the IIHS, as it earned a Top Safety Pick rating along with a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score from NHTSA.
The Honda CR-V Hybrid has a new front-end design for 2020 and it will come well-equipped almost exactly like its gasoline-only stablemate. Standard features like dual-zone climate control, LED headlights, and Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto lock can be found on the base LX trim. While stepping up the EX-L and Touring trims will offer features like leather seats, a power tailgate, heated steering wheel, parking sensors, and an upgraded 330-watt premium sound system. As with all other Honda models, the CR-V Hybrid is loaded with value.
The base model LX will start at $27,750 (without destination) and on up to $35,950 for the Touring trim level. Those keeping score will notice that the CR-V Hybrid pricing is $2,700 more than the regular CR-V. While it might seem like a premium price to pay, consider that it does get better fuel economy and comes standard with all-wheel drive.
Is it the best?
In the hybrid crossover world, competitiveness mostly depends on pricing and fuel economy, at least on paper. In the race between the CR-V Hybrid and the RAV4 Hybrid, the RAV4 has the fuel economy advantage as its rated at 40 mpg combined (compared to 38), while the CR-V starts a lower price.
They both have all-wheel drive as standard and are available with same types of features, so it all comes down to personal preference. In case you’re in the market for one of these fuel-sipping crossovers, we recommend driving them, although, you may have to wait as they just started showing up in dealerships as of March 1st.