Honda’s best-selling CR-V compact SUV is pepped up for 2020 with some exterior styling revisions, equipment upgrades for its base LX model, and three new paint colors.
The 2020 CR-V comes in LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels, each one available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The grille, front bumper and headlights are newly designed on all models.
The LX, previously powered by a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engine, now has the same 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder used in the other trims. That upgrade boosts engine performance for the LX and adds an extra 2 mpg to its fuel economy rating.
Another improvement for the LX is its acquisition of the Honda Sensing group of safety and driver-assistance features as standard equipment. It includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control with lane keeping assist. As with the turbo engine, the LX was previously the odd man out when it came to standard Honda Sensing.
EX and EX-L trims get new alloy wheels for 2020, and the Touring trim now sports new 19-inch wheels in place of last year’s 18-inchers.
Radiant Red Metallic, Sonic Gray Pearl, and Aegean Blue Metallic are the new paint color choices.
Pricing with a $1,095 destination charge included ranges from $26,145 for a 2WD LX to $35,845 for an AWD Touring. All-wheel drive is an extra $1,500 on all models.
The turbo engine now being used in all 2020 CR-V models generates 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque, available from 2,000 to 5,000 rpm. Those numbers translate into lively but not soul-stirring acceleration, exactly right for the average CR-V buyer. A superior CVT (continuously variable automatic transmission) is standard across the lineup.
Fuel economy ratings for a CR-V with front-wheel drive are 28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined. AWD numbers are 27/32/29 mpg.
My CR-V AWD Touring test car wore one of the new colors, Sonic Gray Pearl, a name that doesn’t do justice to how attractive it is. The color must have been largely responsible for all the attention the car got from other motorists. I mean it’s not like people don’t see many CR-Vs on the roads around here.
The top-of-the-line Touring model is copiously furnished with comfort, convenience, safety, and technology features. And they are all standard equipment. No extra-cost options required.
When it comes to compact SUVs, the CR-V has what it takes: eye appeal, quality construction, a roomy interior, huge cargo area, good driving dynamics and fuel economy, an excellent safety rating, and the Honda brand’s reputation for reliability.
Now, after all that gushing, I do have to mention issues with the CR-V infotainment system. It needs a tuning dial, and the touchscreen should be more responsive, as though the person using it were driving a car at the same time.
NOTE: A hybrid version of the Honda CR-V was introduced this year, and I wrote about it in April.
2020 HONDA CR-V AWD TOURING
Base price, including destination charge: $35,845
Price as driven: $35,845
Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.