2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Review: Sporty Hybrid SUV
Honda engineers have often proven that they have their own way of dealing with things. They do that again with the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid and its Multi-Mode Drive.
During the 2017 edition of the Geneva Auto Show, Honda shared its “Electric Vision” with the world. According to that action plan, by 2025, two-thirds of all cars sold by the Japanese in Europe must have an electric or hybrid drive assembly. Of course, given the popularity of such cars, it is impossible to reach such a percentage without equipping an SUV with one of these technologies. For example, in parallel with the CR-V 1.5 i-VTEC Turbo launched this summer, Honda has also derived a hybrid version from the model.
This first SUV from the Japanese brand that has a petrol engine and an electric drive, brings a layout to the Old Continent that we have not seen here: “The i-MMD technology (for Multi-Mode Drive, ed . ) has already been present in the Accord since 2013, “explains Kotaro Yamamoto, motor engineer at Honda,” but today it is being offered for the first time on the European market “.
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Redesign & Changes
Under the Hood of the SUV is a 2.0-petrol engine that according to Yamamoto offers an excellent efficiency: “The return of our two liters is very close to that of diesel (almost 40 percent, ed .)”. That is not surprising, as it is distinguished by its Atkinson cycle, which is very beneficial for efficiency. That does not stop the two liters in the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid from being a real Honda engine: the block is equipped with i-VTEC technology because both the timing and the lift height of the valves are controlled electronically.
The four-cylinder with a maximum capacity of 145 hp at 6,200 rpm is not linked to an automatic gearbox: the crankshaft is mechanically connected (via a transmission shaft) to a first electric motor. It is used as a generator (and as a starter motor for the four-cylinder) and must convert the kinetic energy generated by the internal combustion engine into electrical energy.
Depending on the driving mode selected by the onboard computer, that current can then be stored in the battery or transmitted directly to a second electric motor. It develops 184 hp and 315 Nm and is used as a drive motor when accelerating and regenerative braking as a generator. This motor is mechanically connected to the front wheels (in the two-wheel drive version) or to the four wheels (all-wheel drive) and can also be connected to the internal combustion engine (and thus the generator) via an on-off clutch (open-closed).
All these elements work together in different ways depending on the chosen driving mode. There are three of them. The first, EV Drive, uses the only current to drive the CR-V. The internal combustion engine (and thus the generator) does not run. The power-on link is open. This is the simplest mode: the electric motor draws power from the lithium-ion battery and uses it to drive the wheels. The second mode is called Hybrid Drive. Here too, the link remains open. The internal combustion engine supplies power to the electric generator, which transmits power to the electric motor (via high-voltage cables). In addition, the battery can give extra power to this electric motor if there is a need for it. Conversely, any power surplus of the internal combustion engine can be used to recharge the battery via the generator motor.
On The Road
Because it is not linked to a gearbox, it is more likely to be pushed up by two liters. But during our test, the combustion engine often kept very quiet. Unless we really gave board gas, the engine did not climb high once in the rpm. Another positive point to emphasize: the switch from one energy source to another is virtually inconceivable for the occupants of the car. When you change driving mode, you do not feel any jerks or other unpleasant effects. It is clear that the engineers of the i-MMD program have done a big job.
2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid Price
With a basic price of 34,830 euros for the entry version, the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid has a competitive price tag, because it is at the level of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (of which a new generation will soon debut) or a Lexus NX, although the latter is less spacious inside. With the more expensive finishing levels, the price can of course increase, but if you look at what you get back in terms of technology, then this Hybrid is an interesting alternative to a diesel version. Although the latter certainly would have been less expensive
The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid has literally stunned us: although it is technically complex, its technology is characterized by staggering ease of use. The hybrid SUV from Honda as an ecological alternative to the CR-V with combustion engine mainly wants to rival the Toyota RAV4. And he will do that with enthusiasm, so efficient is the technology he initiates. In addition, the CR-V is an excellent model for the ‘energy transition’: its linear acceleration (without torque interruption) is reminiscent of that of an electric car. It is only regrettable that he has to put a row without a third