2020 Honda CR-V First Drive Review: Here’s What Has Changed!

Crossovers are king, and the Honda CR-V is no exception in the brand’s lineup. The Civic and Accord are still mainstays in the range, but this is an example of the model that 384,168 people bought in the U.S. last year. The 2020 Honda CR-V is more of a light refresh, since Honda last redesigned it in 2017. While we’re not far into this generation, some changes were in order to keep it up to snuff with the segment leader, the Toyota RAV4. In this video, Roman heads to Hilton Head, South Carolina, where Honda invited us to try out the 2020 Honda CR-V and see what’s new.

The gasoline model went on sale in late 2019, and the skin-deep changes are by no means radical from what we knew before. Honda changed up the front fascia and blacked out the center part of the grille, while revamping the taillights and rear fascia a bit as well. This time around, however, there’s a whole new model in the 2020 Honda CR-V lineup. In March 2020, we’ll have a new CR-V Hybrid model, which will offer buyers an alternative to the gas-powered version and the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which is currently one of the most efficient crossovers on the market. The CR-V Hybrid uses a 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle engine coupled with an electric drivetrain, with which Honda is aiming to get at least 40 mpg.

2020 Honda CR-V First Drive Review: Here's What Has Changed!
The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid will go on sale in March. [Photo: Honda]

One engine option

When it comes to the rest of the 2020 Honda CR-V lineup, the 1.5-liter turbocharged unit from before is the only remaining option. The old naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter engine is gone, while the turbo engine carries on with 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. Like before, Honda fits that engine to a continuously variable transmission. That does aid the car’s fuel economy though, where all-wheel drive models are EPA-rated at 29 mpg combined. Front-wheel drive models manage 1 mpg better.

Honda Sensing standard across the range

Apart from the CR-V Hybrid, another big change for 2020 centers on safety. Honda Sensing now comes standard across the range, even on base LX versions. The safety suite includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.

While safety tech is strong across the range, you’ll have to get into the EX or higher to take advantage of the infotainment tech on offer. That’s where you get a 7.0-inch system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Lower trims still get cloth interiors, while higher models get leather seats as optional or standard equipment. The 2020 Honda CR-V Touring, such as we had, comes with wireless charging and navigation as standard.

Pricing and availability

Pricing for the 2020 Honda CR-V starts at $26,145 including destination. That’s for a base front-wheel drive LX, while top-end Touring models level off around $35,845. Between, Honda retained the EX and EX-L trims. The standard model is on sale now. If you’re waiting for the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid, it will go on sale in March.

Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more Honda CR-V news, views and real-world reviews.

Honda brought us to South Carolina as part of the HGTV Dream Home 2020 Giveaway. Check out more on this year’s entry below: