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2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Review and Offroad Test (vs. RAV4 Hybrid)

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The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is the first hybrid crossover from Honda to hit North America. Is it good enough to kick the Toyota RAV4 out of first place? We have a complete review with 0-60, features and off-road capabilities versus several other popular models in the class.

On this episode we have honda’s first hybrid crv and yep we’re taking it to the mountains to see how well it does on the same course where we’ve taken so many other crossover vehicles that’s coming up right now on driving sports tv honda’s popular crv was redesigned just a few years ago and even though it is one of the most popular cars on the market it still hasn’t

Managed to dethrone the best-selling toyota rav4 which has been long available in standard and hybrid trims in our earlier review of the rav4 hybrid we called it the best version of the rav4 available to see that review click on the link in the corner for 2020 honda is finally bringing the fight to toyota with an electrified version of the crv this is the 2020

Honda crv hybrid and even though on paper it’s very similar to the toyota rav4 hybrid the fact is this is a very different animal but is it any better that’s what we’re hoping to find out with a series of tests that’ll take us from the streets to the mountains the crv hybrid starts at twenty-seven thousand seven hundred and fifty with the base trim lx the model

We’re testing today is the fully loaded crv hybrid touring this has so much stuff on it you don’t really need any options prices you see it here thirty seven thousand and seventy us dollars including destination now that might sound like a lot but it is still a couple grand less than a comparably equipped rav4 hybrid in traditional hybrid fashion under the hood

Is a gas engine with electrical enhancements the petrol portion is a 2-liter four-cylinder that runs on the atkinson cycle and makes 143 horsepower it’s connected to two electric motors that draw power from a small 1.4 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack one of these motors is for propulsion with 181 horsepower and 232 pound piece of torque the other acts as

A starter generator they’re connected to a part-time all-wheel drive system that uses a direct force transfer not a transmission that uses a lack of a transmission called direct force i don’t know what it is they just call it direct force transfer this setup replaces the need for a traditional transmission and all the bits were familiar with no torque converter

No cvt it does use for fixed ratio gear sets and a lock-up clutch to provide quick response and cruising efficiency in this setup the gas engine is mostly used to generate electricity through the generator motor does it sound weird yeah does it drive weird we’ll see shortly total power output with both gas and electric is combined at 212 horsepower making this the

Highest output crv you can buy today but still trailing the new rav4 hybrid by 7 horses the epa rates the crv hybrid at up to 40 miles to the gallon in the city and 35 on the highway for hybrids it is pretty normal for economy numbers to be flipped with the city being the better of the two as we have here in the back we have a foot-activated liftgate and because

Batteries take up space for a normal spare under the floor is a compressor with a fix-a-flat kit since honda kept the battery pack rather small the crv hybrid doesn’t really lose much in terms of cargo space you’re looking at 33 point 2 cubic feet with the second row up and sixty-eight point 7 with the seats folded and that’s about 7 cubic feet less compared to

A standard crv e^x the crv hybrid is only one cubic foot off from the rav4 hybrids 69 point 8 maximum capacity in the real world that really shouldn’t make much of a difference second row has lots of room i have space for my legs plenty of room for my head and i get 2 2.5 amp charging sockets which means you can power one of the new larger ipads off of that and

Armrests with two cupholders the cabin in this touring trim has been updated over the standard crv the look leans heavy on natural wood veneer mixed in with quality leather and decent plastics it makes for a comfortable air a place to hang out for a while you might notice that on the back side of the steering wheel our paddle shifters but those aren’t actually

Paddle shifters they are to control the brake regeneration levels you can use them to get more or less braking regeneration as you slow to a stop this isn’t the first time that paddle shifters have been co-opted for another function remember that subaru s 209 it uses them to trigger in intercooler spray so there is precedent here the seed has 12 way adjustments

With memory and seat warmers so getting comfortable is pretty easy hit the power button to bring the car to life the main gauge cluster is all digital with a clear easy-to-read design you can toggle a variety of data points to suit your preferences in terms of advanced safety it has blind spot warnings collision and road departure mitigation lane keep assist and

Adaptive cruise control honda isn’t known for having great infotainment systems on their smaller cars and here you know the crv hybrid stays true even though this touring trim has a larger screen than the standard trims it still feels small compared to the competition because it is this is a 7 inch upgraded unit the rav4 hybrid has up to an 8 inch screen and like

