America’s best-selling crossover of the past two decades gets a major boost with the introduction of the 2020 Honda CR-V, sporting freshened styling, new features and upgraded powertrains-”including a new CR-V Hybrid to be built in the company’s Greensburg, Indiana plant. The 2020 CR-V Hybrid is the first electrified SUV from the Honda brand in America, joining the Accord Hybrid and Insight as the third electrified Honda manufactured in the U.S. as the company moves to apply its advanced two-motor hybrid-electric system to all of its core U.S. models in the years ahead.
In addition to the new hybrid-electric variant, major upgrades to the 2020 CR-V include bolder front and rear styling, re-designed wheels and standard Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive technology (previously available only on EX and above trims). All non-hybrid 2020 CR-V models are now powered by the 1.5-liter VTEC Turbo engine, previously available only in EX and above trims. The 2020 CR-V will go on sale at Honda dealerships nationwide this fall, followed by the launch of the all-new CR-V Hybrid in early 2020.
“The Honda CR-V is the best-selling CUV over the past two decades and the updates we’ve made to the 2020 model, including a new hybrid-electric variant, solidify its position as a leader in the compact SUV market,” said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The CR-V Hybrid also signifies our direction to bring Honda hybrid-electric technology to all core models and to invest in the production of electrified vehicles in America.”
The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid promises substantially improved fuel efficiency while maintaining CR-V’s award-winning balance of interior space, driving dynamics and comfort that has made CR-V such a success with American buyers. The CR-V’s advanced two-motor hybrid powertrain, shared with the current Accord Hybrid, combines two electric motors with a 2.0-liter, 16-valve DOHC Atkinson cycle engine with greater than 40 percent thermal efficiency, the highest for any mass-produced Honda engine.
The CR-V’s two-motor system operates without the need for a conventional automatic transmission for smooth and seamless power delivery similar to a pure electric vehicle and boasts a broad range of electric-only operation. The compact intelligent power unit (IPU), containing the hybrid battery pack and its control systems, is mounted under the cargo floor, allowing the new CR-V Hybrid to retain excellent cargo utility, including a 60/40 split rear seatback with a flat load floor. Peak total system horsepower is 212, up from 190 HP on the CR-V, along with an anticipated 50 percent increase in the EPA city fuel economy rating compared to the CR-V.
The CR-V Hybrid also marks the first application of all-wheel drive to Honda’s two-motor hybrid system in the U.S. When available traction is low, an electronic clutch activates, sending the appropriate level of power from the electric motor to the rear wheels. Detailed specifications on the new CR-V Hybrid, including EPA fuel economy ratings, will be provided closer to on-sale timing early in 2020.
Also for 2020, all non-hybrid CR-V models, including LX, are powered by the efficient 1.5-liter DOHC, direct-injected VTEC Turbo powerplant rated at 190 horsepower (SAE net), with responsive and refined performance across the engine’s full operating range. Available in front- or all-wheel drive configurations, power is transmitted through a smooth yet sporty continuously variable transmission (CVT) with Honda G-Shift control logic.
Interior and Exterior Styling
Exterior styling updates to the 2020 Honda CR-V result in a more upscale and rugged appearance. In front, broad openings for the fog lights are fully integrated into the bumper, giving the 2020 CR-V a more aggressive look, while the chrome grille is more pronounced. CR-V EX, EX-L and Touring trims get round LED fog lights, while CR-V Hybrid models in the same trims get distinctive bar-type fog lights with five LEDs.
CR-V Hybrid models will also get hybrid badging and a distinctive blue Honda logo in the center of the grille. In the rear, all CR-V trims feature sophisticated new dark-tinted taillights and a new dark chrome treatment for the garnish below the rear glass, better integrated with the more darkly tinted rear window. In addition to hybrid badges on the hatch, CR-V Hybrid Touring trims receive a unique rear bumper. CR-V Hybrid also has a hidden tailpipe, while non-hybrid CR-V Touring trims get new chrome exhaust finishers for a sporty appearance. All CR-V EX and EX-L trims, including Hybrid, get newly designed 18-inch wheels with a dark gray and machined finish, and Touring trims get a new, larger 19-inch wheel and tire (+1 inch).
Inside, the new CR-V Hybrid is distinguished from non-hybrid models through its unique interior trim. Most apparent is the new push-button gear selector flanked by three switches for Econ, Sport or EV mode. Econ mode alters throttle inputs to help drivers maximize fuel efficiency, while Sport enhances throttle response for a more aggressive feel, with the engine sound enhanced by Active Sound Control for a sportier note. EV Mode allows the CR-V Hybrid to operate under electric-only power when the hybrid battery has a sufficient charge.
The instrument panel also is unique to CR-V Hybrid models, and features a display for power/charge status, as well as a driver-selectable display for power distribution and regeneration. CR-V Hybrid models also receive deceleration selector paddles on the steering wheel. By clicking the left paddle, drivers can increase the amount of regenerative braking from the hybrid system’s electric motor when decelerating.
All 2020 Honda CR-V models and trims benefit from a redesigned center console bin that is easier to use and offers more flexible storage options, and CR-V Touring trims now come standard with Qi-compatible wireless cell phone charging. Additional in-vehicle technology includes a color TFT driver-information interface (DII) center meter display, available 7-inch touchscreen Display Audio interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and an available Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System. Also available are remote engine start, dual-zone climate control, an Electric Parking Brake (EPB), rear USB charging ports, front passenger seat with 4-way power adjustment, driver’s seat with 8-way power adjustment and 4-way power lumbar support and heated front seats. All CR-V models, including the hybrid model, continue to offer top-class interior space with legendary Honda versatility.
The 2020 Honda CR-V and CR-V Hybrid maintain the same handling, greater refinement, additional ground clearance and overall versatility. Its front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspension use specially tuned low-friction dampers, with both FWD and AWD models including tubular front and solid rear stabilizer bars that promote responsive turn-in and flatter cornering. Dual-pinion, variable ratio Electric Power Steering (EPS) also contributes to the CR-V’s direct and satisfying steering feel. For CR-V Hybrid, an electronic servo brake pedal maintains a firm and linear brake feel like its non-hybrid sibling.