After nearly three years since it was first introduced, the fifth-generation Honda CR-V has received its first mid-cycle refresh in the United States. Featuring updated styling and a revised list of available equipment, the facelifted SUV also gains a new hybrid powertrain in the market.
Exterior styling updates here include a new front bumper with broader openings for the fog lamps, which is further accentuated by a wide-width chrome trim piece that gives the CR-V a “moustache” of sorts. Between the headlamps, the grille has also been made to look more pronounced, and can be had in a black finish instead of the standard chrome.
Moving to the rear, there are new graphics for the dark-tinted taillights and the chrome garnish just below the window has been darkened as well. Further downwards, the apron has been restyled to appear flatter than before, and is accompanied by trapezoidal-shaped exhaust finishers.
On the Hybrid model, the exhaust is tucked away under a different chrome trim on the bumper, with other model-specific cues being hybrid badging and a blue-tinged Honda logo on both ends.
For the 2020 model year, the CR-V in EX, EX-L and Hybrid guise is fitted with new-design 18-inch wheels, while 19-inch units are reserved for Touring trims, and 17-inch for the base LX. There’s also three new exterior colours available: Sonic Gray Pearl and Radiant Red Metallic on standard and Hybrid models, as well as a new Aegean Blue Metallic for non-hybrid models.
As for the interior, the Hybrid model is distinguished for the rest of the range by the three switches for Econ, Sport and EV modes, gear selector buttons rather than a regular shifter, and a dedicated instrument panel that displays the powertrain’s power/charge status, as well as a driver-selectable display for power distribution and regeneration.
All CR-V models gain a new push start button and a redesigned centre console bin, with a Qi wireless charger offered for Touring trims. Other available items include a TFT-LCD colour instrument cluster, seven-inch Display Audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, remote engine start, dual-zone climate control, powered front seats and rear USB charging ports.
Another addition for MY2020 is the the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistance system, which is now standard on all CR-Vs. This includes Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), and Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS). Additional systems such as Blind Spot Information (BSI), Rear Cross Traffic Monitor (CTM) and Auto High Beam headlights are also available.
Under the hood, all non-hybrid CR-V models are powered by the familiar 1.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which serves up 190 hp and 243 Nm of torque; the 2.4 litre naturally-aspirated four-pot previously standard on the base LX is no longer offered. The VTEC Turbo engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT), with front- and all-wheel drive available.
Meanwhile, the hybrid powertrain is the same Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) system used in the Accord Hybrid, and features an Atkinson-cycle 2.0 litre four-cylinder engine aided by two electric motors and battery pack tucked under the cargo floor, providing a total system output of 212 hp.
There’s no standard automatic transmission here, as a lock-up clutch connects the engine to a single-ratio gearbox to drive the wheels directly, with an electric clutch directing some of the engine’s output to the rear for all-wheel drive when needed. The company is expecting the CR-V Hybrid to return a 50% increase in EPA-rated fuel economy in the city compared to the standard CR-V.
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