Petrol-electric SUV debuts alongside new-gen model for the European market, featuring Honda Sensing as standard.
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Honda Europe has revealed the new 2019 CR-V Hybrid, which along with the regular range has been detailed for the region.

While the new-generation CR-V has been on sale in Australia for some time, Europe has been waiting up until now – it's worth noting our vehicles are sourced from Thailand, while European models are made in the UK.

For the first time in Europe, the CR-V is now available as a hybrid, first previewed by the near-production CR-V Hybrid Prototype shown at last year's Frankfurt motor show.

The petrol-electric version pairs a 107kW/175Nm 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated Atkinson Cycle petrol engine with a 135kW/315Nm electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.

Available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions, the CR-V Hybrid claims a 0-100km/h sprint time of 8.8 seconds and 9.2 seconds respectively, on its way to a top speed of 180km/h .

Fuel economy is rated at 5.3L/100km (5.5L AWD) on the combined NEDC cycle, and it emits 120g/km of CO2 per kilometre (126g AWD).

The capacity of the battery pack isn't quoted, though it's obviously quite small considering Honda only claims an EV driving range of "around 2km".

According to the company, the CR-V Hybrid can run in EV Drive mode for "more than half the time" when cruising at 60km/h to save fuel, while it operates in all-electric mode "approximately one third of the time" when travelling at 100km/h.

The level of deceleration using regenerative braking can be adjusted using paddles on the steering wheel – much like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Drive is sent to the ground by a 'single fixed-gear ratio', which differs from using a conventional transmission or eCVT by creating "ra direct connection between moving components, resulting in a smoother transfer of torque".

"Engineers on the CR-V Hybrid programme have worked hard to ensure that the transfer between power sources – including the engine stop-start function – is virtually imperceptible to the occupants," Honda said in its press release.

"The smooth transfer of torque means there is no driveline shunt or undesirable feedback through the pedals or steering wheel, and the near-silent powertrain means the CR-V Hybrid boasts outstanding NVH management."

Other than the driveline, the CR-V Hybrid has specific menus and interfaces on its driver and infotainment displays, and swaps the gear shifter for buttons.

Honda Europe has employed its 'Safety for Everyone' philosophy for the new CR-V, too, meaning all versions come with the Honda Sensing active safety technology suite as standard equipment.

These include autonomous emergency braking with forward collision warning, lane-departure warning, road departure mitigation, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition with intelligent speed assistance.

Other available features include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, along with a multi-angle rear-view camera.

It also appears high-spec versions are available with a colour head-up display, which isn't available on local models, nor the majority of Honda's other products bar the US-market Accord – however, the details of this feature aren't disclosed in the European press release.

Australia

Last October, Honda's local boss ruled out the introduction of the CR-V Hybrid in Australia, largely due to the relatively tiny local hybrid market and lack of government incentives.

"We have no current or immediate plans to bring in the CR-V Hybrid. We’re quite happy with the current line-up and the 1.5 turbo," he said.

"Our view is that the current hybrid market in Australia is less than one per cent of the total vehicle market. Really, without substantial incentives (from the government) much like there are in many other markets around the world, our interest is unlikely to grow significantly in the short term."

"Hybrid is certainly still a part of Honda’s global strategy. But unlike, say, Japan, where there are big customer incentives from the government, we think demand is going to limited in the foreseeable future," he added.

For the time being, the CR-V is offered locally with a 140kW/240Nm 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine, along with the recently-introduced 113kW/189Nm 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol in the base Vi grade.

There's also a 119kW/350Nm 1.6-litre turbo-diesel available in markets like Thailand, though the local arm has ruled out this powertrain for Australia too.

Speaking with CarAdvice, Honda Australia's PR manager, Naomi Rebeschini, said: "CR-V is a very important model for us and we're always looking for opportunities to expand the range but for now we have no plans for CR-V Hybrid in Australia".

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