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Since 1997, the Honda CR-V has been one of the original compact crossovers that started this never-ending trend of high-riding hatchbacks with all-wheel drive. Since then, it has been one of America’s favorite crossovers and still is to date. Frankly, it isn’t hard to see why it’s so loved. With supportive comfort creatures, positive driving habits and new standard, as well as optional features for 2020, its popularity only continues to get stronger.

A slight refresh into the new decade almost makes it difficult to tell the 2019 and 2020 models apart. With a minor facelift to the front, a new bumper and grille design cleans up the lines for a more current feel. However, the bigger updates come from beneath with a new hybrid powertrain option, a standard turbo-four engine, and Honda Sensing now standard on all trim levels.

Toyota has been hogging all the glory lately with their latest RAV4 Hybrid and Honda is ready to fight back with some minor hair pulling after the introduction of the CR-V Hybrid, which will include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors for a combined horsepower of 212. In this review however, the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is the star of this article. Dropping the entry-level 2.4-liter engine, the base model LX now receives the 1.5-turbo that was originally standard in all other trim options. Equipped with 190-horsepower, its only form of momentum is through a continuous variable transmission, also known as CVT. Its satisfactory power-band is sufficient for the daily needs of a common driver – achieving 8-seconds to 60-mph on the other hand is no bragging rights. While supporting one of the better CVT’s in the segment, its buzzy high-rev pitch and struggle to apply power at low end speeds deems a bore. All models come in front-wheel drive, but should all-wheel drive be needed, it’s available at a $1500 premium on all available trims.

In essence, its power application is its only drawback – everything else about the CR-V goes above the standard crossover expectations. With pleasant, direct steering application and a ride smooth enough to enjoy a cup of tea, the CR-V is quite the driving enchanter. Fuel economy is also quite the perk as we averaged 32.1-mpg on the highway during our 200-mile highway test and 28.1-mpg combined, though missing the EPA mark by .9 mpg’s, it’s still notable for an all-wheel drive crossover.

Inside, its modern, attractive style remains fresh given it’s already a few years old. The center console has been tweaked for better storage functionality.  The faux wood trim and brush aluminum accents are a nice contrast for an upscale presence in our top trimmed Touring. The seats are nicely formed that contour the body well with sufficient head and leg room in the rear and continuing to strive in the segment, the cargo area remains on of the best in class with easy to fold rear seats that lay completely flat.

Some of the updates featured on the refreshed CR-V may seem trivial like the addition of 19-inch wheels, a Qi-Wireless charging pad, updated LED head & fog lights and a heated steering wheel on the Touring models; however, the significant changes leans toward the more entry level LX. With the previously mentioned turbocharged engine, the LX also sees automatic high and low beam headlights, idle start/stop technology as well as the Hondas infamous safety system, Honda Sensing. This system incorporates forward collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, and lane keeping assist with lane departure warning all as standard option across all trim levels.

In the bigger picture, these minor updates end up making a huge impact. Supporting a popular vote among the compact crossover, the Honda CR-V continues to strive as the favored option when it comes to supporting the driver needs and desires not only in typical crossover fashion but in safety and technology.  


Model: 2020 Honda CR-V
Trim: Touring
Base Price: $25,050
As Tested: $35,845
Color: Sonic Gray Pearl


Engine: 1.5-liter Turbocharged 4-Cylinder
Power Output: 190-Horsepower | 179 lb-ft of Torque
Transmission: Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)
Drivetrain: All-Wheel Drive
Fuel Consumption: 27-City / 32-HWY / 29-Combined
SSB Tested: 28.1-MPG Combined / 32.1-MPG Highway (200 Mile Test)
Fuel Range: 360 Miles
0-60 MPH: ±7.5 Seconds


    • Yesssss, didn’t your friend Brad have that option on his first gen CR-V? Ha-ha. We need clever options like that. Skip the tech and luxury package, bring on the Snack Pack.

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