Honda CR-V Hybrid: What You Need to Know

The CR-V Hybrid Is Coming to Europe and China. What Can We Expect?

In April at the Shanghai auto show, Honda debuted its first-ever electrified SUV: a hybrid version of its best-selling CR-V compact crossover, built for the Chinese market. Five months later, the automaker revealed a European version at the annual motor show in Frankfurt. Now, in light of Honda’s recent commitment to electrify two-thirds of its global fleet by 2030, it’s possible that the CR-V hybrid will come stateside next.

U.S. customers have been clamoring for hybrid crossovers like the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue, and the CR-V – the country’s bestselling SUV in 2016 – should be no exception. The fifth-generation CR-V, redesigned for the 2017 model year, has won fans for its versatility, interior space, and fuel efficiency.

Here’s a look at the Honda CR-V hybrid slated to launch in Europe and China and a preview of what U.S. customers may expect.

Price

The gasoline version of the Honda CR-V starts at $24,045. Based on the price difference between the Toyota RAV4 ($24,410) and its hybrid version ($29,030), a hybrid version of the CR-V is likely to begin in the upper $20,000s.

Cargo Space

The five-passenger CR-V earns praise for its interior space, and the hybrid version is likely to maintain the crossover’s emphasis on utility. The current CR-V has the most cargo space in the compact SUV class, with a total of 75.8 cubic feet. Potential competitors, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid and Nissan Rogue Hybrid, offer 70.6 cubic feet and 61.4 cubic feet, respectively.

Performance

The Chinese version of the hybrid CR-V uses Honda’s third-generation “Sport Hybrid” two-motor hybrid system, which powers the redesigned 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid. The new Accord Hybrid, which goes on sale early next year in the U.S., will be powered by a four-cylinder engine and a dual-motor electric drive system that generates a combined 212 horsepower.

Honda’s Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive system (i-MMD) automatically switches between three settings – Engine, Hybrid, and Electric – based on driving conditions. The system shifts into Engine mode for highway driving, but alternates between Hybrid and Electric for most other situations. In hybrid mode, the gas engine acts as a generator to recharge the battery and supply power to the motors.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy ratings for the Honda CR-V Hybrid are likely to be in line with competitors’ ratings. The 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid achieves 34 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, while the latest Nissan Rogue Hybrid gets 33 mpg around town and 35 mpg on the highway.

The standard gasoline-engine CR-V delivers 28 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway.

Competition

Primary rivals to the CR-V Hybrid include the hybrid versions of the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue. Another compact crossover, the Ford Escape, discontinued its hybrid version several years ago.