The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid has a combined output of 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid has a combined output of 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. (Manufacturer photo)

Honda adds hybrid model to compact CR-V lineup for 2020

The popular crossover in hybrid form is the first electrified Honda SUV in the United States.

The hugely popular Honda CR-V crossover gets a hybrid version for 2020. It’s the first electrified Honda SUV in the United States and a harbinger of more hybrid Honda vehicles to come. The company has been clear about its plan to apply the Honda two-motor electric system to all of its main models in the U.S.

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid uses the same powertrain as the Accord Hybrid, combining two electric motors and a 2.0-liter four cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine. The system has a single-speed transmission, thereby delivering power in the continuously fluent style of cars that are all-electric. Gear selection is done via push buttons located in the center console.

Total output for the hybrid system is 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. EPA ratings are 40 mpg city, 35 mpg highway, and 38 mpg combined.

The 2020 CR-V Hybrid is available in four trim levels: LX, EX, EX-L, and Touring. Every model has all-wheel drive, and a full complement of active and passive safety and driver-assistance technology, with one exception. The base LX model does not include blind spot monitoring.

Pricing is $28,870 for the LX; $31,380 for the EX; $33,870 for the EX-L; and $37,070 for the Touring. These prices include a destination charge of $1,120.

A push-button gear selector in the center console is a distinguishing feature of the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. (Manufacturer photo)

A push-button gear selector in the center console is a distinguishing feature of the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid. (Manufacturer photo)

My tester was the Touring model, which has every feature of the abundantly-equipped EX and adds navigation, wireless phone charging, and a 330-watt upgraded premium audio system with nine speakers. The Touring also gets 19-inch wheels while the EX and EX-L have 18-inchers and the LX rides on 17-inchers.

The CR-V Hybrid has seating for five. Headroom and legroom are wonderful for a compact SUV in all but the center rear seat position, but that is notoriously the short-straw spot in any compact. The cargo area is wide but not deep, so upright transportation of tall items back there is limited.

Operation of the infotainment system is easy enough. Bonus points must be given for the presence of a manual volume adjustment dial, but they are unfortunately cancelled out by the absence of a tuning dial.

Atmosphere in the CR-V Hybrid cabin is pleasant thanks to the suppression of unwanted noise and a pretty good job of smoothing out any rough spots in the road.

The conventional gasoline CR-V has been updated for 2020, and the CR-V Hybrid sports those styling changes, which include front and rear appearance revisions. CR-V Hybrid models also have hybrid badging on the tailgate and front fenders, and a blue Honda logo in the center of the grille.

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid has a fuel economy rating of 40 mpg for city driving. (Manufacturer photo)

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid has a fuel economy rating of 40 mpg for city driving. (Manufacturer photo)

2020 HONDA CR-V HYBRID TOURING

Base price, including destination charge: $37,070

Price as driven: $37,070

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.

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