2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid Review: Expected Changes, Performance, Price, MPG, and Rivals

John Bedrow's image
John Bedrow 

Automotive Journalist

August 17, 2020  at 9:09 AM

Launched in 2020, the Honda CR-V hybrid is the more frugal avatar of one of Honda’s best-sellers, the CR-V. While it might not be the most frugal in its class, it still manages to pull crowds because of its premium look and feel, great handling and plenty of space. Apparently, being fresh on the cards, the 2021 Honda CR-V is expected to surface with no changes, However, that doesn’t seem a grouse at all.

Honda added the Hybrid version of the CR-V to its lineup in 2020. The newly introduced hybrid trim slightly differs in styling, interiors, and safety but showcases ample aptitude for performance. Needless to say, the Hybrid offers enhanced fuel economy over the gasoline models which is its biggest selling point. This was one primary aspect behind the emergence of the CR-V hybrid altogether. 

Yes, it has the form and shape as well as the comfort and features of the regular CR-V but with a significantly lesser diet. The key to this formula though was the exact one seen with the Accord Hybrid. A 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle engine paired with an electric motor. Launched only in 2020 though, a few months back, the CR-V hybrid won/t be up with much of a surprise though for 2021. The 2021 Honda CR-V hybrid is mostly expected to be a carry-over model, let alone some minor changes. On that note, we take a quick look here at the 2021 Honda CR-V. 

What's New?

  • No significant changes for 2021

Expected Price and Release Date of the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid

Though Honda is yet to announce the expected release and price of the 2021 CR-V, we do have our optimistic assumptions. Expect the 2021 Honda CR-V to hit the stores around the fall of 2020 with an estimated starting price of $ 28,000.

What's Under the Hood of the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid?

The 2021  Honda CR-V would incorporate the same powerful yet efficient powertrain as seen in its 2020 model. This is the same engine that also powers the Accord Hybrid. We are talking about an Atkinson Cycle 2.0-liter inline-4 paired with an electric motor to churn up 212 hp combined output. Mated to a CVT, the powertrain truly serves the best of both worlds.

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid is powered by a 2.0L Petrol Hybrid motor

While the overall feel and drive-experience of the CR-V hybrid may not be better than the standard version, it does bring some energy and refinement. There is no shortage of power and torque at any given range and the CR-V hybrid has a good amount of reserve for on-demand services. No complaints with the CVT transmission and it's as smooth and quick in the hybrid as it is in the regular CR-V. 

Models

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid (Expected)

2020 Ford Escape SE Hybrid

2020 RAV4 Hybrid

MSRP

$27,750

$28,265

$28,100

Engine

2.0-liter inline-4 Electric/Hybrid

2.5-liter inline-4 Electric/Hybrid

2.5-liter inline-4 Electric/Hybrid

Drivetrain

AWD

FWD

AWD

Transmission

Automatic CVT

ECVT

CVT

Power (hp @ rpm)

212 @ 6,200

200 @ 6,250

219 @ 5,700

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

232 @ 0

155 @ 4,500

206 @ 3,600

0-60 MPH (sec)

8.2

8.7

7.5

Quarter mile (sec)

16.5

17.4

15.6

Sadly though, even with a good thrust down the rpm range, the CR-V hybrid doesn’t brush-up on its acceleration skills. Despite packing in significant power, the CR-V hybrid puts up an average 0-60 mph show of just 8.2 seconds. Thanks to the hybrid’s 201 lbs of added weight over an equivalent standard CR-V.  Among its rivals though, the Toyota RAV4 hybrid turns out to be the quickest with a 0-60 run of just 7.5-seconds. Thanks to the RAV4’s best-in-class power output and better weight distribution as well. 

How Well Does the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid Handle?

