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Honda CR-V Hybrid

HY FIVE (some text hidden)

By Jonathan Crouch

The fifth generation Honda's CR-V makes plenty of sense in Hybrid form, thinks Jonathan Crouch

Ten Second Reviewword count: 59

In Hybrid form, Honda's fifth generation CR-V mid-sized SUV aims to reach a wider audience than the previous generation model's diesel engines ever did. This petrol/electric powerplant is quieter and greener - and it shares all the improvements of more conventional MK5 CR-V variants. Honda hopes that as a result, you'll find this a hard car not to like.

Backgroundword count: 179

Honda's thought long and hard about the kind of crossover this MK5 model CR-V should be. As a result, some pretty fundamental decisions have been taken. A key one lies in the fact that the brand is back with Hybrid power - of the non-plug petrol/electric variety - a key option to keep more frugally-minded folk in the CR-V fold now that diesel's been ditched. It can be had with or without AWD. A longer wheelbase with this fifth generation design has freed up more interior space, though not enough for this petrol/electric version to be able to offer the 7-seat option you can have on more conventional CR-V variants. The cabin is of much higher quality, as the Japanese maker seeks to also position plusher versions of this car as credible alternatives for buyers currently looking at premium brand models in this segment. Plus as you'd expect, there are smart looks, strong standards of safety and plenty of equipment features. But is this hybrid CR-V a better bet than the old diesel version? We're about to find out.

Driving Experienceword count: 319

The Hybrid version of this Honda arguably represents a more complete CR-V package than its conventional 1.5-litre petrol stablemate, if you can afford the significant price premium necessary for it. Thanks to a combination of electrification and a larger-capacity 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine which together produce 315Nm of torque, progress in this model is more relaxed. Something further aided by the fact that the non-negotiable auto gearbox you have to have with hybrids in this case ditches a CVT 'rubber band' transmission for a proper fixed-gear set-up that allows a direct connection between the moving parts. For the time being, Honda hasn't used its 'i-MMD' Hybrid tech to deliver a Plug-in package to CR-V Hybrid buyers, but it's a pretty sophisticated set-up nonetheless, the combustion powerplant aided by two electric motors, one for propulsion and another for generating electricity that gets stored in a lithium-ion battery. Depending on road conditions and the way you want to drive, the powertrain switches between three modes - 'Hybrid', 'EV' and 'Engine'. Only in the least efficient 'Engine' drive mode is the petrol motor connected directly to the wheels - which is the setting you'd be in if you were to replicate this variant's claimed rest to 62mph sprint time of around 9s or the top speed of 112mph. For far more of the time though, you'll be using electric assistance to a lesser or greater extent. In 'Hybrid' drive, the engine's there to supply power to the generator, which in turn provides it to the propulsion motor. Finally, in its 'EV' setting, this Honda will be fully electric, though your operational range under milk float mobility when the battery is fully charged will be only 1.2-miles. You can also use paddles provided behind the steering wheel to maximise engine braking energy regeneration, so charging up the battery faster and increasing the amount of time the system can switch away from petrol power.

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Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Hybrid or Electric Cars

Performance
70%
Handling
60%
Comfort
60%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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