- honda is adding a hybrid version of the cr-v compact crossover for 2020, which promises significantly higher mpg.
- other 2020 cr-v models get revised styling and a few new features, while the base 2.4-liter engine is gone, meaning the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder is now standard.
- nonhybrid 2020 cr-v models will go on sale this fall, with hybrid versions arriving at the beginning of next year.
honda is finally adding a hybrid powertrain to the cr-v compact suv for the 2020 model year. the new gas-electric model is accompanied by a few other changes to the cr-v lineup such as styling tweaks, a few small interior changes, and newly standard driver-assist features. the base naturally aspirated 2.4-liter inline-four engine is gone, meaning all nonhybrid cr-vs now use the turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four with 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque.
the new hybrid drivetrain, which is similar to the one found in the accord hybrid, uses a naturally aspirated atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter inline-four gas engine and two electric motors. it produces a combined power output of 212 horsepower. epa fuel-economy estimates aren't available yet, but if it can get close to the accord hybrid's 48-mpg combined rating, it will have a leg up on its most natural rival, the toyota rav4 hybrid, which is rated at 40 mpg combined. honda claims a 50 percent increase in epa city fuel economy over the nonhybrid, which would put the cr-v hybrid around 44 mpg city. all-wheel-drive capability is standard thanks to a clutch that engages to send the electric motor's torque to the rear wheels when slip is detected.
the hybrid is visually differentiated by badges, a blue honda logo and different fog lights up front, and a different bumper and hidden exhaust pipe in the rear. all 2020 cr-vs get a sharpened look with a bolder-looking grille, new fog lights, darkened taillights, and dark chrome trim. the 18-inch wheels on ex and ex-l models are new, and the touring now comes with larger 19-inch wheels. new colors include sonic gray pearl, radiant red metallic, and aegean blue metallic.
inside the hybrid, there's a push-button shifter and a digital gauge cluster that shows certain hybrid-specific displays including power flow and brake regeneration, which is controlled by deceleration paddles on the steering wheel as in the insight. both hybrids and nonhybrids benefit from a different center console that's said to be more spacious.
while previously all cr-v models besides the base lx came standard with the honda sensing bundle of driver-assist features, that package is now standard on the base model, too. it includes automated emergency braking, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist.
we expect pricing to increase a bit for 2020. we also expect the hybrid models to have a price premium similar to the accord hybrid, which costs $1600 more than equivalent nonhybrid trims. the 2020 cr-v will begin arriving at dealerships this fall, with the hybrid to follow early next year.