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Honda CR-V e:PHEV

The independent definitive Honda CR-V e:PHEV video review
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    By Jonathan Crouch

    Honda's CR-V gets a PHEV option. Jonathan Crouch drives it.

    Ten Second Reviewword count: 54

    It's now possible to plug your Honda CR-V in. That's because the sixth generation version of this model gains a Plug-in Hybrid powertrain to sell alongside the full-Hybrid e:HEV engine. It offers impressive efficiency figures - if you can stretch to the asking price. Still want your upper mid-sized family crossover as an EV?

    Backgroundword count: 117

    Unsurprisingly, the core version of this sixth generation CR-V is an e:HEV full-Hybrid, but new for this improved design is the option of the Plug-in Hybrid powertrain we look at here. This allows this Honda to better match its arch rival, Toyota, though this top CR-V's been priced to match comparable versions of that conglomerate's posh Lexus NX rather than its more usual sparring partner, the Toyota RAV4. Both those rival models though offer considerably more power than a CR-V e:PHEV; and cost less. Can the intelligent design of this MK6 CR-V compensate? And would you want to pay the premium-style prices Honda wants to ask for this car if it did? Read on to find out.

    Driving Experienceword count: 311

    It's quite EV-like away from rest, especially if the 17.7kWh battery's been charged for its claimed 50 miles of range. Which, unless you advise the drive system otherwise, will always be prioritised before the long stroke Atkinson cycle 2.0-litre engine cuts in. As with the e:HEV Hybrid model, there's a 2-motor hybrid system with a 2-speed auto transmission and an output of 181bhp. But unlike the e:HEV version, the system only drives the front wheels. As with all CR-Vs, there are four main drive modes - 'Snow', 'Econ', 'Normal' and 'Sport', the latter adding what Honda hopes is a sporty buzz to proceedings. This PHEV variant adds two further drive mode settings, 'EV' and 'Tow', the latter reflecting the fact that you'd need the Plug-in Hybrid version with its 1,500kg braked towing weight (double that of the e:HEV) if you were to need to pull anything along with this car. There's a pleasingly 'big car' feel to progress, aided by the frequently-selective dampers - and perhaps by this model line's ever-increasing weight, nearly 2.0-tonnes in this PHEV model. Honda uses words like 'exhilarating' and 'sports car' when it comes to the handling of this SUV and we're not quite sure why because, as ever with this model line, the handling of this CR-V has been engineered to reduce the heartbeat rather than raise it. It doesn't feel in the least bit sporty, nor should it. But there are dynamic positives too - and for a typical CR-V owner, they'll probably be more significant. As long as you control yourself with the throttle pedal, refinement is excellent and the various power sources blend in and out very unobtrusively. The mixture between friction and regenerative braking is expertly judged. Body roll's decently controlled through the bends. And the lower window line and thin pillars make the car easy to manoeuvre in urban conditions.

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    Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen

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