Honda Joins Crossover Competitors with Fuel Economy Leader
It’s starting to look like 2020 will be the year of the crossover hybrid. Honda announced that the CR-V, its compact crossover, will add a hybrid model for 2020. Ford just previewed the Escape Hybrid, going on sale in a few weeks, and promised a plug-in hybrid next year. Of course, Toyota has been selling RAV4 hybrids in the U.S. since 2015—and selling more of them than hybrid poster child Prius. Nissan is the only top-seller in this market segment heading the other direction, dropping its hybrid model for 2020.
This is the first time Honda has offered an electrified CR-V; it will feature a two-motor system like Honda’s two other hybrids—the Insight and the Accord Hybrid. The engine will be a 2.0-liter, 16-valve DOHC Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder (the non-hybrid CR-Vs get a 1.5-liter turbocharged four). Honda says the engine is the most efficient one of its mass-produced engines. The two-motor system does away with the conventional automatic transmission and offers driving conditions similar to a full battery electric vehicle.
Peak total system horsepower (hp) is 212, up from the 190 hp in non-hybrid models. Honda expects fuel economy numbers to come in 50 percent higher than last year’s 28 mpg city/34 highway/30 combined. All-wheel drive will be standard in the hybrid model while front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive will be offered in the non-hybrid models. The battery pack and control apparatus is all mounted under the cargo floor, so no utility is lost in the hybrid model.
More Standard Safety Equipment
Honda is also following the industry trend of making more advanced safety standard on all models. For the CR-V Hybrid, Honda Sensing will be standard, including:
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with forward collision warning and pedestrian-sensing capability
- Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with lane departure warning
- Adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow
- Lane keeping assist
Optional technologies include blind spot information, rear cross-traffic monitoring and auto high-beam headlights.
While the non-hybrid 2020 Honda CR-V will go on sale this fall, the hybrid model is due to be available in early 2020. Pricing and EPA fuel economy numbers will be available closer to launch.
Electrifying its best-selling model is part of Honda’s strategy to move its vehicles towards battery power. Globally, by 2030 Honda expects 50 percent of its sales to be hybrids and another 15 percent full battery electrics. The company said to expect more electric models in the near future. Honda did note that its electrified models (Accord Hybrid, Clarity Electric and Plug-in Hybrid and Insight) are on track for their third consecutive year of sales growth, up 68 percent compared to last year through the first eight months of the year. Combined sales were 42,270 units.
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