New Honda CR-V eHEV Experience Good Car but Lacks Competitive Price

Honda CR-V eHEV is a good car but has an uncompetitive price

【PhoneAuto Test Drive】The Honda CR-V is a very popular compact SUV, with over 10 million sold worldwide since its launch in 1995. Just recently, Dongfeng Honda brought the new 2023 CR-V family, which includes three different power modes: gasoline, e:HEV hybrid, and e:PHEV plug-in hybrid.

The all-new Honda CR-V

Among these three models, the CR-V e:HEV, starting at 199,900 yuan, is equipped with Honda’s latest e:HEV hybrid system. This is the first hybrid SUV model that Honda has introduced to the Chinese market. It is also an important achievement of Honda’s “Seeing the Future” new energy brand strategy, aiming to provide consumers with higher performance, lower fuel consumption, and a better driving experience. So, what is the driving experience of this car like? Let’s experience it together below.

The all-new CR-V e:HEV hybrid version adopts the Honda family’s design language in appearance, with a large chrome grille and sharp LED headlights creating a stylish and dynamic visual effect. LED daytime running lights and fog lights are also equipped on both sides of the front bumper, adding a sense of hierarchy and recognition to the front face. The body lines are smooth and tensioned, and the waistline extends from the front fender to the taillights, outlining a sporty atmosphere.

The all-new Honda CR-V e:HEV

The new car’s wheels also adopt a new design, with a size of 18 inches or 19 inches (top models), adding a sense of sportiness. The rear of the car is simple and generous, with LED taillights echoing the front headlights, and a dual-sided exhaust layout. In terms of size, the length, width, and height of the all-new CR-V e:HEV are 4703mm/1866mm/1680mm, with a wheelbase of 2701mm, which is the same as the gasoline version. Overall, the all-new CR-V e:HEV continues the classic style of the CR-V in appearance, while adding some technology and sporty elements. The model we test drove is starry blue, which is a very young and fashionable color, suitable for consumers who pursue personality and quality.

Entering the car, we can see that the interior design of the all-new CR-V e:HEV is basically the same as the fuel version, but there are also some differences. The center console adopts a suspended 10.1-inch LCD screen, which supports mobile phone interconnection functions such as Apple CarPlay and Baidu CarLife, and integrates Honda’s latest Honda CONNECT intelligent system, providing a variety of convenient online services. The instrument panel is a 10.2-inch full LCD display (7 inches for low-end models), which can display information such as the working status of the hybrid system, energy flow, and fuel consumption. The steering wheel adopts a three-spoke design, with comfortable grip and reasonable button layout. The gear shift area adopts electronic shift buttons, saving space and adding a sense of future.

The all-new Honda CR-V e:HEV

In terms of seats, the all-new CR-V e:HEV adopts a 5-seat layout. The front seats have good wrapping and support, and the driver’s seat also has electric adjustment and memory function. The rear seats have spacious legroom and headroom, and the central armrest is equipped with cup holders. The overall riding experience is good.

The all-new Honda CR-V e:HEV

In terms of power, the biggest highlight of the all-new CR-V e:HEV is the latest e:HEV strong electric hybrid system from Honda, which consists of a 2.0L Atkinson cycle engine and a single electric motor. The maximum power of the engine is 110 kW, the maximum torque is 175 N·m, the maximum power of the electric motor is 135 kW, and the maximum torque is 335 N·m. The system has a maximum comprehensive power of 158 kW and a maximum torque of 315 N·m. The transmission system uses an E-CVT continuously variable transmission, which still maintains a smooth shift feel.

The driving experience of the all-new CR-V e:HEV is the focus of our test drive, after all, it is a hybrid model and is very different from traditional fuel-powered models. We experienced the power, handling, comfort, and quietness of this car at different road conditions and speeds. Overall, we are quite satisfied with its performance.

First of all, in terms of power, the all-new CR-V e:HEV has a very smooth and powerful power output. Whether it is starting, accelerating or overtaking, you can feel the push of the electric motor without any obvious jerking or sluggishness. In pure electric mode, the vehicle is completely powered by the electric motor without starting the engine. It is suitable for low-speed driving or parking wait. At this time, the vehicle is very quiet with almost no noise. In hybrid mode, the vehicle is driven by the engine to generate electricity for the electric motor, which is suitable for medium-speed driving or acceleration. At this time, the engine will start, but the sound is not abrupt, and the speed matches the vehicle speed without the sliding feeling of a traditional CVT gearbox.

The all-new Honda CR-V e:HEV.

In engine direct drive mode, the vehicle is directly driven by the engine and is suitable for high-speed cruising. At this time, the engine will maintain a low speed to reduce fuel consumption and noise. The vehicle also supports kinetic energy recovery, which allows the vehicle to convert some of the kinetic energy into electrical energy and store it during braking or deceleration to improve energy utilization efficiency. At this time, you can adjust the recovery intensity through the paddles behind the steering wheel to achieve the effect of one-foot throttle and one-foot brake.

In terms of handling, the handling performance of the all-new CR-V e:HEV is also very good. The directional and feedback of the steering system are relatively clear without feeling too light or heavy. The tuning of the chassis and suspension is also relatively moderate, which can filter out the bumps and vibrations of the road well while maintaining a certain degree of support and stability. The response and strength of the braking system are also suitable without any obvious softness or hard brake pedal feeling. In the corners, the all-new CR-V e:HEV also shows a certain sporty temperament, with a responsive front end, proper roll control, and a steering wheel that still retains a clear sense of the road.

When it comes to riding comfort, the comfort of the all-new CR-V e:HEV is also worth praising. The seat wrap and support are good, the cushion length is sufficient, and the backrest adjustment range is huge. The space is also spacious, with ample legroom and headroom for both front and rear passengers. The storage space is also abundant, with the center armrest box, door panel, cup holder, etc. being very practical. The trunk space is also large, with a standard capacity of 522L, which can be expanded to 1084L after folding down the rear seats, meeting daily needs.

The all-new Honda CR-V e:HEV

When it comes to safety features, the all-new CR-V e:HEV is equipped with Honda’s latest Honda SENSING safety sensing system, which includes collision mitigation braking system, forward cross-traffic vehicle warning, collision suppression function when changing lanes, lane change assistance function, cornering speed adjustment function, TSR traffic sign intelligent recognition and other functions, which can provide effective warnings and assistance for drivers in various scenarios, improving driving safety. In addition, the all-new CR-V e:HEV is also equipped with passive safety features such as SRS dual airbags, door crossbeams, front and rear 3-point seat belts, seat belt reminders, and seat safety systems with pre-tensioners and load limiters, providing passengers with comprehensive protection.

Finally, when it comes to quietness, the all-new CR-V e:HEV’s quietness performance is also good. Except for the increased engine noise at high speeds or acceleration, the interior of the car remains quiet at other times. Wind and tire noise are also well controlled without obvious interference. In pure electric mode, the vehicle has almost no noise, giving people a very comfortable and high-end feeling.

If it were five years ago, a Honda CR-V that is both easy to drive and fuel-efficient would definitely have good competitiveness at its price point. However, in today’s increasingly competitive domestic car market, the car’s starting price of 200,000 yuan is not particularly cost-effective compared to similar models of domestic brands such as BYD and Geely. Not long after its launch, Dongfeng Honda lowered the official price of the new CR-V e:PHEV version, which may also reflect the difficulties that this once very popular Japanese SUV is facing in the domestic market.

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