2020 Honda CR-V Gets Hybrid Treatment, Canada Won’t See it

With two of North America's best-selling compact SUVs now offering at least one hybrid option, Honda has decided to jump on the bandwagon with the CR-V.

Unfortunately, we received confirmation that the Japanese automaker has no immediate plans to sell this model in Canada.

This is the first electrified SUV from Honda in this part of the globe, joining the Accord Hybrid, Insight and Clarity as the fourth electrified vehicle in the current lineup. It will take on the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which is facing delivery delays due to exceedingly strong demand, and the next-generation Ford Escape, available shortly in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants.

Photo: Honda

The new CR-V Hybrid follows the recipe of the Accord Hybrid by combining two electric motors with a 2.0-litre, Atkinson-cycle engine and a continuously variable transmission for smooth and seamless power delivery. The hybrid battery pack and its control systems are mounted under the cargo floor, allowing the new CR-V Hybrid to preserve the base model’s large and flat trunk area.

Peak total system output is 212 horsepower, an increase of 22 horsepower from the 1.5-litre turbo engine, while fuel economy is expected to be improved by 50 percent in the city. Furthermore, when available traction is low, an electronic clutch activates, sending the appropriate level of power from the electric motor to the rear wheels.

Inside, the new CR-V Hybrid stands out with a new push-button gear selector flanked by three switches for Econ, Sport or EV mode (range has yet to be specified), plus a unique instrument panel with a display for power/charge status. By clicking the left paddle on the steering wheel, drivers can increase the amount of regenerative braking from the hybrid system's electric motor when decelerating.

Photo: Honda

The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid will be built in Greensburg, Indiana and sold in the U.S. beginning early next year. In case you forgot, Honda is targeting two-thirds of its global automobile sales to come from electrified vehicles by 2030.

Updated Styling and Technology

For 2020, Honda designers gave all CR-V models a more upscale and rugged appearance. In front, broad openings for the fog lights are fully integrated into the bumper and receive specific treatments depending on the trim level, while the chrome grille is more pronounced and features a distinctive blue Honda logo on the CR-V Hybrid.

In the rear, every CR-V sports 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. The hybrid variant gets a unique rear bumper.

Photo: Honda

New wheel designs and three new exterior colours (Sonic Gray Pearl, Radiant Red Metallic, Aegean Blue Metallic) are available for 2020, as well.

The interior of every 2020 Honda CR-V features a redesigned centre console bin that is easier to use and offers more flexible storage options, while the CR-V Touring comes standard with wireless cell phone charging.

Another key change is the addition of the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment. The list includes a Collision Mitigation Braking System with Forward Collision Warning and pedestrian sensing capability, Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Departure Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with low-speed follow, and Lane Keeping Assist.

Gasoline-powered 2020 Honda CR-V models will go on sale in Canada this fall. Prices have yet to be announced.

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