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Can the 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid Convert More UK Drivers to the Brand?

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As far as mid size SUVs go, the 2021 Honda CR-V has a major legacy.  It rolls into UK dealerships as the number one best seller in its category in the United States.  The hybrid edition is expected to make it more competitive in the UK and Europe.

What Makes it Competitive?

The first question for any new model centers around its competitiveness. After all, the market is crowded and complicated. If the vehicle isn’t a tiny EV, can it gain a foothold?  Here Honda is clearly betting on the CR-V’s hybrid technology.

While it isn’t a complete EV, the SUV is what’s called an e:HEV.  This hybrid can and does drive in EV mode enough to reduce its CO2 emissions to 151g/km.  Fuel economy is a reasonable 42.2mpg for the front-wheel drive 2021 CR-V.  Emissions rise to 161 g/kg with the all-wheel drive models. They earn a respectable 39.2mpg.  

The brand doesn’t have to bet big to know that safety will help sell this SUV.  Honda has chosen to put its comprehensive suite of driver assistance on every 2021 Honda CRV Hybrid.  This crash avoidance technology can actively watch the road using radar and cameras. It will warn the driver or assist with maneuvers such as lane straightening.  

Adding up the good fuel economy and the safety systems, the CR-V can aim at the family market. If it’s the whole package that a parent wants, they can get it with the CR-V which has a spacious backseat for teenagers and a large cargo hold for luggage. 

How Does the Hybrid Work?

While there is a petrol engine, it is an Atkinson cycle, making it especially efficient even without hybrid capability.  There are two electric motors to assist it, and these are self-charging as the vehicle is in motion.  The gear box is an innovative fixed-gear unit that may be the next wave in transmissions. 

This multi-mode system can shift effortlessly between the different modes. This allows it to cruise at 40mph while in EV drive about 50 percent of the time. At higher speeds, it manages to be in EV drive about 33 percent of the time. 

Perhaps recognizing how crowded UK roads can be, Honda improved manoeuvrability at low speeds by improving the rack-and-pinion steering. This dual pinion electric system uses variable ratios to achieve more precision responses.  The suspension was also updated, improving both ride compliance and handling.

For those who don’t have a place to plug in their vehicle, the e:HEV is a more logical choice than a true electric vehicle. The 2021 Honda CR-V Hybrid doesn’t need to be plugged in.

Is it Right for You?

In terms of durability and quality, the CR-V is a proven commodity. The hybrid has been selling in the UK since its 2019 introduction.  The fact that it is now exclusively a hybrid is sure to attract UK drivers. Should you be one of them?

In 2019, Honda made this vehicle wider, longer, and larger overall.  This gives it best-in-class space efficiency.  The boot is wider, deeper and longer as well, and it can be accessed by a hands-free power tailgate. If a bigger size appeals to you, then the CR-V Hybrid should be under consideration. This mid size SUV can seat a family of five comfortably, and it can handle their gear. 

The all-wheel drive version isn’t as handy as a Range Rover, but it is an asset in stormy or snowy weather.  It just doesn’t pretend to be ready for trails, which few of us encounter anyway.

The cost may persuade some buyers. This isn’t a luxury car, and it is priced to sell to families. In the end, that’s the bottom line for most consumers. 

If you are looking for something equally big or bigger, the 2021 Lexus RX Hybrids and RX L Hybrids are five-seat and seven-seat mid size SUVs. If you don’t need quite as big an SUV, you can check out the 2021 Ford Mustang MACH-E, an electric vehicle.

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