Other honda’s that use this system it’s not as responsive or as quick as i would like still the honda does provide an easy-to-use navigation setup plus xm satellite radio apple carplay and android auto through usb wireless mobile charging is included for compatible devices but they do not provide wireless carplay switch into reverse and the screen doubles as a

Backup camera with moving guides there is no rear auto braking which i was kind of hoping to see at this price point does not have auto backup braking you might have noticed that this doesn’t have your standard crv transmission shifter instead for this one they adopted the push button setup from the accurate division it takes a little while to get used to but i

Actually really like it much better than the rotary dial ford has been using there are various drive modes including sport eco and evi only since the battery pack is tiny evie mode only really gets you a short range at low speeds before the gas engine kicks in switching the drive mode into sport and turning traction control off we should be able to see how power

Is shifted to the back wheels this system uses an electronically controlled hydraulic clutch between the drive shaft and the rear differential but since this is a part time system it predictably pushes very little as we mash the throttle this is typical for the class as you can see in this rav4 xle clip but just because this is a mainstream crossover it doesn’t mean

It has to be this way as you can see more power is pushed to the rear with this volkswagen tiguan so at this point you might be asking what does the crv gauge cluster say about this power distribution is it sending anything back there the gauge cluster shows that maximum power is going to the pack however from the exterior shots you can see that clearly there’s

Not a lot of power going back there so it’s possible or we can derive that the gauge cluster isn’t actually showing us a 50/50 split but it’s showing us maximum power to the front maximum to the back if it can only send 20% of power to the back that’s still maximum but it’s not going to give us a balanced launch so now it’s gonna be really interesting to see what

This does in the mountains on the way to the fun stuff let’s test them out some of the more everyday features of the crv hybrid driving the crv hybrid on normal country roads is actually quite nice suspension is slightly firmed up compared to the normal version of the crv due to the slight increase in weight of the hybrid model the brakes feel like normal brakes

Which is quite a feat for a hybrid they call it an electric servo system and it really works generating power when stopping without mush or delay between the pressing and the response with the added weight but the extra torque of the hybrid system this 0 to 60 time should be interesting it’s gonna line up right here i’m gonna go ahead and put it into sport mode

See what that does for us i’m completely stopped and 3 2 1 go 20 forty fifty sixty eight seconds is really right in there for the class it’s definitely faster than a subaru forrester going zero to sixty and about a quarter second slower than our test result with the rav4 hybrid one thing that is cool is that it comes with adaptive cruise control that has lane

Detection and lane centering let’s go ahead and turn that on i hit main to enable it i then hit set set my distance and then turn on lane detection once the lanes go white its detected and i can take my foot off and let it steer for me and this actually does a really good job it stays mostly in the center there’s a little bit of side-to-side but nothing that i

You know that i’m gonna complain about and of course after about fifteen seconds it tells you to put your hands on the wheel because it is not a semi autonomous system it is really designed just to make longer distance travel a little bit more convenient and a little less you know cut down on that fatigue from all those micro adjustments while you’re driving now

This is an interesting system it can run both in serial and parallel hybrid modes that means that running around town most of your stop and go is with the electric motor the gas engine comes into play whenever it needs a little bit more power but its primary purpose is actually to recharge the system now this actually has three different motive devices it has a

Gas engine and it has two electric motors in some ways it’s a little bit like the subaru crosstrek hybrid system where you have one electric motor that actually propels the vehicle and you have a second one that acts as a generator the benefit of that is that theoretically you have all-wheel-drive all the time unlike the rav4 which uses a dedicated electric motor

In the back i always like them they come out with a hybrid that is the fastest version of a car as is the case with this crv if you get the traditional crv it comes with a turbocharged motor but it’s not as quick as this one this has a pretty beefy off-the-line feel thanks to 100% of torque coming from that electric motor the road manners of this car are actually

Quite excellent the suspensions soaks up in irregularities like you would expect and it’s actually kind of fun to drive through the corners now let’s point to the forest and see how it drives in more challenging conditions it’s important to note that there is no trail button here like the rav4 hybrid added for 2019 so no there are no off-road modes in this vehicle

Because it’s not really intended for anything too aggressive offroad however you know it’s a crossover and as all wheel drives people are gonna actually take it to trail heads and some trail heads can be a little sticky to get into so we’re gonna try that out today typically they go through these and add a new layer of gravel before the spring but i think with

Cova 19 they’ve been a little slow to fix it so we got a lot of potholes to deal with today but the suspension is doing a really good job of soaking them up actually much better than i would expect okay let’s kick it into sport mode and see if we can get a little kick out in the corner here lauren yeah i can feel a little power back there now it’s funny you can’t

