Honda CR-V Hybrid
By Bill McCarthy
When it comes to design and best-selling cars, Honda knows a thing or two. The Civic has been for decades one of the best selling cars worldwide but received a radical, futuristic new look in 2006.
The CR-V is the same. It has not been around as long, a mere 26 years, but it too has a radical look and is a best seller. In fact, both sit in the world’s top 10 best-selling cars.
It is also the first hybrid SUV from Honda as the firm aims to offer a fully electrified range by 2025.
It also offers eye-catching design while retaining the practicality of an SUV, with its high stance off the ground and multi-folding seat capacity.
It is all sharp angles and contours, featuring diamond-cut alloys, swooping profile, privacy glass and smart light clusters flanking the familiar Honda badge on the grille. Just a discreet hybrid badge distinguishes it from combustion-powered siblings.
It is packed with creature comforts and safety technology. Five adults can be accommodated in relative comfort, four in real comfort.
The interior is high end and dominated by a seven-inch central touchscreen which controls major functions like navigation, entertainment and Smartphone connectivity.
Heated leather seats and ambient lighting to footwell and handles add to a premium feel.
The hybrid system uses intelligent Honda’s Multi-Mode Drive technology (i-MMD) combining two electric motors, an Atkinson-cycle petrol engine, lithium-ion battery and a fixed-gear e-CVT transmission.
On the road, the car is quiet, refined and quick off the mark, with this model capable of hitting 60 in just over eight 8.8 seconds.
Drive selection is via a novel push button set up and the default mode is electric, with hybrid kicking in when extra power is needed.
Honda’s Driver Information Interface (DII) in the binnacle, gives the driver feedback as it monitors driver and engine hybrid management information.
Paddles behind the wheel can control rate of deceleration, with regenerative braking, pumping energy back to the battery.
The Drive, Park and Neutral functions require the button push, while reverse requires a pull-up action. Pure EV mode is also available providing a zero-emissions range of around 2km (1.2 miles) depending on the driving conditions and battery charge.
A clever touch is the hands-free powered tailgate on this model enables convenient loading access and can be programmed to stop at a certain height to avoid contact with low ceilings.
Single-action 60:40 split-fold seatbacks also enable faster, easier loading, and a completely flat surface for larger items including, says Honda, a 19.5-inch frame bicycle.
Even the entry level model has high levels of equipment, with further bells and whistles as you move up the range.
It’s a Honda so it is safe and includes as standard across the range Honda Sensing, with active safety and driver-assistive technologies, combining radar and camera information to assist the driver.
Honda CR-V 2.0i Hybrid SR 2WD
Mechanical: 184 bhp, 1,993cc, 4-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor driving front wheels via CVT automatic transmission
Max Speed: 112 mph
0-62mph: 8.8 secs
Combined MPG: 53.3
Insurance Group: 25e
C02 emissions: 120 g/km
Warranty: 3yrs/90,000 miles