Extended Test: 2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid review

Can a hybrid SUV combine the best features of the best family cars?

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Specifications

  • Model 2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD
  • Price £38,280
  • Price with options £38,830
  • Colour Modern Steel (grey)
  • Cost options fitted Metallic paint £550
  • Motor 1993cc, four-cylinder petrol with electric motor
  • Combined power output 181bhp @ 6,200rpm
  • Torque Engine: 129 lb ft @ 4,000rpm / electric motor: 232 Ib ft
  • Kerb weight (DIN/EU) 1,726kg
  • Towing capacity 600kg (unbraked) / 750kg (braked)
  • Fuel tank capacity 57 litres (12.5 gallons)
  • Luggage capacity 497 – 1,638 litres
  • Top speed 112mph
  • 0-62mph 9.2sec
  • Fuel consumption (WLTP combined cycle) 38.2mpg
  • CO2 emissions (NEDC1126g/km
  • Road tax1 £160 for first year; £135 a year for years 2-6 (
  • BIK tax payable (2019/20) 29%; £2,208 (20%) or £4,416 (40%)
  • Insurance group 24

1 Valid for cars registered before April 1, 2020

 

Test details

Test period December 2019 – July 2020
Starting mileage 318 miles

 

Updates

January 13, 2020: The search for the perfect family car continues

 

January 13, 2020: The search for the perfect family car continues

Extended Test: 2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid review

In the quest to find the perfect family car, I have been valiantly subjecting the Mills clan to cars of all shapes and sizes. More significantly, in an age where Greta Thunberg is across the front page of every newspaper and #trending across social media sites the world over, we have been experimenting with how those cars are powered.

There has been Audi’s A3 e-tron, a posh hatchback, complete with a plug-in hybrid petrol-electric system that meant we could drive around with a halo over our heads, bragging about the average fuel economy of 70mpg-plus that made other drivers feel queasy the moment you mentioned it.

Next came a diesel-powered people carrier, in the shape of the Renault Grand Scenic, a car that’s about the size of a mid-range estate but comes with much more room to swing a cat and better seating arrangements. It was fantastic value but you couldn’t help but feel the public never lusted after a people carrier, whereas SUVs really have caught and held their attention.

Which is why a Skoda Kodiaq came next. The big, seven-seat SUV came with a high-powered diesel engine and four-wheel drive, so we could go places other drivers would fear to venture, even if the truth is it rarely faced anything more taxing than a sandy car park at a beach. It was a wonderful family car but as concerns grew over the impact of the true emissions of diesel cars, the Skoda made way for a petrol-powered Volvo.

Not any old Volvo. A V60 T5, which was the flagship version of Volvo’s most handsome car in, well, as long as we can remember. Almost everything about Volvo’s mid-size estate car gave you that warm inner glow – until you checked the car’s fuel economy. It couldn’t get close to a diesel or hybrid.

So perhaps the latest long-term test car, a Honda CR-V Hybrid (read our first drive review here), can take most of the best ingredients that have made those various family cars appealing and combine them all into one?

The Hybrid is here because Honda has turned its back on diesel fuel. The Japanese company is phasing it out from its portfolio, so anyone that wants a CR-V must choose between a regular petrol-powered model or the hybrid.

Its on-paper credentials suggest it should take up from where diesel left off quite nicely. The fuel economy is claimed to be 38.2mpg and CO2 emissions are 126g/km, figures that should best the Skoda Kodiaq diesel.

The CR-V on extended test is the four-wheel drive version (Honda likes to call it all-wheel drive, or AWD) in top-spec EX trim. There are precious few factory-fit options available with this version, so ours just wears Modern Steel grey metallic paint, which adds £550 to the £38,280 list price.

Happily, though, the EX is, in American parlance, fully loaded. You’ll want for little in terms of creature comforts – there’s even a heated steering wheel, heated back seats, head-up display and panoramic (opening) sunroof.

And I for one think the fifth-generation model is the best looking CR-V yet. The longer wheelbase gives it a better stance, the back of the car finally looks right and there’s a just enough attitude in the design language to make it the sort of car that warrants a second look.

But boy does the interior have a sensible slippers vibe, which is something of a comedown after the Scandi chic of the Volvo V60. Still, that’s not putting off friends and readers, if the reaction on social media is anything to go by. Several people immediately asked my thoughts on the CR-V Hybrid, because they’re thinking of buying one instead of a diesel SUV. Give me a couple of weeks and those first thoughts will be shared here.

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2019 Honda CR-V Hybrid review