Those are impressive numbers, but it should be noted that if the CR-V Hybrid were tested using U.S. EPA methods, the fuel economy would probably be worse. On the gas-powered, all-wheel-drive CVT CR-V that's available in the U.S., for example, there's about a 12 percent difference between the NEDC and EPA combined fuel economy ratings. As such, we can estimate that the CR-V Hybrid might earn an EPA rating of around 39 mpg combined for the front-drive model, and between 37-38 mpg for one with all-wheel drive.
Even with such reduced numbers, the CR-V Hybrid would be poised to be one of the most efficient non-plug-in hybrid small crossover on the market. The front-drive model would tie the all-new 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid's 39 combined mpg. The Nissan Rogue Hybrid tops out at 34 mpg combined for the front-drive model, and it dips to 33 with four wheels spinning. The outgoing 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, which is only available with all-wheel drive, ties the Chevy Equinox and GMC Terrain diesels with either front- or all-wheel drive at 32 mpg combined. The only thing that's remotely comparable to the CR-V Hybrid that tops it is the Kia Niro, which manages 50 mpg combined, but it's smaller and not available with all-wheel drive.
The CR-V Hybrid obtains its high fuel economy via a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder hybrid engine. Presumably, it's related to the 2.0-liter hybrid powertrain found in the Honda Accord Hybrid, though it makes slightly less combined horsepower at 181 ponies. The powertrain, again like in the Accord, functions mainly as a series hybrid, with the gas engine providing electricity for the electric motor. The onboard battery is large enough that the CR-V can run on electric power only for about 1.2 miles. There are also circumstances in which the gas engine is directly driving the wheels via an electronically controlled clutch.
Naturally, the CR-V Hybrid is no speed demon. Honda says the front-drive CR-V Hybrid will hit 62 mph in 8.8 seconds. The all-wheel-drive model will finish just a tad later, taking 9.2 seconds. Top speed for the CR-V Hybrid is 112 mph.
The most surprising part of all this is that Honda still hasn't announced the CR-V Hybrid for the U.S. As we've pointed out, it would likely have class-leading fuel economy. On top of that, the CR-V is Honda's best-selling model, topping even Civic and Accord. This seems like a no-brainer of a vehicle. The same goes for the aforementioned three-row CR-V, which also hasn't been announced for America. We've reached out to Honda, and in a statement, the company said, "Honda plans to apply hybrid or plug-in hybrid technology to virtually all Honda core models in the U.S., including light trucks." So it sounds like the CR-V Hybrid is on its way to the U.S., but the time frame is still up in the air.