Updated 2020 CR-V Hybrid is Honda’s First Electrified SUV

Honda has refreshed the CR-V for 2020 and is the first step in Honda’s plan to electrify its SUV lineup.

With new front and rear-end styling, redesigned wheels, and standard Honda Sensing safety tech, the new CR-V cuts a handsome figure.

The big news, though, is the plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which combines a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor. All tallied, the CR-V hybrid produces 212 hp (the non-hybrid makes 190 hp). Better yet, the hybrid gets 50% better fuel economy in the city than the standard CR-V. Unfortunately, we don’t quite know exactly how many MPG it gets because Honda isn’t releasing that information until early next year.

What we do know is that along with electric-only driving, the CR-V hybrid has 40% thermal efficiency, which is the most of any Honda engine. For context, Formula 1 cars—which are also hybrids—only get up to 50% thermal efficiency.

Non-hybrid buyers, meanwhile, will get a 1.5-liter DOHC VTEC turbo engine making 190 hp.

All CR-Vs can also make use of more safety features. Honda Sensing will be available on all 2020 CR-Vs. That includes Collision Mitigating Braking system, forward collision warning, pedestrian sensing tech, road departure limitation and warnings, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping tech.

The CR-V is only the latest in Honda’s raft of hybrids and is the next step in its plan to electrify all of its core models. All of which is a plan to make two-thirds of its sales hybrid or otherwise electrified by 2030.

“The Honda CR-V is the best-selling CUV over the past two decades and the updates we’ve made to the 2020 model, including a new hybrid-electric variant, solidify its position as a leader in the compact SUV market,” said Henio Arcangeli, Jr., senior vice president of Automobile Sales at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “The CR-V Hybrid also signifies our direction to bring Honda hybrid-electric technology to all core models and to invest in the production of electrified vehicles in America.”