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There doesn't seem to be much here on the hybrid (I guess because it's not available in the USA yet) so I thought I'd post some notes and thoughts that might help anyone considering one in the future.

It's a bit long, so TL;DR - we really like and it's working well. Very minor criticisms.

Bit of background: this is our 3rd CR-V. Our previous cars (2008 Gen 2 and 2011 Gen 3 model years )were both diesels. We never really liked diesel, but both cars were ex-demo and when you buy ex-demo, you get what you get. We made a very definite decision that we wanted hybrid this time.

We like CR-Vs - they're big inside (this is the UK - our "big" is different from most of you people :) ), easy to drive and have been really reliable for us. The only non-diesel hybrid competition is the Toyota RAV4, but it had nothing compelling to pull us away from Honda. The big sellers over here in SUVs are Nissan and Mazda (smaller) and then you go BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo (*much* more expensive). And they're all diesel hybrids.

We've both been driving since the '70s and with manual gearboxes apart from the odd hire car.

We'd decided on the EX level (top of the range here) because it has: glass roof, driver seat memory and (bonus) the HUD. Over here, the safety features are there even low down the range - going up gets you (progressively) leather seats, better stereo and climate control, CarPlay/Android Play. The glass roof is a big deal for us, so we had no choice in the range.

We ended up with (another) demonstrator because EX level hybrids are like hens' teeth her - the waiting list for new is to October. This one had 2,600 miles when we took it..

Picked it up from our local dealer last Saturday and we've done about 300 miles since - a mix of urban/residential, winding rural and motorway.

General impressions

As expected, very well put together with good fit and finish. We're very aware of the styling changes over our previous car (6.5 years makes a lot of difference!) and we like them - with one minor exception. For some reason, incomprehensible to normal people, Honda have chosen to add some very cheesy cake wood trim to the interior. It just doesn't go with the car. It's the kind of think makers used to do in the '70s and '80s to persuade you that you were getting fine British craftsmanship. Rovers and Jaguars were leaders in the field. There's an option for silver time instead (stick-on, I expect) but we haven't explored it yet.

Seat design is very different from the Gen 3. More substantial in feel. Minor gripe - the seat cushions are a little shorter front to back (or maybe the backrest is deeper, pushing farther forward). Not a big thing but I notice it.

The dash and controls are a mess, IMO. Moving to entirely digital means that visual clarity between different elements of the info display is lost, and also means an explosion of small buttons in tight clusters. Both are potential distractions when you're driving. The information display is especially awful. Speed, fuel and battery levels and drive mode are fixed, but prime position goes to a huge thing to tell you how the drive battery is charging and how much power you're using. It's like giving pride of place to your current fuel consumption - interesting and useful, but not the most important thing to have in front of you when you're on the road.

Both of us keep reaching for the non-existent gear lever and handbrake - everything in this area is buttons. No complaints - just need practice.

Driving and performance

It's quiet. I mean really quiet. You hit the power button and there's some beeping and flashing and then ... silence. Put it in reverse to back out of the drive and suddenly ... it's still silent (incidentally, the adjustable view rear camera is great). At this kind of speed, it's operating all electric. Move into Drive, and pull away slowly, still electric, still silent. Such a glorious contrast to a cold diesel engine.

Power comes from a combination of electric and petrol engines. In default (Hybrid) drive, you get electric-only for slow driving, In moving around town, the petrol engine drives a generator that keeps the battery charge up so the electric motor can provide drive. In hard acceleration, the petrol engine also provides drive. There's an EV option (electric only - good for only 1.2 miles, then you get petrol, like it or not (better than being stranded, of course). There's a Sport mode, which is basically all petrol. There's an Economy mode too, but I haven't explored it yet.

Pickup from a standing start is very good (we have some tight, busy junctions here where you need to take advantage of quite small gaps in traffic) and very smooth. When you pish, you can hear the petrol engine over-revving (less so in Sport mode). Driving around town is a delight - quiet, smooth and stop-start traffic is really very relaxing.

One real benefit of the design - you get the benefit of auto stop-start in slow traffic, without that tiny delay while the engine restarts. Pickup is instant (electric). With straight petrol/diesel, I hate the restart delay. None of that here.

Winding rural roads are nice - there's less roll and more direct-feel steering than on our Gen 3. It's not a sports car, but you can get a bit of a hustle on. It's taking a while to get used to the fact that you don't get engine braking. You can simulate it using steering wheel paddles - that's great for control on a long downhill, but less so when you just want to lift off for a bend. We'll get used to it eventually, but it's an adjustment.

