All-New Honda CR-V Hybrid – Quietly Confident.

The all-new Honda CR-V Hybrid offers the sporty drive of an SUV with the fuel efficiency and low emissions of a hybrid powertrain. The magic of Honda’s intelligent multi-mode drive (i-MMD) system means that reducing fuel consumption doesn’t mean sacrificing driving pleasure. Combining two electric motors, an Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, Lithium-ion battery and a fixed-gear transmission to deliver high levels of refinement, responsiveness and efficiency, the i-MMD system is available in both front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive formats. The CR-V’s hybrid powertrain provides a responsive drive by delivering enhanced power when required, as well as the ability to run silently in electric drive mode. This cutting-edge technology ensures a dynamic driving experience which Honda refer to as Honda Hybrid Performance.

Fresh Exterior Design;

The new CR-V has a fresh and sophisticated exterior design, with broader, muscular wheel arches, sharper contours on the bonnet and rear quarter panels, as well as the latest Honda family face, with its signature headlight graphic. The new model raises the bar in terms of interior quality too, allowing for greater comfort, convenience and connectivity than ever before. Thanks to the new CR-V’s slightly larger exterior proportions, longer wheelbase and wider stance, space efficiency is now best-in-class, while a hands-free power tailgate enables convenient access to a deeper boot with a longer load bay. In five seat mode, the CR-V’s boot has a capacity of 497-litres, but this can be extended to an impressive 1,064-litres when the rear seats are folded flat.

Trim & Technical Data;

Four specification levels are available in the new Honda CR-V Hybrid – Comfort (2WD), Lifestyle (2WD & 4WD), Elegance (2WD & 4WD), and Executive (4WD only), with all two-wheel-drive models attracting annual road tax of just €200, and €270 in four-wheel-drive guise. The CR-V Hybrid is equipped with an efficient 2.0-litre i-VTEC Atkinson-cycle petrol engine and a powerful electric motor with combined power of 184PS, and a healthy 315Nm of torque. The petrol-electric powertrain can propel the car from 0-100km/h in just 8.8-seconds in 2WD guise, and in 9.2-seconds for the 4WD model. A top speed of 180km/h is achieveable (where permitted), while official average fuel consumption of between 5.3l/100km (53.3mpg) and 5.5l/100km (51.4mpg) is possible, depending on the drivetrain chosen.

Test Car;

My test car was a new Honda CR-V Hybrid 4WD in range-topping Executive trim, and was finished in stunning Premium Crystal Red metallic paint, with contrasting Ivory Leather interior. Standard across all models is Honda Sensing™, which is a comprehensive suite of active safety features including Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Intelligent Speed Limiting, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, Road Departure Mitigation, and Low Speed Follow, while Blind Spot Information, Cross Traffic Monitor, and a multi-angle rear view camera are standard on certain models. Additionally, all models in the new Honda CR-V are supplied with a hugely impressive array of standard features, with key equipment in my test car including an opening panoramic glass roof, ambient light roof, heads-up display, heated steering wheel, rear heated seats, hands-free access power tailgate, and an 8-way power seat adjustment for the driver’s seat with a memory function.

Three Driving Modes;

There are three driving modes in the new CR-V Hybrid – Engine Drive, Hybrid Drive and EV Drive, with decreasing reliance on petrol power. When Engine Drive is engaged, the motor-generator and electric motor are locked to provide a direct mechanical drive from the petrol engine to the front wheels – typically at high motorway speeds. In Hybrid Drive mode, the petrol engine turns the motor-generator but is disconnected from the wheels. Instead, electricity generated is sent to the electric drive motor as well as topping up the battery. EV Drive, meanwhile, uses the battery alone to power the car for short distances. Honda claims that clever software allows the hybrid to switch between the power modes almost seamlessly, allowing the car to remain composed at all times.

Luxurious Cabin;

The cabin of the CR-V hybrid is very similar to regular petrol-powered versions. The gear selector is gone, with drive mode selection buttons in its place, and there’s a digital dashboard that provides information on fuel economy, driving mode and battery range, but the layout is generally the same as any other CR-V. With an attractive and ergonomically designed dashboard, the cabin looks and feels upmarket, while build quality is in keeping with the high standard we have to come to expect from Honda of late. The comfortable, supportive and luxurious leather seats in my test car looked great, and certainly contributed to the overall sense of serenity when on the move. The CR-V hybrid rides well and soaks up road imperfections with ease, while the car’s excellent steering set-up responds well to driver inputs. Strong brake control ensures driver confidence in all situations, while body roll in corners is minimal.

Pricing & Verdict;

The all-new Honda CR-V Hybrid is priced from just €38,000 (ex-works) and includes a €1,500 Hybrid VRT allowance from the Irish Government. With so many standard comfort, convenience, safety and connectivity features across the range – along with low running costs – the new Honda CR-V Hybrid is a worthy addition to the wonderful CR-V family. All new Honda cars are covered by a comprehensive 3-Year/100,000km mechanical warranty, a 5-Year exhaust system warranty, and a 12-Year corrosion warranty, while a 5-Year Integrated Motor Assist warranty is in addition to the standard warranty, and relates to Hybrid components on Hybrid models.

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