Really feel the power in the back when you’re doing just a zero-to-sixty launch but really when you’re when you have some speed and you have some momentum you can get a loop that little bit of assist in the back really does help with rotation which is kind of surprising and kenna nice i can see in the gate cluster that my all-wheel drive system is being powered by

Both the electric motor and the gas engine to give me maximum output and that’s what you would expect from sport system it really does the most aggressive in terms of delivering power it also of course makes the throttle more aggressive as a trail turns to larger rocks it’s important to consider the approach and departure angles of the crv hybrid approach is only

Eighteen point eight five degrees and departure is 26 degrees you could say it’s practically the same in terms of approach as the rav4 but it has a much better to parcher angle than the toyotas 21 degree angle but when it comes down to it neither these sets of numbers are very good for comparison the jeep renegade trailhawk we tested just last week had a 30-degree

Approach and a 34.3 departure angle if doing anything even remotely challenging that’s kind of what you need if you want to get home with all your bumpers intact luckily this portion of the course won’t require much in terms of approach or departure here we are doing something we really shouldn’t be doing with this vehicle also do i mention it has 19 inch wheels

With all-season radials yeah so in terms of preparation there really isn’t much to do first off i’m going to turn off the parking sonar because those are going to be annoying i’m also gonna set this to the all-wheel drive display so i can see what that is doing there we go and other than that we’re just gonna keep it in normal and drive up the hill this system

Does detect that i’m on an incline and puts more power to the back it’s very i guess handy in situations like this so far it’s doing pretty good i seem to be able to crawl along pretty slow which is something that you want also note that if you do any off-roading kind of like this you want to maintain momentum when i’m testing here i am gonna stop a few times

And that’s to purposefully stress the all-wheel-drive system so if you do that yourself you might actually get stuck okay first shift of power i’m hearing ticking i don’t know what that back wheels doing i’m just keeping the throttle down and it’s doing nothing okay so when two wheels are off all i smell is clutch let’s try that again with a little more momentum

Well i have to keep in mind this only has eight point two inches of ground clearance so not a lot i have to be extra careful come on you got this you got this oh there we go i’m already getting a bad feeling about this one come on you got this so ideally when you have the all-wheel-drive system coupled directly to the power source all the time potentially that

Is a good thing as we saw in the subaru crosstrek but on this vehicle it seems to be stressing let’s review to see if competitors did any better the rav4 hybrid though it did struggle a bit actually did a much better job of clamping down on the spinning wheels distribute torque back into the system you can see that happening with the front wheels here the subaru

Crosstrek though a smaller class of crossover uses a driveshaft with a hybrid system like the honda crv does though lacking in power the crosstrack does manage to clamp down on the spinning wheels to make better use of that available power the honda well when two wheels lose grip it just kind of sits there spinning its wheels quite literally now this gauge cluster

Italy isn’t helpful at all the all-wheel drive display is just showing me maximum power to all four wheels that’s it i would like to see individual wheel breaking occurring or something so i have some idea what the system is doing all i’m getting is a flashing of the abs system come on you got this oh oh boy here we go definitely not doing the whole so it was able

To get up the hill it had a hard time doing it though this is not a system for anything more complicated than that that’s for certain okay well we made it up now let’s see how it goes down gonna go ahead put it into drive and down we go so hill descent control system no it doesn’t have that of course not we’re just gonna you ride the brake down now the biggest

Issue here is gonna be the overhang on the front i don’t want to hear any crunchy sound oh eight point two inches isn’t a lot and it’s quite a big overhang on the front let’s take it down slowly the suspensions on the soft side so i don’t want it to smoosh into a rock okay i think we’re gonna go around the edge here maximum clearance yeah okay so i think we have

Found the limits of the crv hybrid and it is this route you do not want to do anything more complicated than this road because you may not make it out however if you’re doing roads like this you definitely want to look at something with better all-wheel-drive system like the honda passport for example that would be a much better choice for driving sports tv i’m

Ryan douthit thanks for watching we’ll see you again next week be sure to leave a comment what would you buy also please give us a thumbs up give us a like and share our videos thanks again whoa assa have to be super careful there’s no full-size spare actually there’s no spare it’s just to fix the flat if i have a flat out here it’s a long walk home

Transcribed from video
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Review and Offroad Test (vs. RAV4 Hybrid) By Driving Sports TV