Motorways are very nice indeed. There's hardly any engine noise, even though the petrol engine is awake and working. There's no rev counter (or maybe there is but I haven't been able to find it in amongst the galaxy of display options), but at 70mph (legal limit) the engine feels as if it's revving fairly low - maybe 2500. That's just an impression - it's quiet enough anyway.

Acceleration feels better than the diesel, but that's partly down to not having to change gears - the diesel didn't have much range in first/second gear, which made the aforementioned busy junction a little more problematic.

Fuel consumption

We've done a couple of trips to a client of mine of about 70 miles each way - starts in town, 20 miles rural, 30 miles high-speed road, the rest urban and we're getting about 44 mpg (British gallons) in Hybrid mode. That compares very well with our previous diesels - it may turn out to be a bit better. Effectively, we're getting the same or maybe slightly longer range on a full tank. Bonus - petrol's cheaper than diesel (tax on diesel has been rising for years).

Other observations

I think the design of the dash info display and controls as a user interface is really very poor. I don't know why the Japanse can't do this better - they do so many other design jobs well. It's the same with cameras and other electronic devices.

You can get to what you want, but it's moe work and takes more thought than it should.

The touch-screen for navigation, entertainment and setup works well enough, but suffers the same UI design issues as the main displays. Sound quality from the sound system is very good. CarPlay works really well. I haven't really used the Honda sat nave yet - I like iPhone navigation and it integrates really well.

You lose a bit of boot (trunk) space to the drive batteries, and there's no spare tyre - just a get-you-hom repair foam spray and basic electric tyre pump. You also lose the mid=level shelf in the cargo space, which is a shame. On the plus side, the cargo net we bought for our first CR-V fits - woo-hoo, £28 saved!

The glass roof opens (nice). We like keyless entry. No keyless locking, but you do get auto-closing of windows and roof when you lock - that's a really nice thing.

Thoughts on hybrid

We're really very pleased indeed with the hybrid drive - it's exactly what we were hoping for. Quiet and clean, but with no performance penalty. Obviously it'll be a while before we can assess reliability. The driving experience is a little odd to us, with decades of manual shift behind us, but my other half is happy to say goodbye to the clutch pedal :).

Overall

Big step up from the Gen 3, plus a very nice hybrid drive. There' a premium for hybrid power and, if you spend your days flogging up and down motorways, it doesn't give you much. But if you do a lot of town driving and you appreciate the quietness (and have the cash), it's worth it.

Hope this is helpful to someone - sorry it's so long.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Update - further thoughts after 12-month service.

We've had the car for 8 month snow and it's just been in for tis 12-month service (we bought it ex-demo at 4 months old)

It's been completely reliable in all weathers (not that the weather. The only minor niggle is that the infotainment unit sometimes goes a bit random when we're using CarPlay navigation - it'll switch to music, or the brightness slider will appear without warning.

We're in Economy (hybrid) drive almost all the time - the routes we're driving don't benefit from anything else. On the rare occasions we try "Sport" mode, we're quite impressed with how responsive the car is. It' not a sports car by any stretch, but it's responsive and lively. I only ever use it to get out of trick situations (emerging onto a busy road from a. side road, for example).

Fuel economy is steady at around 45mpg (UK gallons) without making any effort to keep it down. Everything works. Very happy
 

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Fuel economy is steady at around 45mpg (UK gallons) without making any effort to keep it down. Everything works. Very happy
YAY, another UK CR-V member here!

Great details Nick, appreciate you taking the time write it all out.

I am intrigued about your fuel economy, especially since I passed on the Hybrid to go for the 1.5 CVT.

Just this past weekend, I did a 260-odd mile jaunt from Manchester to Bournemouth. I drove sensibly, without the ECON button engaged and completed the trip in just over 5.5 hours, not withstanding average speed cameras and being stuck behind tractors galore around the Cotswolds and Salisbury......and the trip computer showed me averaging 44mpg.

I really should have taken a photo of the screen. Allowing for even a 10% margin of error, to get 39-40mpg from the 1.5 CVT almost justifies my reasoning for not paying the extra premium for the Hybrid.

That said, the only issue I took with the Hybrid beyond price and fuel economy, was that it doesnt come with the larger 19" alloys as my car has. Yours too is the top spec EX model like mine, but has the 18" wheels that come on the SR and lower spec SE models.

