A Look Inside the Hybrid SUV’s Cabin
If you like the interior of the 2020 Honda CR-V, then you will like the CR-V Hybrid because, quite frankly, they are not much different. It is not a bad thing. After all, the CR-V was appointed on 2018 MotorTrend SUV of the year. It was a winner for the way he put the whole package together, including a well-executed and chic interior.
The CR-V Hybrid is available in other markets such as Japan and Europe, but for the United States, it just arrived at dealerships on March 1. It becomes the fastest, most powerful and most efficient CR-V in the range.
Some buyers can expect green leafy vegetables to grow inside their new eco-friendly hybrid, while being vegan and gluten-free. Sorry to disappoint, but the CR-V Hybrid is none of the above. But it is well done, functional, comfortable and attractive.
Let’s take a closer look.
There are some cosmetic changes and badges on the outside to show the world that your CR-V is the hybrid. Inside, there are also some revealing changes in a five-passenger crossover that is well-packed, logical in layout and has the technology beforehand.
The model we explored has comfortable gray leather seats with light gray perforated inserts. The front bucket seats are comfortable with sufficient padding and slight reinforcement. Heated seats are available. Honda uses a nice grain on the plastics so it doesn’t look cheap and the surfaces are soft where they need to be, like the center armrest and the parts of the door with which the arms and legs come into contact. The dashboard also has leather upholstered at this level of finish. The material mix includes a nice simulated wood trim on the door, dashboard and center console, and a piece of shiny black trim on the dashboard. The headlining is fabric and the stitching is fake, but nothing looks cheap or cheesy. The fit and finish are top notch.
Thoughtful touches inside the 2020 CR-V Hybrid
The interior gives the impression of being full of amenities, and everything is well placed, thoughtful and functional. There is plenty of front storage space in the doors and the center console. Honda changed the storage bin between driver and passenger with a sliding shelf that folds forward and upward, leaving room for a large purse or bag. The electronic parking brake frees up space and is conveniently located to the left of the push button shift lever. Easy to find and use.
The rear doors open wide to get in and out, and there is enough head and leg room in the second row as well as vents in the center console. Although it is a five-seater, the short straw goes to the narrow center seat at the back.
Honda has not skimped on materials for those in the second row, although the top of the door is hard while it is padded for front passengers. The CR-V is one of the few vehicles in the segment to offer a 60/40 split second row seat that folds flat. You can pull the handles of the files or go to the loading area and grab one of the two levers. It may sound trivial, but it’s really practical. A charging bag is now standard.
The hybrid batteries are located under the low loading floor so as not to disturb the interior space. There is an impressive space of 39 cubic feet behind the second row seat and 75.8 cubic feet when the seat is folded down. No compromise to have batteries on board.
Clean graphics but not a benchmark infotainment screen
While the base model has a small 5.0-inch display, most versions have the 7.0-inch touchscreen built into the center of the dashboard with a combination of touchpads and real buttons for controls . Kind of. There is a volume knob but no tuning. All are easily accessible and the additional controls on the steering wheel are intuitive and discreet.
It doesn’t advertise itself as the most modern infotainment system, but it is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and you can get a navigation system on high-end models. No auxiliary input, but there are four USB ports: two at the front, nicely positioned above the wireless phone charger, and two more for those traveling in the back.
The infotainment screen isn’t stuck above the dashboard – a beast of personal companionship – but it could be better integrated. The graphics are crisp and clear, and the home screen is neither crowded nor overwhelming and is relatively easy to use.
The group of digital gauges in front of the driver provides the normal range of information such as fuel, time, temperature, whether the driver needs a coffee break and range, as well as a power meter specific to the hybrid for those who like to measure if they consume or regenerate electricity at a given time.
Two powertrain options
The hybrid has the latest generation of Honda’s two-engine hybrid technology, which has been further refined and offers more autonomy in pure electric mode. The hybrid powertrain is similar to that of the Accord. It combines a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine with two electric motors to produce 212 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. All-wheel drive is standard on the hybrid.
The conventional CR-V dropped from the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine to 184 horsepower and 180 lb-ft, leaving the 1.5-liter turbocharged I-4 engine that generates 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque and is paired with a continuously variable transmission. It drives the front or the four wheels.
Switching on the gear lever
While the conventional CR-V puts the gear lever on the dashboard at the bottom of the center console, the hybrid has a new push-button transmission gear lever and steering wheel paddles to increase or decrease power regenerative braking. The new gear lever requires you to push for parking, push down to back up, push for neutral and press a big button to drive.
To the right of the speed buttons are other buttons for driving modes that can be selected manually, or you can let the vehicle make the selection for you to optimize performance and efficiency. Modes include Sport, EV, and Econ, which essentially dictate whether the vehicle uses EV driving, hybrid driving, or driving.
To the left of the steering wheel is the button panel for unlocking the tailgate, parking aid, stability control and lane keeping aid. There is a small old-fashioned compartment for storing coins. This is in contrast to the modern and bright red button to start the car which says “power” instead of “start”.
Overall, the interior of the CR-V Hybrid reproduces the masterful packaging of the conventional crossover in just a few winks at the electric propulsion it brings to the equation. The price of the hybrid starts at $ 28,897 for the LX with the top of the range Touring starting at $ 37,070. It makes it a formidable competitor of its main rival, the Toyota RAV4, as well as others in the field (hybrids and non-hybrids) such as the Ford Escape, the Nissan Rogue, the Kia Sportage and the Volkswagen Tiguan.