Honda is bringing the hybrid version of its top-selling CR-V to U.S. showrooms early next year and will manufacture the electrified version of the compact crossover at its Indiana plant, the company said Wednesday.
The hybrid version will incorporate the styling and equipment updates coming to all 2020 CR-Vs.
The CR-V Hybrid went on sale in Europe this year to mostly positive reviews. It uses the two-motor hybrid powertrain shared with the Accord Hybrid in the U.S., Honda said, and promises substantially improved fuel efficiency over the gasoline version of the CR-V. The Accord Hybrid sedan and smaller Insight hybrid sedan are made in the U.S.
The automaker will invest $4.2 million and add 34 jobs to support production of the CR-V Hybrid at its Greensburg, Ind., plant, Honda said. Its Russells Point, Ohio, plant will manufacture the electric power unit, and its plant in Anna, Ohio, will make the 2.0-liter engine that the CR-V shares with the Accord Hybrid.
Honda also announced a freshening of all CR-V variants for 2020, with equipment and engine improvements to the base LX model that bring it more in line with the more expensive trims. Pricing for 2020 models was not announced.
"In addition to the new hybrid-electric variant, major upgrades to the 2020 CR-V include bolder front and rear styling, redesigned wheels and standard Honda Sensing safety and driver-assisted technology," Honda said. The safety features had been unavailable on the base trim, Honda said.
The base gasoline version of the CR-V also now gets the same turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the upper trims. Previously, the base model received a nonturbo engine with lower performance and fuel economy. The gasoline versions of the 2020 CR-V go on sale in the fall.
Honda said it plans to have two-thirds of its global auto sales come from electrified vehicles by 2030. In North America, the brand is focused on hybrid technology to achieve fuel efficiency and emission goals. Honda also sells small numbers of the Clarity plug-in hybrid sedan and has a lease-only Clarity EV.
In the first eight months of the year, Honda said it sold 42,270 Accord Hybrid, Insight and Clarity units combined, for year-on-year growth of 68 percent. The third-generation Insight compact was re-engineered as a more mainstream model for the 2019 model year after the second generation was discontinued in 2014.
The CR-V Hybrid's main competitor will be the recently re-engineered version of Toyota's RAV4 Hybrid now on sale. Toyota has announced that it will start making the hybrid version of the compact crossover at its plant in Georgetown, Ky., next year as it seeks to increase hybrid crossover sales substantially in North America.