With the current CR-V in its hybrid version, Honda relies on a combination of a powerful electric motor with 184 hp and 315 Newton meters of torque, which is coupled with an in-line four-cylinder internal combustion engine with 145 hp. This drive system is coupled with a continuously variable CVT transmission and is controlled by the i-MMD (Intelligent Multi Mode Drive) used by Honda. With three driving modes, all everyday requirements are automatically regulated.
In Germany, the Honda CR-V, as an SUV, tends to lead a life in a niche. The first generation came on the market in 1996 with a 2-liter petrol engine. A diesel engine followed in 2004. And since 2018, the current full hybrid version has been in the range as a replacement for the diesel. Conceptually, the model was adapted with a view to the market for the USA. This can be seen primarily in the generous amount of space in the interior. Large legroom for the passengers in the rear, an extensive trunk and a permitted payload of a full 620 kg speak for the touring and travel capabilities of the CR-V.
With the rear bench seat folded down, the loading area increases to 1,80 meters. This also enables many transports from bicycles to furniture. Unfortunately, the trailer load of 750 kg is relatively modest for the large format. The turning circle of almost 12 meters when maneuvering is correspondingly extensive. And with a width of 2,13 meters, the narrowed motorway lanes can only be driven through with concentration.
First take a seat and let your gaze wander over the fittings. The seats are well shaped with a firm side support. The multifunction steering wheel is classically equipped with audio functions on the left spoke and adaptive cruise control on the right spoke. The infotainment system in the center console is clearly laid out. It is a bit awkward to use, the touch surfaces react with a slight time delay. The controls for the air conditioning are arranged directly below and have a clear control system for the air and heating functions, including the seat heating. The temperature selection is only shown in the display above. The operation of the many buttons is arranged somewhat diffusely, some switching elements are arranged on the left behind the steering wheel and not directly in the driver's field of vision.
The combustion engine as a generator
The rides in the Honda CR-V have their very own character. While most full hybrid versions, such as Toyota, use the internal combustion engine as the main drive source, the Honda uses the electric motor as the drive source for the four-wheel drive vehicle. In addition, there is a second electric motor as a pure generator under the bonnet. The combustion engine serves as a power supply unit and the waste heat can support heating functions in the colder months.
This special configuration can be operated in three driving modes. In pure electric mode ("EV"), the electric motor drives the vehicle autonomously, powered by the battery. Unfortunately, this only results in a very short driving pleasure of up to 3 kilometers.
The most common mode in everyday operation is the hybrid drive ("Hybrid-Drive"), here the gasoline engine drives the smaller electric motor that works as a generator. The generated electrical energy supplies the large electric motor. In combination with the continuously variable CRV transmission, this results in a very indirect driving experience; the pressure on the accelerator pedal always results in a noticeable delay in performance when driving.
Finally, when the power requirement is high, there is also the combustion mode ("Engine Drive"), in which a direct connection between the combustion engine and the drive axles is switched by means of a lock-up clutch. The overall system creates a very complex and constantly changing driving experience. First and foremost, drivers who rely heavily on defensive cruising feel really comfortable in this concept.
Consumption Honda CR-V Hybrid
In view of the complex drive concept, the question remains whether this has a noticeable effect on consumption. In autumnal conditions, mostly between 5 and 15 degrees outside temperature, our test car consumes between 7 and 8 liters of super. In the end, there is no significant potential for savings. Honda tries at least in the form of green digital leaves on the display. As the driver drives more environmentally conscious, there will be a more lush green in the display.
Anyone who can make friends with the generous values such as sufficient space, long wheelbase and typical SUV properties will find the CR-V Hybrid an ideal companion for the entire family or for leisure activities that take up a lot of space. First and foremost, it is a vehicle for relaxed cruising on country roads and highways.
Test from autumn 2020
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