Honda CR-V Joins The Hybrid SUV With Refreshed Styling

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.

All trims bar the entry-level LX get new LED fog lights in front, with the middle-grade EX and EX-L trims also taking advantage of new dark gray, 18-inch wheel designs, while Touring offers new 19-inch designs.

Every 2020 CR-V will now be powered by the 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbo with 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet. The 2.4-liter engine previously standard on the entry-level LX has been retired.

The hybrid option will be the most powerful offering in the CR-V lineup with 212 horsepower, besting the 1.5-liter gas engine offering by 22 horsepower. While seven ponies shy of the RAV4 Hybrid, it trumps the Escape Hybrid by 14 horsepower. The CR-V also offers a unique two-motor system that operates without a multi-ratio automatic transmission for a smoother, more EV-like drive experience.

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. 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.

The non-hybrid CR-V will show up at dealerships later this year, with the electrified version to come in early 2020. Pricing for all models will be released closer to the on-sale date.

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