Between that and the total deal breaker of no spare wheel, the Hybrid just wasnt for me a sensible option to go for. But I am genuinly pleased on seeing your write up how much you are enjoying yours - and I do agree, its leagues ahead of the crappy recycled RAV4 in every conceivable way ? :)
 

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Yes. With a spare tire the CR-V would be better than the RAV-4, especially since the Toyota has such uncomfortable front seats.

Toyota was able to make an Hybrid and keep the spare ... hello? Honda

I know, I know, "you don't really need a spare these days." Personally only needed a spare twice in many decades ... thank God.
 

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45 UK mpg is 37 US mpg.....

The UK gallon is 4.5 liters, the US gallon is 3.8 liters or litres depending on which side of the Atlantic you are on.
 

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Yes. With a spare tire the CR-V would be better than the RAV-4, especially since the Toyota has such uncomfortable front seats.

Toyota was able to make an Hybrid and keep the spare ... hello? Honda

I know, I know, "you don't really need a spare these days." Personally only needed a spare twice in many decades ... thank God.
I have used the spare in the Forester twice in the first 6 months of ownership. Nail magnet.

It's full sized and it's awesome.
 

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I'm happy to say my experience of the Hybrid mirrors Nicks and fuel consumption currently sits at 53mpg which is a mix of long and short distance driving. The car has met all expectations and my only grumble is the infotainment setup which never ceases to frustrate.

Although the car perfectly suits my needs there's a couple of design shortcomings which I think may affect sales in the US. The lack of a spare wheel, the limited 750kg towing capacity and no seven seat option coupled with the additional sales premium may be more important to the US market than the European.
 

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.... my only grumble is the infotainment setup which never ceases to frustrate.
Agreed - it is the one universal flaw in current Honda's (in the UK at least...). The size of the screen and wasted bezel is silly. Hopefully some aftermarket products emerge!

On a sidenote @Charlie1960 - were you given any clarity on the warranty for the Hybrid battery life at all?

When I enquired, I was informed it was just the stock manufacturer 3 years / 90,000 miles - which I thought was pretty tight fisted. Curious if you were told the same/different etc.
 

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I had a 2008 Civic Hybrid, I wouldn't buy another hybrid
That was 12 years ago, and 4 generations of Honda hybrid designs ago.

Honda took a long time to get their act together on hybrids.. but based on seeing the current generation Accord hybrid (for which the CRV hybrid is the same core design, just with AWD) they have a very good implementation now days.

Stop living locked in the past. :)
 

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That was 12 years ago, and 4 generations of Honda hybrid designs ago.

Honda took a long time to get their act together on hybrids.. but based on seeing the current generation Accord hybrid (for which the CRV hybrid is the same core design, just with AWD) they have a very good implementation now days.

Stop living locked in the past. :)
Agreed.

And totally off-topic, it's a great Jethro Tull song:

 

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Funny to see you mention about the wood trims, that was the only bug I found and had it changed when buying my 2019 CR-V Hybrid. It looks by far better with the steel ones.
Fully agree with the driving (almost all the time ECON and SPORT just for the fun) and very decent fuel consumption, despite having the AWD version.
 

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Some of you should start getting used to the idea that ALL manufacturers are going to stop including spare tires on vehicles to save weight and use that space for something else.

Sent from my LG-H700 using Tapatalk
Well to me, safety and security is more important than weight savings. Toyota was able to keep the spare in the redesigned RAV4 Hybrid.
Acadia
 

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Some of you should start getting used to the idea that ALL manufacturers are going to stop including spare tires on vehicles to save weight and use that space for something else.

Sent from my LG-H700 using Tapatalk
While true, all OEMs, Honda included, always offer spare tyre kits too.

My last car, a 10G 2019 Civic Prestige, did not come with a spare wheel either. As part of the deal for that car, I got the dealer to install a spare for me otherwise I was quite prepared to walk away. So while many OEMs will stop supplying cars with spares, dealers will invariably find that many will not sign on the dotted line until they factor it into a deal.

In the case of the CR-V Hybrid, the lack of a spare was a total deal killer - especially when you consider the rubbish RAV4 has one and thats a Hybrid too....
 

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Not surprised they don't supply a spare, that's the modern way. Last time I used a spare was 1985 when my daughter was a baby and I had to empty the boot out in the rain to get to the wheel. To me not bothered about spare due to the fact I've carried numerous lumps of alloy and rubber around for many years which never saw the light of day.

What surprises me is that there is no storage for a spare so that if your in that way inclined you cant source and safely stow an aftermarket spare. To me that is stupid and will affect sales.
 

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Maybe someone will mfg. a mount so you can mount a spare standing up on the inside, like the old Jeeps Cherokee and Blazers.
 
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