The hybrid version of the fifth-generation Honda CR-V, achieves 120g/km and 53.3mpg for the front-wheel drive model, and 126g/km and 51.4mpg for the four-wheel drive variant, the brand has announced.
These figures put the petrol-electric hybrid CR-V in league with diesel variants of rivals' large SUVs, such as the 1.6-litre diesel Nissan X-Trail (133g/km and 55.4mpg) and the Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI (131g/km and 56.5mpg).
The CR-V, which rivals the Volkswagen Tiguan, goes on sale in Autumn with Honda’s 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo petrol engine with a six-speed manual or CVT transmission, with prices starting at £25,995, and rising to £36,455 for the top-spec, CVT-equipped car. The hybrid, previewed by a CR-V Hybrid Prototype shown at the Frankfurt motor show will be introduced in early 2019.
There will be two powertrains available: a 1.5-litre turbocharged VTEC petrol engine, available with either a manual or CVT gearbox, or a hybrid 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol engine with two electric motors - one for propulsion and one electric generator motor - which was previewed by a prototype version at last year’s Frankfurt motor show. Honda UK boss Dave Hodgetts predicted that an equal split between petrol and hybrid sales in the UK would take three years.
The CR-V, which was revealed at Geneva motor show earlier this year, will be offered with the options of seven seats for the first time. Four trims are available - S, SE, SR and EX, with the cheapest S grade being two-wheel drive and five-seat only. The seven-seat car (the first time a third row has been offered on the CR-V), starts at £30,655, and is only available as a four-wheel drive car, with a choice of only SE or SR trims.
The new model does not get a diesel, a dramatic move given that 60% of current CR-V sales in the UK are diesel. Hodgetts said he believe plenty of people would turn to petrol instead, but added that "higher mileage drivers would wait for hybrid". Deliveries for the petrol CR-V start in autumn, while the hybrid - only available on the five-seat version - arrives in 2019.
The gearbox on the hybrid is a new single fixed-gear ratio transmission, which Honda claims ensures smoother torque delivery. A system called i-MMD (Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive) manages the powertrain, so drivers don’t have to switch between the three drive modes - EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive. The Atkinson cycle engine relies on the electric motor for low-end torque, but the motor can also assist the 2.0-litre petrol engine when required. The car’s underbelly has been specially sculpted to improve aerodynamics and improve fuel economy.
The brand describes the CR-V’s chassis as "the most sophisticated" one on the model yet, with the main goals being improved ride quality and better capability off-road.