Honda CR-V Hybrid 2021 – Review, Fuel economy, Price

The 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid lands near the middle of our hybrid and electric SUV rankings. It offers a smooth ride and ample cabin space, but it suffers from a cumbersome and out-of-date infotainment system. A hybrid SUV should be the best of both worlds—a big, spacious vehicle with good fuel efficiency. That was certainly the hope for the latest version of Honda’s CR-V. One of the country’s best-selling crossovers, this year the CR-V got the addition of a hybrid powertrain for the first time. It’s Honda’s third hybrid for the US market, joining the Accord hybrid and the Insight, which we rather liked when we tested it a few weeks ago. But does the addition of some lithium-ion and electric motors work as well for this crossover?Price, technical specifications, interior, exterior of the car – Honda CR-V Hybrid 2021 read below.

New Honda CR-V Hybrid 2021

If you’re familiar with the Accord Hybrid, you’ll be familiar with the CR-V Hybrid’s powertrain. Instead of the 1.5L engine in ‘normal’ CR-Vs, the hybrid version combines a 2.0L four-cylinder, 143hp (107kW), 129lb-ft (175Nm) Atkinson-cycle engine with two electric motors. One of these works as the starter motor and as a generator driven by the internal combustion engine to charge the 1.2kWh lithium-ion battery that lives above the rear axle. The other electric motor is the one that usually drives the wheels; in this case, it’s 181hp (135kW), 232lb-ft (315Nm). Like the other Honda hybrids, there’s no conventional transmission here. Most of the time, the internal combustion engine won’t directly contribute to forward motion, although it can do so under some conditions via a clutch that connects it to the output of the electric drive motor. Unlike the other Honda hybrids, the CR-V is capable of all-wheel drive via front-mounted transfer case. So the rear wheels will do their share of the work when you move off from a stop, going up a steep grade, or if the CR-V’s digital brain starts to detect the front wheels beginning to slip. But for most day-to-day driving, only the front wheels will be powered, because let’s be honest—almost no one is going to be crossing the Darien Gap in any crossover, and just being FWD is more efficient. More on that later. Honda CR-V Hybrid 2021 – review, fuel economy, engine and release date, read about all of this below!

Interior

Because the current-gen CR-V was designed with the hybrid model in mind, there are almost no compromises in terms of interior space. The only difference is that buyers won’t get a spare tire and lose the two-level cargo floor. Other than that, though, everything remains the same. For 2021 all CR-Vs (hybrid or gas) get a redesigned center console that now offers more storage space. There are three different configurations that will allow items as big as a purse to fit in. Additionally, Touring trims get a wireless phone charger. Interior space continues to be one of the CR-V’s strongest points, with great passenger space and ample cargo room. Hybrid models still get the 60/40 split-folding second-row seats, and they fold completely flat. After driving almost eight hours from Tucson to L.A., I found the seats to be quite comfortable and I didn’t really feel tired or in need of a stretch. The cushion and quality of the leather are terrific. Touring models also get faux wood along the center console, dashboard, and door panels, which ups the look of the cabin. One thing I’d like to see is a newer infotainment system; the old system is slow and needs better graphics. Honda CR-V Hybrid 2021 – see the photo at the end of the article!

Exterior

All CR-V models have been facelifted for the 2021 model year with new headlight and wheel designs. The top Touring trim gets new 19-inch wheels, which are an inch larger than last year’s model. You can tell a CR-V Hybrid apart from a standard one via its unique bumper design, rectangular 5-element LED fog lights (EX trim and above), blue-tinted Honda badge, unique rear bumper, and hybrid badges. We dig the CR-V Hybrid’s wide stance and upmarket appearance but buyers looking for a more off-road-oriented design may prefer the RAV4. Two all-new colors are available on the CR-V Hybrid including Sonic Gray Pearl and Radiant Red Metallic (pictured here). Both colors looked great although we’d like to see Honda offer a black package to delete some of the car’s chrome elements.

Colors

All CR-V models receive updated interiors with a new center console design and integrated wireless charger on the top Touring trim level. The new center console armrest offers several configurations to accommodate items as large as a purse. Honda’s interior materials are high-quality, including rear leather seating surfaces on the Touring trim. Honda’s use of imitation wood gives the cabin an upmarket feel but certain features such as ventilated seats, heated rear seats, and a surround-view camera have been left out because Honda would like to reserve them for the Acura brand. Honda says the hybrid packs the same 105.9 cubic feet of interior space as the standard CR-V, which is class-leading in the segment. Hybrid models can be distinguished via a new digital cluster with a hybrid-specific power flow meter and a shift-by-wire gear selector with push-button controls. A five-inch display comes standard on the LX trim but all other trims get a seven-inch display that still feels small and a bit laggy compared to competitors. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available on all but the base trim while the speaker count ranges from four to nine depending on trim.

