Why we ran it: Is the world’s best-selling SUV still as comfy, refined, spacious and dynamically competent in hybrid form?
Life with a Honda CR-V Hybrid: Month 5
Our petrol-electric Honda departs after months of hard labour with a busy videographer. Did it rise to the challenge? - 2nd January 2019
Blessed. It was the cringeworthy hashtag of 2019, sprayed without irony all over Instagram or whichever social media platform you find yourself on. In this job, we are blessed. Blessed, because we get to drive all manner of cars, and it’s something we don’t take for granted. There’s a strange phenomenon that comes with this territory, though.
Occasionally, at a fuel station, we might be filling up the tank of a fresh set of wheels and attract the attention of a fellow petrolhead. Inevitably, she or he wants to know what size engine it’s got, what’s the mpg and how I, lowly videographer, could possibly afford one. Meekly explaining that I don’t own it, I’m always happy to oblige as far as my knowledge will stretch (not that far – see ‘lowly videographer’, above) and let the intrigued party poke around inside. It has happened to me in Porsches, Lamborghinis, all manner of exotica.
But I didn’t expect it in the Honda CR-V Hybrid. That’s not because it’s not a supercar, but I think I underestimated the level of interest in this car. That’s my fault because, as I wrote six months ago in the opening report of this test, the CR-V is the biggest-selling SUV in the world.
Perhaps I should have foreseen the interrogations coming my way on forecourts up and down the country. An HGV driver stopped me at the pump on a foggy night last month and asked if the hybrid version was the one to go for. He’d had every generation of CR-V to date and was just picking which to go for next. And I suppose, after six months, that’s what I’m here to answer.
There’s undoubtedly a lot of merit to the hybrid derivative. It’s smooth to drive, with its mind-boggling eCVT gearbox. The torque from the electric motor gives you loads of response from low revs, so it’s easily brisk enough for most situations. And it’s also a peaceful place to be at low speed around town.