Honda debuted the 2020 Honda CR-V today with a lightly refreshed exterior, but with a big announcement under the hood. This is the first time Honda will be offering the CR-V with a Hybrid Powertrain. There are some other powertrain changes as well.
Starting with the Hybrid, the system is a two motor hybrid that combines electric power with gasoline propulsion from a 2.0 liter DOHC engine. This engine boasts a thermal efficiency over 40 percent, the highest of any mass-produced Honda engine. Peak total system horsepower for the Hybrid is now 212, up from 190 on the standard gasoline model. This is the same powertrain found in the Accord Hybrid. It is also the first time Honda has offered AWD on a hybrid vehicle. In times of low traction, a clutch can engage an electric motor to the rear wheels to help with grip. Hybrid models are equipped with Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, a small speaker on the front of the car that makes a noise for passers by while the vehicle is traveling in electric only mode.
Previously, base model CR-V LXes got a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder. Now for 2020, all non-hybrid CR-Vs will come with the 190 hp 1.5-liter turbo unit. No matter which mode of power you choose, power flows to the wheels through a CVT.
On the safety front, the CR-V now comes standard with Honda Sensing, a suite of sweet safety technologies that include Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keep Assist. Additionally, as an option, are blind spot information, rear cross traffic monitor, and auto high beam headlights.
EPA figures will be released closer to launch, but Honda is forecasting a 50% increase in fuel economy over the non-hybrid models. Non-hybrid production begins this fall and hybrid production starts in early 2020.
Wheels for the week: 2020 Toyota Corolla XLE. We'll be taking this one on a trip to Virginia and testing out how close to the 37mpg highway rating we'll get. It's equipped with Toyota Safety Sense which means I'll have radar cruise control for the trip (Yay!). The shocking part is the price: $28,084 for a Corolla that doesn't even have the biggest engine. But it's got heated seats, so that will keep Albert Maisto happy.