Fuel economy

The CR-V hybrid’s EPA fuel-economy estimates jump from 27 mpg city and 32 highway to 40 mpg city and 35 highway. However, those numbers aren’t the best in the class. The RAV4 hybrid returns 41 mpg city and 38 highway in EPA testing, and the Ford Escape hybrid is rated 43 mpg city and 37 highway. We averaged a respectable 33 mpg with our CR-V hybrid in mixed driving. While our example’s 32-mpg return on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test is 4 mpg greater than the standard CR-V could manage, that figure is 3 mpg shy of the hybrid’s EPA figure and 5 mpg less than what a 2021 RAV4 hybrid returned in the same test. You buy a hybrid because you care about the environment and want to save on gas, and the CR-V hybrid delivers 40/35/38 mpg city/highway/combined. That’s better than the gas AWD CR-V’s 27/32/29 mpg but not quite as good as the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid (41/38/40 mpg) or the Ford Escape Hybrid (43/37/40 mpg). Although hybrids don’t really shine on the highway, I was surprised by the low fuel economy numbers I got during my drive back from Tucson to Los Angeles. According to the CR-V’s computer, I averaged 26.7 mpg after driving 516.1 miles. My choice to take the scenic and slightly longer Interstate-8 route didn’t really help the CR-V Hybrid’s case—at one point the route includes a steep hill climb of more than 4,000 feet—but by the time I cruised down to sea level and got home, the mpg numbers were way off the EPA’s ratings. During the launch in Tucson I got to briefly drive the RAV4 Hybrid and CR-V Hybrid back to back on the same roads. After the 11.1-mile loop, the Toyota averaged 46.7 mpg, and the Honda registered 38.8 mpg—a dramatic difference. We’ll have more rigorous testing on the RAV4 Hybrid and CR-V Hybrid soon, so stayed tuned for that.

Horsepower

Shared with the Accord Hybrid, the CR-V’s two-motor hybrid propulsion system combines two electric motors with a highly efficient 2.0-liter, 16-valve DOHC Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder. Peak total system output is 212 horsepower. The 2021 Honda CR-V’s hybrid system, for the first time in the U.S., will be paired with standard all-wheel drive that sends appropriate levels of electric-motor torque to its rear wheels in low-traction conditions. And its compact battery pack and control systems, integrated into what Honda calls an intelligent power unit (IPU), are packaged under the flat cargo floor to retain cargo capability. Regarding that last point, the CR-V Hybrid doesn’t give up much. It has 33.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 68.7 cubic feet with the seats folded, vs. 39.2 cubic feet and 75.8 cubic feet, respectively, for the standard model.

Technical specifications

The biggest differences lie under the skin. The 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid uses the same two-motor system as the Accord Hybrid, which gets a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine that produces 143 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. An electric motor produces 181 hp and 232 lb-ft, which means that its 212 combined horsepower make it 22-hp more powerful than the gas version. That power is sent to all four wheels by way of an e-CVT transmission. A 1.3-kW-hr lithium-ion battery lies under the cargo floor, taking the space of the spare tire in the gas model. All CR-V Hybrids come with standard all-wheel drive, and it’s the same mechanical system used in the gas model, not an electrified rear axle.

Price

The 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid starts at $27,750 for the base LX model, which undercuts the hybrid versions of the Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape. The EX trim level retails at $30,260, while the EX-L carries an MSRP of $32,750. The top-of-the-line 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid Touring prices begin at $35,590. All prices exclude $1,120 delivery. The base price for the Honda CR-V Hybrid is $600 less than the 2021 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which starts at $28,350 plus $1,120 delivery. The RAV4 Hybrid tops out at $36,880 plus delivery for the Limited. The Honda CR-V Hybrid also undercuts the price of the 2021 Ford Escape Hybrid, which begins at $28,255 for a base front-drive model, while a more comparable all-wheel-drive Ford Escape Hybrid begins at $29,755. Both these prices are before the $1,1 95 destination charge. In addition to being the least expensive of its pack, the Honda CR-V Hybrid is also easier on the wallet as a step up model in its own lineup. At its $27,750 base price, the hybrid CR-V is just $1,200 more than a standard 2021 Honda CR-V LX with all-wheel drive. That makes it something of a no-brainer.

Safety

The standard Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assist features includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and pedestrian sensing capability, Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with low-speed Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS). Also available are blind spot information (BSI), Rear Cross Traffic Monitor (CTM) and Auto High Beam headlights, and the Hybrids will have a new Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) with a front-bumper speaker that audibly alerts pedestrians when operating electric-only.

