2024 Honda CR-V Hybrid: Good, But Not the One You Should Buy

Strong points
  • Spacious and practical interior
  • Good ride and handling combination
  • Smooth powertrain operation
Weak points
  • Not as efficient as advertised
  • More expensive than most
  • CR-V is a thief magnet
Full report

Looking at the latest sales numbers, the Honda CR-V is still well short of the segment-leading Toyota RAV4, but it outsells the Nissan Rogue, Hyundai Tucson and Mazda CX-5 by about two to one.

Considering it’s more expensive than those three, we’re a bit surprised by that, especially at a time when many shoppers are hit hard by inflation. And the Ontario-built CR-V Hybrid that was added last year is not a real difference-maker, either. In fact, you should forget about it if your main goal is to save money.

What’s New With the 2024 Honda CR-V?

Completely redesigned for 2023, the CR-V is back with an additional hybrid model for 2024 (EX-L Hybrid). And this one is a bit more affordable than the top-of-the-line Touring, starting at $48,390 vs. $51,890 (all fees included). It’s still a big pile of money for a compact, non-plug-in hybrid SUV that is unable to cover long distances on pure battery power.

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

Fuel consumption looks great on paper at 6.4 L/100 km, down from 8.4 L/100 km with AWD-equipped CR-V models featuring the turbocharged 1.5-litre engine (190 horsepower, 179 lb-ft of torque). The reality is different, however, as our combined score of 8.1 L/100 km illustrates. Granted, the vehicle was riding on winter tires, but the weeklong test was conducted in fairly nice weather conditions and we even made an effort not to push the gas engine too much. You’ll need a lot more time than anticipated to get a return on your investment.

Incidentally, for $2,000 less, you can order a CR-V EX-L offering better towing capacity (1,500 lbs vs. 1,000 lbs) and a more practical cargo area (with a two-tier floor). It may not come with a Sport mode, but that’s something you can definitely live without.

Another thing you should know about the 2024 Honda CR-V is that the base LX-B model is still missing blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert systems, supposedly due to a shortage of chips. Pricing has increased to $37,248 (FWD) or $40,048 (AWD), a hike of about $1,000.

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

Driving the 2024 Honda CR-V

On the road, all 2024 CR-Vs offer excellent visibility, generous space for passengers and cargo, as well as comfortable and fairly supportive seats, though the position memory feature for the driver’s seat is annoying. The semi-digital instrument cluster and the 7- or 9-inch centre touchscreen (depending on the model, and smaller than other displays from the competition) are both clear and easy to use overall. Ditto for the physical HVAC controls arranged below.

The steering wheel offers a nice grip and returns good feedback from the steering, adding confidence to a driving experience characterized by solid and stable handling. The CR-V still proves agile despite being larger and heavier than ever. At the same time, the suspension remains smooth enough not to produce a rough ride on bad pavement.

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

Honda’s fourth-generation hybrid system, shared with the latest Accord, delivers modest output (204 horsepower) when compared with the turbocharged engine, but there’s something rewarding about the 247 lb-ft of torque. Credit goes to the two electric motors at work. While not as strong as similar hybrid SUVs, the gas-electric CR-V is pleasantly smooth and linear most of the time. What’s more, the naturally aspirated four-cylinder is relatively quiet under acceleration.

Safety is not a problem thanks to a comprehensive suite of Honda Sensing features across the CR-V lineup. Other than blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert on the base CR-V LX-B, all that’s missing from that model and the CR-V Sport are the front and rear parking sensors. The brakes do a fine job and are easy to modulate, with the energy recuperation system keeping a low profile. One complaint? Honda should find a way to make the image from the rear-view camera appear larger and sharper on the centre display.

Photo: Guillaume Rivard

Bottom Line

As mentioned in our previous reviews, the new Honda CR-V ranks as one of the best buys in the segment despite being pricier than most, but unfortunately the CR-V Hybrid is an exception. If Honda really wants half of total CR-V sales to be hybrid models, it needs to keep working on making the technology more accessible—and quite frankly a bit more efficient, too. Right now, the conventionally powered CR-V and rival hybrids all offer more bang for your buck.

Watch: All-New Honda CR-V Hybrid Finally Arrives in Canada

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