It’s acceptable that Honda hasn’t collapsed casualty to the above addiction to ample grilles as the blow of the industry.
The 2020 Honda CR-V Amalgam is like a nice date night that doesn’t go overboard, financially speaking. Let’s say you appetite to amusement yourself, but you’re not activity absolute with a cruise to one of those stuffy, three-figure-per-plate steakhouses. Maybe you appetite to absorb aloof a atom added money than accepted and get bottomward with some approachable, quasi-upscale cuisine, like a Cooper’s Hawk or a Wildfire, because you deserve article nice every already in a while. That’s what Honda’s new electrified SUV feels like: a acceptable banquet out that doesn’t breach the coffer for the boilerplate class.
While the absolute Honda CR-V band accustomed a beheld brace for the 2020 archetypal year, the new-for-this-year Amalgam trades cardboard napkins for bolt with a few different $.25 that accomplish it feel a little added flush than any added variant. The new grille integrates accurately with my tester’s LED headlights and the revised lower fascia that adds in some blatant fog lights, abiding in a bar appearance on the Amalgam against the accepted CR-V’s annular guys. There’s additionally some adapted badging, because who doesn’t adulation patting themselves on the back, as able-bodied as a tailpipe that’s tucked college up into the body.
Slide through one of the CR-V’s doors, though, and that’s area the higher-end acknowledgment absolutely bliss in. Honda has done a abundant job alteration the crossover’s berth for 2020. On the aesthetics front, I’m decidedly afflicted with the matte-finish faux copse trim broadcast about, a accomplishment usually aloof for added big-ticket cars (with absolute wood). The dashboard, while abundantly plastic, contains some adorable faux stitching, and there are affluence of absorbing angles that accomplish the CR-V feel a little beneath mass-market than it is. Heck, alike the “floating” infotainment awning looks appealing abundant here. The fit and accomplishment feels a footfall aloft CR-Vs accomplished and competitors current.
But action affairs added than anatomy aback it comes to a ancestors car. Thankfully, there’s affluence of it here. A revised centermost animate incorporates an absorbing bulk of junk-tucking room, and I like the sorta-open-air modularity of the sliding trays that awning the under-armrest cubby. The cup holders are voluminous, both on the aperture panels and in the centermost console, and Touring models like my tester get an iPhone-compatible Qi wireless buzz charger tucked beneath the push-button manual controls.
The added row has adapted storage, as well, but the absolute account to actuality aback there is legroom, back Honda offers a brace inches added of it than the antagonism can provide. I’m 6 anxiety tall, and I absolutely wasn’t absent for space, which agency kids should accept alike added allowance to faff about. While the added accouterments adapted for the CR-V Amalgam doesn’t eat into berth space, it does booty a atom of burden capacity. At 33.2 cubic feet, the amalgam crossover’s accumulator amplitude is about four cubic anxiety abate than the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s, and it’s about six cubes abaft the approved ol’ CR-V. The Honda is, however, advanced of the Ford Escape Hybrid, which has aloof 30.7 cubic anxiety of being storage. If you’re attractive for a added tire, you won’t acquisition it, back Honda ditched it in favor of the amalgam accouterments — a botheration the Toyota RAV4 Amalgam doesn’t assume to have, back it still rocks a backup.
The anatomy of the CR-V Amalgam is hidden beneath the body. It relies on the above two-motor amalgam arrangement that’s in the Honda Accord: A 2.0-liter, Atkinson-cycle I4 gas agent mates to a 1.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion array and a brace of electric motors to aftermath 212 application and 232 pound-feet of torque, authoritative the Amalgam alternative the best able CR-V in the garage. All-wheel drive is standard, and ability routes to all four corners by way of article Honda calls an eCVT, although it’s not absolutely a able pulley-based continuously capricious transmission, as it uses a clamp to admittance absolute engine-to-drivetrain propulsion beneath ablaze endless only.
This agency best of the time the CR-V Amalgam is operating, the electric motors accommodate the propulsion while the agent sits in the background, absorption on befitting the baby array topped off. This Honda does action an EV-only mode, but like best acceptable gas-electric hybrids, it’s alone accessible for a mile or two at a time. This electric-forward focus agency every alpha is bland and burdened with torque, and that adjacency continues to agency in at college speeds, authoritative for accessible on-ramp hustle or slow-driver passing. Aback it comes time to abstract up, the agent will bang on in the accomplishments — the actuality that the agent revs don’t associate to alley acceleration can be a little discombobulating at first, but it’s accessible to get acclimated to, alike if the agent does acceleration to a balmy agitation at times aback added charging is necessary. Nature of the beast, I suppose.
Pushing buttons isn’t my admired way to about-face gears, but packaging is important aback you’re aggravating to accomplish the best of every atom in the cabin.
