The 2020 Honda CR-V will have hybrid as an option, the company’s first electrified SUV of any sort in the U.S. This is just the beginning.
The company has said it wants two-thirds of its sales to be electrified vehicles by 2030, and Honda averages CR-V sales of around 350,000 yearly, meaning that this first domino is a big one. The hybrid CR-V will have two electric motors and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, while the non-hybrid versions will all be powered by a 1.5-liter turbo four-cylinder.
The latter engine makes 190 horsepower, according to Honda, while the hybrid, which shares its powertrain with the Accord hybrid, will make 212. Honda said it expected the hybrid to have 50 percent better fuel mileage than the non-hybrid. And the hybrid CR-V has not been rated by the EPA yet, based on that projection you can expect it to be comfortably north of 40 mpg.
The Accord hybrid with the same powertrain is rated at 48 mpg, but the CR-V hybrid will probably also be slightly heavier.
Honda’s driver-assistance system—with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warnings, and lane departure warnings—will also be standard. And Honda says they’ve given the CR-V somewhat of a facelift as well, though to me it just looks like a CR-V.
One new feature that I am interested to see (and hear) is for pedestrians.
CR-V Hybrid models benefit from a new Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) designed to increase awareness by pedestrians when travelling under electric-only power. A speaker mounted in the front bumper generates a distinct audible alert that varies in volume depending on vehicle speed and is easily noticeable to pedestrians, but nearly inaudible to the driver or passengers under most circumstances.
Honda says they sold nearly 50,000 electrified vehicles last year, and are on pace to beat that this year. If even a small fraction of CR-V buyers go for the hybrid, you can expect that number to be even higher in 2020. And I’m sure a fair number will. Honda did not reveal pricing, but the non-hybrid Accord starts at $23,870 while the hybrid Accord starts at $25,320, suggesting to me that the hybrid CR-V will cost slightly more than the non-hybrid, but not too much so.
Potential buyers can quickly do the math on fuel economy in any case.