Honda CR-V Hybrid long-term test: journey time tripled!

Published: 28 October 2019

► From one CR-V to another
► Hybrid under the microscope
► Snapper Alex is reporting

The CR-V got to take on chauffeur duties recently for a friend's wedding. Our – ahem – impeccable timing meant we got stuck in not one but two accidents on the way there, one of them clearly serious enough to close the road and have everyone turn their engines off. In the end the 90-minute journey took over four and a half hours.

With snacks stashed away in the plentiful cubbyholes, pregnant Mrs T's formidable hunger-anger was kept at bay. We missed the ceremony but arrived just in time for the wedding breakfast. The Honda's cabin proved plenty big enough and comfortable for four adults, contained as we were while the authorities cleared up the mess on the A421.

By Alex Tapley

Logbook: Honda CR-V Hybrid SR AWD

Price £34,470 (£35,320 as tested)
Performance 1993cc four-cyl plus electric motor, 144bhp, 9.2sec 0-62mph, 112mph
Efficiency 51.4mpg (official), 39.1mpg (tested), 126g/km C02
Energy cost 15.4p per mile
Miles this month 1968
Total miles 2971


Month 2 living with a Honda CR-V Hybrid: shock as CVT is okay

Honda CR-V hybrid paddle

Let's get straight to that white elephant in the room: our CR-V Hybrid's CVT 'box. My initial fears of loathing it and wanting to drive the car off a cliff haven't quite materialised.

Don't get me wrong: put your foot anywhere near the go pedal and it sounds like a fox being flayed outside your bedroom window. Thing is, all the non-CVT automatics I've driven recently have been set up to engage high gears quickly, and hold on to them doggedly, in search of lower emissions. This results in slow pick-up and jerky gearchanges. And in truth that is more annoying than the CR-V's CVT, which is seamless, and almost as smooth as a good electric drivetrain.

But I'm baffled by the shift paddles behind the steering wheel. Rather than shifting between artifical steps, which some CVTs have built in, the Honda's don't seem to do anything at all.

By Alex Tapley

Logbook: Honda CR-V Hybrid SR AWD

Price £34,470 (£35,320 as tested)
Performance 1993cc four-cyl plus electric motor, 144bhp, 9.2sec 0-62mph, 112mph
Efficiency 51.4mpg (official), 39.1mpg (tested), 126g/km C02
Energy cost 15.4p per mile
Miles this month 1968
Total miles 2971


Month 1 living with a Honda CR-V hybrid: hello and welcome

Honda CR-V hybrid hello

Our new CR-V is the hybrid, which has six months to prove itself to be more than just a way of business users paying a little less tax. The 2.0 petrol four is linked to the i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) system, using an electric motor to up power and take the CO2 output down to a respectable 126g/km, which should make it a tempting proposition for those whose next move is dictated by company car schemes.

I'm interested to see whether the hybrid's fuel consumption will get close to the manufacturer's claimed 51.4mpg in my typical use: long trips, heavily laden with photographic gear, driving fast in an attempt to keep up with the more powerful cars I tend to photograph for CAR; or more sedate trips with my young (but growing) family on board.

Honda's CVT 'box has received a lot of flak over the years. I got on fine with it in the Jazz, so I'll be interested to see how it performs in this far larger car.

Read our regular CR-V long-term test reports

In SR spec (one down from top EX), the only added extra we've gone for is the pearlescent Premium Crystal Red paint (£850), putting the car on the road at £35,320. As standard I've got leather, front and rear parking sensors, reversing camera, built-in sat-nav and Apple CarPlay (I don't typically get on with that).

The fourth-generation CR-V doesn't look very different from its predecessor but it has a longer wheelbase, which contributes to an additional 30mm of rear legroom; I rarely have adults in the back, but it's surprisingly important when you've got a toddler's child seat fixed in. Those Isofix points will also come in handy once again when child number two makes an appearance later this year.

Ours is all-wheel drive, which with other powertrains is available with seven seats, but in hybrid form is strictly five seats. The batteries eat into the boot space, ruling out a third row of seats. But as things stand, the luggage space seems like a decent size at 497 litres and will take all my photography/family paraphernalia with ease.

Logbook: Honda CR-V Hybrid SR AWD

Price £34,470 (£35,320 as tested)
Performance 1993cc four-cyl plus electric motor, 144bhp, 9.2sec 0-62mph, 112mph
Efficiency 51.4mpg (official), 39.1mpg (tested), 126g/km C02
Energy cost 15.4p per mile
Miles this month 1968
Total miles 2971

Check out our Honda reviews

By Alex Tapley

Our reviewers: fresh perspectives for inquisitive minds

Comments