Crossover SUV shoppers once had to trade a high seating position and terrific cargo-hauling capacity for increased fuel consumption. That’s no longer the case, as frugal but practical choices such as the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid prove.
With fuel economy ratings that best plenty of compact cars — not to mention nearly all SUVs — the 2021 CR-V oozes cool. Here’s a look at five of its coolest features:
1. Frugal without compromise
The 2021 CR-V Hybrid takes the decent fuel economy of the standard CR-V and notches it up considerably. The EPA says the CR-V Hybrid is rated at 40 mpg city, 35 highway, 38 combined — and that’s with standard all-wheel drive.
The standard CR-V is rated at 27/32/29 mpg with all-wheel drive. Over the course of a year of typical driving, the EPA says the Hybrid may cost $350 less. And there’s no way to put a price tag on the fact that you’re driving a greener vehicle.
2. Achieving 40 mpg is more about fun than it is a challenge
A big digital screen framed by the CR-V’s three-spoke steering wheel relays fuel economy information directly to the driver. Though it’s not quite as exciting as a video game, one of our editors found that trying to achieve top fuel economy can be a driving thrill.
“For me, it became a game to try to boost the car’s mileage,” Autotrader advice editor Renee Valdes said. “I learned to keep the car coasting to get more mpgs. The Honda CR-V Hybrid teaches you to drive differently, not to gun the gas pedal and to coast more. All that helped lift up the mpgs.”
3. The CR-V Hybrid looks, feels, and drives just like any other CR-V
If you don’t want your hybrid to make a big statement, the CR-V Hybrid is a great way to save fuel without too much flash. Only those well-versed on the CR-V will know to look for its subtly revised wheel designs and hybrid badging. Those in the know will spot its blue-accented Honda badge and its unique five-LED driving lamp design.
The CR-V Hybrid drives just like every other version of Honda’s five-seat SUV, meaning it has a comfortable ride, easy handling, and good underhood power. Its interior remains just as comfortable and well-wrought as the rest of the lineup, with nice touches such as textured soft-touch trim, detailed stitching, and a user-friendly infotainment system.
4. It’s available in a wide range of models for any budget
Unlike some rivals, the CR-V Hybrid can be had in three trim levels, which span around $6,000. Starting at about $31,500, the CR-V Hybrid EX offers more than just the essentials. It comes with collision-avoidance tech, blind-spot monitoring, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility, heated front seats, and even a power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory.
The EX-L costs around $34,300 and adds leather seats, a power tailgate, a heated steering wheel, and a higher-zoot audio system, plus a few other niceties.
Decadent without an exorbitant price tag, the Touring includes 19-inch wheels, parking sensors, navigation, automatic wipers, and a 330-watt stereo with nine speakers scattered through the cabin. It costs about $37,500.
5. The CR-V Hybrid doesn’t skimp on any of Honda’s typical goodness
In addition to all those standard features, the CR-V Hybrid is nearly as practical as a standard CR-V. Its interior area offers almost as much space, with only a small drop in maximum cargo-carrying capacity due to the size of its battery pack.
As for power, the CR-V Hybrid actually has a bit more than its standard gasoline-only counterpart. At 212 horsepower total, the hybrid CR-V has a 22 hp advantage over the standard model. The hybrid also offers a hefty torque upgrade that endows it with smooth off-the-line performance. Additionally, three drive modes –Econ, sport, and EV — allow drivers to tailor the CR-V Hybrid to the kind of driving they want to do.
Most importantly, that EV mode lets drivers lock the CR-V Hybrid into electric-only mode for shorter drives when its battery is fully charged up. Find a 2021 Honda CR-V For Sale