The 2021 CR-V Hybrid would provide a comfortable road experience to all. It has a controllable body roll, direct steering, and plenty of available power. The driver can modulate the crossover's driving behavior with the Sport, Eco, and EV modes. The Eco mode may be regretful for speed-seekers but could provide a generous 40 mpg mileage. Similarly, the EV mode is functional in the city at a maximum speed of 20 mph. Ths Sport mode makes the steering light and makes the throttle more responsive for easy overtakes. The engine delivers an unobtrusive sound with full throttle, and the power delivery is readily available with throttle application. 

2021 Honda CR-V handles well for an SUV this size

No surprise, it is a CR-V after all and it does behave like one on the roads. No weight-saving mechanism but the CR-V hybrid uses stiffer suspension to cope-up with its extra 201 lbs. As a result, the hybrid feels firm and planted on all occasions and enters into corners with a smile. Even with larger optional 19’ inch wheels, potholes are dealt with great silence and composure. No matter what be the version, regular or hybrid, the CR-V ensures a smooth and compliant ride, always. 

What are the expected MPG figures of the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid?

Optimal fuel efficiency is the biggest promise of hybrids and thankfully, the Honda CR-V hybrid aptly keeps up to its promise. With an economy of 38 combined mpg, the CR-V hybrid is far more frugal than its gasoline sibling. With no powertrain changes on tap, the 2021 Honda CR-V hybrid should deliver similar mpg figures as well. 

Models

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid (Expected)

2020 Ford Escape SE Hybrid

2020 RAV4 Hybrid

MPG (City)

40

44

41

MPG (Highway)

35

37

38

MPG (Combined)

38

41

40

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

14

14.2

14.5

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

560/490

625/525/582

595/551/580

Sadly though, the CR-V fails to impress when compared to its rivals. Its 38 combined mpg is the lowest among the segment. Though by a marginal degree, the Ford Escape Hybrid and Toyota RAV4 Hybrid offer better efficiency with 41 and 40 combined mpg respectively. The CR-V Hybrid’s added 201 lbs of weight is the culprit here for sure. 

How good are the interiors of the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid?

The five-seater 2021 CR-V Hybrid SUV would showcase a generous cabin space that is comfortable for people with a six-foot height. Very similar to that on the current 2020 model.  As usual, the standard trim would come with a cloth seat upholstery, whereas, higher trims would incorporate leather which does feel good and soft to touch. Needless to say, a clean and minimal cabin with good use of soft-touch plastics should be standard on the 2021 Honda CR-V as well. 

2021 Honda CR-V feels premium and well built on the inside

The seating position is comfortable with a good height that allows for great outward visibility. The seats themselves are nicely padded with good under-thigh support. The front seats don’t have the best bolstering in the segment but are god enough to hold you in place around tight corners. Moreover, you can also have the front seats with power-adjustability alongside heated functionality. The rear seats too have a comfortable recline-angle for longer journeys and can also be reclined for optimum comfort. 

Models

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid (Expected)

2020 Ford Escape SE Hybrid

2020 RAV4 Hybrid

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

40.1/57.9/41.3

40.0/57.6/42.4

39.5/57.8/41.0

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

39.2/55.6/40.4

39.3/56.0/38.9

39.5/56.4/37.8

Trunk Capacity (cubic feet)

33.2

30.7

37.6

Similar to its regular gasoline version, the CR-V hybrid also surprises you with its generous cabin space. It may not be the most spacious in its class but you will find enough around both its benches to stretch yourself. The Honda offers you a best in class front headroom and second-row legroom. Disappointingly though, what the CR-V hybrid trades off for its low-diet plan is its cargo space at the back. Unlike the 39.2 cu-ft of cargo space in the standard model, the CR-V hybrid opens up an average 33.7 cu-ft of space behind its rear seats. 

While its cargo space is still better than the Ford Escape but not as good as the class-leading RAV4’S 37.6 cu-ft. However, the CR-V fairly compensates that with a comfortable cabin and plenty of features and creature comforts. With unlikely re-touches, the 2021 CR-V’s interior attributes shall remain unchanged from 2020. Some of the interior highlights of the 2020 Honda CR-V hybrid are listed below for reference.