Motors

Thanks to its electrified powertrain, the Honda CR-V Hybrid is the most powerful CR-V variant as well as the most efficient. It has a total of 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque, vs. 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque for the standard gasoline model. That said, the Honda CR-V’s greatest surprise isn’t necessarily its zippiness. By our seat-of-the-pants impression, it feels about as quick as a standard model, which is adequate for most people’s needs. The real prize of the new 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid is in its quietness and smoothness that are part of its efficient operation. Acceleration is seamless, and the CR-V Hybrid has the ability to run on electrons for longer than we expected before the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine switches on. We got up to speeds of around 40 mph or more before the engine kicked in, though that will vary with driving habits, the road and the batteries’ level. Moreover, when the powertrain switched from battery power to the gasoline engine, the transition is very smooth – and more refined than that of a Toyota RAV4 Hybrid that we tested back to back with the Honda.

Configurations

The CR-V hybrid is clearly aimed at Toyota’s best-selling hybrid, the RAV4. Last year, about 92,000 RAV4 hybrids were sold. In the CR-V hybrid, Honda uses a two-motor hybrid system that we’ve praised in the Accord Hybrid but with a few tuning changes to smooth out its operation and improve efficiency, as well as the addition of all-wheel drive. It combines an Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter inline-four with two motor-generators and a relatively tiny 1.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Despite the battery’s small size, the hybrid components add a sizeable 201 pounds to the CR-V hybrid’s curb weight versus an equivalent standard model. The CR-V is Honda’s first hybrid to have all-wheel drive. Unlike Toyota’s hybrid all-wheel-drive system, which puts an electric motor in the rear end to assist the otherwise front-drive RAV4, the CR-V uses the same system that’s in the non-hybrid. Which is to say, there’s a clutch that engages the rear axle when the system predicts or detects slippage or when sending torque to the rear axle is otherwise advantageous, such as under hard acceleration or when ascending a steep grade.

Review

The Honda CR-V is currently our top-ranked small SUV. It’s roomy, practical and well built. How does Honda go up from there? Well, how about making it more fuel-efficient? Welcome to the 2021 CR-V Hybrid. This is the first time there’s been a hybrid powertrain option for the Honda CR-V. In theory, it provides better fuel economy than the regular CR-V as well as more power. However, our real-world results — read our Expert Rating below to learn more — proved otherwise. Is the Honda CR-V Hybrid a Good SUV? Yes, the 2021 CR-V Hybrid is a good compact SUV. Compared to other vehicles in our hybrid and electric SUV rankings, this Honda has a good amount of cargo room. It also has a smooth ride, and its peppy powertrain produces enough power for this crossover to get around with ease. However, this Honda also has an unintuitive and outdated infotainment system. Should I Buy the Honda CR-V Hybrid? The Honda CR-V Hybrid is a good crossover, but there are other great vehicles in the class. Rivals such as the Ford Escape Hybrid are more fuel-efficient, which is a main selling point for hybrids. The Ford has more standard features too. Alternatively, you might consider the nonhybrid Honda CR-V. Aside from lacking a two-motor hybrid system, it’s virtually identical to its hybrid counterpart, and it has a larger cargo hold.

Release date

Honda strategically priced the CR-V Hybrid to compete against the RAV4 Hybrid and Escape Hybrid, and it comes in the least expensive of the three. Consequently, the hybrid powertrain in the CR-V is just a $1,200 premium over the gas versions with AWD. The CR-V AWD Hybrid LX starts at $28,870and includes keyless entry, push-button start, one USB port, and 17-inch alloy wheels. The EX starts at $31,380 and adds 18-inch wheels, a 7.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two USB ports, dual-zone climate control and body colored mirrors with turn signals. For $33,870, the EX-L trim adds a heated steering wheel, ambient lighting, leather seats, a power tailgate, auto dimming rearview mirror, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. Finally, for $37,070 the Touring adds 19-inch wheels, front and rear parking sensors, wireless charging, navigation, roof rails, rain-sensing wipers, and a hands-free liftgate.

Video

All Honda CR-Vs, regardless of the trim or powertrain, come with standard Honda Sensing, a suite of safety and driver assistance technologies that reduce stress and increase safety for all passengers. Included in Honda Sensing are collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control for stop-and-go traffic, lane keeping assist, and road departure mitigation. I used adaptive cruise control on a big part of my drive home, and it made the trip even more comfortable. The CR-V always stayed between the lane lines and slowed down precisely when I approached another car on the freeway. All 2021 CR-Vs received the Top Safety Pick award from IIHS, even after the institute came up with stricter standards for 2021.

Photo Gallery 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid

All information about Honda CR-V Hybrid 2021: Price, Interior, Fuel economy, Motors, Exterior, Horsepower, Colors, Safety, Configurations, you read on this page, and in the end – see the photo!




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