In a nutshell:
- Honda CR-V jettisons petrol engines to become hybrid only.
- Improved suspension and handling new for 2021.
- New interior detailing includes eye-catching silver flourishes.
- Privacy glass from SE models upwards.
- Available to order now.
Say goodbye to the internal combustion engine version of the Honda CR-V, because it’s being consigned to history this month.
Instead Honda’s trusty SUV will only be available as a hybrid model - an ‘e:HEV’, according to the firm’s lingo - as the march towards electrification continues apace.
The solid and dependable Honda CR-V has been around since the mid-90s and has long been a rival to the more quirkily-styled Toyota RAV4.
And, funnily enough, the RAV4 is now purely hybrid, too, having also recently canned traditional engines. So it means these two cars are still neck-and-neck in terms of competing for your affections.
As well as the jettisoning of petrol engines, the CR-V has also been given some mild styling and equipment upgrades.
As before, it’s available in four trim levels - S, SE, SR and range-topping EX.
There’s new 18” alloy wheels all round, as well as privacy glass from SE models upwards, and Honda has also adjusted the suspension to make handling more responsive.
There’s also silver finishings to key bits of the interior, including the centre console, doors cards and dashboard accents.
Meanwhile EX CR-Vs also get wireless smartphone charging ‘for improved seamless connectivity’, says Honda.
And then there’s the ‘intelligent Multi Mode Drive’ - or iMMD for short - powertrain, which is actually really interesting.
A 2.0 litre petrol engine is married to two electric motors in what comprises a system that doesn’t need to be plugged in and sits somewhere between a ‘mild hybrid’ and a ‘full hybrid’.
Unlike a mild hybrid, it is capable of using electric only power. But unlike most full hybrids, that leccy-only range is incredibly small, at just 1.2 miles.
What the iMMD system will do is intelligently switch between three modes, depending on the driving situation and the type of road you happen to be travelling on, to boost efficiency.
A Honda spokesperson says: “The experience of driving a Honda Hybrid is unique – there’s nothing quite like the calm and serene feeling of gently pulling away in the electric mode. Then, when the petrol engine comes to life, the transition is so quiet and smooth, you’ll wonder if the engine has actually started.
“The great thing about the Hybrid is that you don’t need to look for a charging station or have a special plug socket installed at home. The engine will continually charge the battery while it’s running – all you have to do is fill up with petrol as you normally would. It really is that simple.”
This unique half-way house set-up means that fuel economy is fine, but perhaps not as impressive as other hybrids.
Front-wheel drive models produce CO2 emissions of 151g/km and fuel economy of 42.2mpg, while all-wheel-drive CR-Vs produce 161g/km of CO2 and 39.2mpg.
You can also expect a proper plug-in hybrid CR-V next year.
And what the CR-V does exceptionally well is keep people safe, thanks to a class-leading suite of active safety and driver-assistive technology - a ‘Collision Mitigation Braking System’, Lane Departure Warning, a Lane Keeping Assist System and Adaptive Cruise Control.
You can lease a hybrid CR-V from just £265 per month.
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