Interior Features:

  • 8-way power drivers and 4-way power-adjustable passengers seat
  • Leather upholstery
  • Heated front seats
  • Reclining and split-folding rear seatback
  • Climate controls
  • Audio and cruise controls on steering wheels
  • Electrically-powered leather steering wheel
  • Heated steering wheel
  • Interior air filtration

What About the Infotainment System of the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid?

The infotainment system of the 2021 CR-V Hybrid would consist of similar components as seen in the 2020 model. A 5-inch display in the lower trim and a 7.0-inch touchscreen display in the higher models. The system comes hooked with features like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, 6-speaker audio system, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and USB connectivity.  The higher trims also unlock a wireless device charger, 9-speaker audio, and in-built navigation. The touchscreen infotainment is sharp and crisp with detailed graphics and a clean interface as well. Within the comfortable reach of the driver, the infotainment system is pretty responsive and intuitive to use. Some of the highlights of the 2020 Honda CR-V’s infotainment suite are listed below for reference.

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid gets a functional 7-inch infotainment system

Infotainment Features:

  • 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • SiriusXM satellite radio
  • Bluetooth and USB connectivity
  • Wireless charging pad
  • 9-speaker audio system
  • Navigation

Will there be any changes on the exterior of 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid?

Though with the similar form and shape of its standard version, the Honda CR-V hybrid does get its distinctive visual cues. While the new updated 2020 Honda CR-V does get updated front styling with a redesigned bumper, the Hybrid is differentiated by a full LED fog lamps, blue Honda badges alongside three hybrid badges including one on each fender. 

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid gets minor styling tweaks to differentiate it from the regular CR-V

Rest everything remains mostly the same as the regular CR-V and the story should be no different for 2021. Change or not, the Honda CR-V is already one of the most handsome looking products in its class. Slim LED headlamps with reworked and pronounced bumper give it a sporty and modern look from the front. 

Models

2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid (Expected)

2020 Ford Escape SE Hybrid

2020 RAV4 Hybrid

Curb Weight (lbs)

3,649

3,554

3,710

Length (inches)

182.1

180.5

180.9

Width (inches)

73.0

74.1

73.0

Height (inches)

66.5

66.1

67.0

Ground Clearance (inches)

8.2

N/A

8.1

Wheelbase (inches)

104.7

106.7

105.9

At the rear, it's a CR-V any day with the distinctive vertical tail lamps, roof spoiler, and a chrome rear bumper. However, move up to the side and the low roofline and chrome-tinted window line converging into the roof gives it an elegant and premium appearance that is at home locking horns with the Stylish Ford and the rugged Toyota, the Honda CR-V has the perfect blend of style, premium-ness, and elegant presence. Some of the exterior highlights of the 2020 Honda CR-V are listed below for reference.

Exterior Features:

  • LED headlamps and fog lamps
  • Blue Honda badges alongside hybrid badging
  • Hands-free entry
  • Heated mirrors
  • Intermittent Windshield Wiper
  • Active Shutter Grille
  • Fin-Type-Roof-Mounted Antenna
  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Roof Rails
  • Dual Chrome Exhaust Finishers
  • 19’ inch wheels

Final Verdict

If you are out in the market looking for a comfortable and premium compact crossover with efficiency as your priority the Honda CR-V Hybrid should be a great pick for you. It's powerful, comfortable along with a premium interior layout. It also offers you great cabin space as well as a decent suite of standard features. While the CR-V hybrid might not be the best in one specific area, it has a very good blend of everything into it.

Also Read:

Here's everything you need to know about the upcoming 2021 Hyundai Tucson.

Take a look at the latest spy shots of the all-new 2021 Nissan Pathfinder.

Share this:  
#HondaCR-V#2021#Hybrid