Multiple powertrain modes are on offer, including the above EV mode, but they’re not actual useful. Econ tamps bottomward user inputs in the name of advocacy efficiency, and while it works, it leaves the CR-V Amalgam activity a little pokey. There’s a Sport mode, which improves burke acknowledgment and uses a complete synthesizer to accession its aural profile, but this tech aloof feels like a gimmick to me — that’s not the point of this SUV whatsoever, and we all apperceive it. There is, however, alive complete cancellation, which feels far added adapted in this use case.
The actual corners of the CR-V Hybrid’s alive acquaintance acknowledgment to the dining-out metaphor, accouterment an flush acquaintance with a acceptable bulk tag. My Touring-trim tester rocks the better auto on action at 19 inches. They’re captivated in appropriately compact 235/55 Continental CrossContact LX Sport all-season tires, which do a abundant job of assimilation up awful alley $.25 that the animate springs cannot. The council is accurately weighted, and it turns the auto — about all the acclaim bare on a mass-market crossover. The brakes are actual able-bodied tuned, aggregate abrasion and about-face into bland deceleration; if you adulation application drive to top off the battery, the wheel-mounted about-face paddles let you access or abatement the adorning braking to suit.
The EPA estimates the 2020 CR-V Amalgam at 40 afar per gallon burghal and 35 mpg artery — abundant numbers for an all-wheel-drive crossover that, in my experience, are accessible to accomplish after the lightest bottom on the block. In context, though, this Honda’s meal charcoal good, aloof not as acceptable as what’s accessible beyond the spectrum of restaurants. The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, by comparison, is added able at 41 mpg burghal and 38 mpg highway, while the Ford Escape Amalgam rings in at 43 artery and 37 city.
See all those orange bits? Don’t blow those.
One allotment of the Honda CR-V Hybrid’s abstruse accompaniment that will absolutely acquire accolades with families is Honda Sensing, the automaker’s apartment of alive and acquiescent assurance systems. This accumulating is accepted on every CR-V, abacus automated emergency braking with banal detection, lane-departure warning, lane-keep abetment and adaptive cruise control. The systems assignment great, with ACC carrying bland inputs while LKA doesn’t battle for ascendancy of the caster to accumulate the agent centered in its lane. Honda’s LaneWatch camera has assuredly collapsed by the wayside in favor of able blind-spot monitoring, which is a acceptable advancement that’s way beneath confusing in practice.
As the top trim on offer, my Touring tester comes adorned with every tech advancement available. The wireless accessory charger is positioned able-bodied and keeps the buzz from aback sliding about and accident its anterior connection. Weirdly, though, the two USB-A ports in the advanced action a paltry 1 and 1.5 amps, the above of which isn’t alike abundant to advance a net absolute allegation if a buzz is active processor-intensive apps like Waze or Google Maps through Apple CarPlay or Android Auto (the closing integrations are accepted on all but the abject trim). The rear seats, however, bedrock a brace of quicker-charging 2.5-amp USB-A ports, which should be the accepted all around.
This CR-V additionally packs a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It’s not the latest, greatest adaptation of Honda’s Display Audio hardware, so the cartoon attending like they’re about a decade old, if not more, abnormally in the face of flashier getups from Ford or Toyota. Responsiveness is appropriately quick, and the aggregate knob’s acknowledgment is absolutely welcome, but it’s aerial time Honda updates its telematics here. The advancement camera’s resolution could angle to be a little higher, too.
One awning that doesn’t disappoint, though, is the one that replaces the barometer cluster. In accession to antic a different ability beat that lets me apperceive whether the CR-V Amalgam is bearing motive force or recuperating energy, the array displays all bulk of pertinent advice — from the amalgam system’s apparatus to whatever’s on the radio — advanced and centermost to abbreviate distraction.
Honda’s Display Audio is in acute charge of some adapted graphics. Practically every adversary leaves Honda in the dust in this arena.
At $37,070 (including $1,120 for destination), the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid’s accomplished trim is absolutely beneath than today’s boilerplate new-car transaction price, acceptation you’re accepting absorbed up with an appreciably chic acquaintance at a mass-market price. Thus, the Touring is the CR-V Amalgam archetypal I’d choose, back it’s loaded with abundant appearance like Qi charging, parking sensors, a hands-free tailgate and rain-sensing wipers. Budget-minded association will still acquisition affluence to like on added trims, though. Pure value-seekers can grab a abject CR-V Amalgam for aloof $28,870, with the EX and EX-L agreeable the aberration amid the extremes.
Honda’s two better competitors in this amplitude are appealing able-bodied arranged in their own rights. The Toyota RAV4 has blockier looks, added ability and a added avant-garde infotainment system, but it feels a little beneath flush than the Honda. The Ford Escape is appealing abundant the same, alms added afar per gallon than the Honda, but its burden amplitude is abate and its autogenous accessories don’t feel as able-bodied anchored calm as Japanese competitors.
The 2020 Honda CR-V Amalgam is a abundant way to amusement yourself and your ancestors on a budget. For a alive bulk of money, you get an autogenous and a ride that borders on luxurious, while the pragmatically absent amid you will accept affluence to acknowledge in agreement of storage, ability and accepted tech.
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