New Model News

Honda adding CR-V Hybrid to lineup, refreshing CR-V's looks for 2020

Honda has added a new CR-V to its lineup for the 2020 model year, the CR-V Hybrid.

Photo courtesy of Honda North America

Do you hear that, Toyota? Honda is coming for you. With the addition of the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid to the company's stable, the automaker is more poised than ever to take on the sales competition of the Toyota RAV4, in ways that the Nissan Rogue Hybrid wasn't ready to.

The move is on top of a refreshed exterior design for the 2020 model year across the CR-V lineup, which sees the compact SUV get a bolder and less segmented design in line with the looks of the Honda Pilot, Passport, and HR-V. The Hybrid also gets hybrid model badging, a blue Honda logo in the center of the grille, distinctive bar-type fog lights, and a hidden tailpipe. The CR-V Hybrid Touring trim has a unique rear bumper.

2020 Honda CR-V Rear Exterior The 2020 CR-V has refined fascias.Photo courtesy of Honda North America

Honda has added three new paint jobs for the 2020 model year: Sonic Gray Pearl, Aegean Blue Metallic, and Radiant Red Metallic. The gray and red are available on all models but the blue is exclusively for non-hybrid CR-Vs..

All CR-V EX and EX-L trims, including Hybrid, will ride on newly designed 18-inch wheels with a dark gray and machined finish. CR-V Touring models come standard with a new19-inch wheel.

For 2020, the non-hybrid CR-V is powered exclusively by a 190-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder power plant. CR-V Hybrid SUVs get two electric motors paired with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine resulting in 212 total horsepower.

Inside the cabin, the non-hybrid and hybrid CR-V models are also very similar. Hybrid models have their gear shifter flanked by switches for Econ, Sport, and EV drive modes. While Econ and EV are explanatory, Sport is a little more technical. Sport model enhances throttle response and the sound of the exhaust is changed for a sportier note.

2020 Honda CR-V Interior Steering Wheel Shifter Drive Modes Screen The interior of the CR-V Hybrid has a different shifter and new drive modes.Photo courtesy of Honda North America

Honda has change up the instrument panel for the CR-V Hybrid models. Those SUVs get a power-charge monitor and a driver-selectable display for power distribution and regeneration. Like in the Hyundai Ioniq, the CR-V has deceleration paddles where paddle shifters would normally be, allowing for various degrees of harshness.

The automaker has redesigned the CR-V's center console to allow for easier storage. There's also standard Qi wireless charging on Touring trim models.

All 2020 model year Honda CR-Vs will come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistance technologies including the automaker's Collision Mitigation Braking System with Forward Collision Warning and pedestrian sensing capability, Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Adaptive Cruise Control with low-speed follow, and Lane Keeping Assist. Blind spot information, Rear Cross Traffic Monitor, and Auto High Beam headlights are available.

2020 Honda CR-V Interior Seats Folding Back Seat Even in CR-V Hybrid models, the cargo load floor remains flat.Photo courtesy of Honda North America

The 2019 Honda CR-V started at $25,545 and topped off just over $35,000. Pricing for the non-hybrid 2020 CR-V is expected to be similar but hybrid buyers will likely pay a premium for their product.

Expect to see the CR-V and CR-V hybrid in showrooms next year.

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The AWD ID.4 model is on its way.

Volkswagen

There was a lot of buzz when VW introduced its 2021 ID.4 all-electric crossover with rear-wheel drive earlier this year, but there's plenty more now that the Wolfsburg automaker has added an all-wheel-drive version. The 2021 VW ID.4 AWD gets another motor onboard this compact SUV that brings all-wheel-drive traction. The SUV appeals to buyers in the snow belt states but will also tickle the fancy of performance enthusiasts. Now with motors on both the front and rear axle, there is nearly fifty percent more power, with impressive gains to horsepower and torque as well as the added battery-electric boost to that scoots the 5-seater from 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds (the RWD model took 7.5 seconds to achieve the same).

2021 VW ID.4 AWD An extra motor brings AWD to the ID.4.Volkswagen

On sale now, the 2021 VW ID.4 AWD Pro starts at $44,870, before federal or other incentives; this is a $3,680 premium over the rear-drive model. The AWD Pro S starts at $49,370; both models are eligible for $7,500 income-tax credits. It's worth noting that current delivery estimates for the AWD Pro are running into 2022. The AWD Pro trim has been rated by the EPA at 249 miles (only 11 miles less than the Pro RWD) while the AWD Pro S has been validated at 240 miles (as compared to 250 miles). The AWD Pro has been rated at 102 MPGe for city driving/90 highway/97 combined; the Pro S gets 93/98/88. Both are rated at 2,700 towing. Competitors include the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Tesla Model Y.

While the AWD and RWD look the same outside, one exterior badge designates the newest variant with an "AWD" badge, plus it gets 0.6 inches of added ground clearance, slightly bigger brakes and sway bars. From the front, the electric SUV has smoothed jelly-bean styling that is highlighted by standard LED headlights and standard black roof rails that sit atop the body-colored roof. From the rear, it wears hatchback-like looks.

2021 VW ID.4 AWD The ID.4's cabin is tidy and upscale, no matter the model.Volkswagen

We drove both the Pro and Pro S versions, with different premium interior trims and found the Gradient Package ($1500) visually upscale and appealing. It brings a black roof with silver rails, along with 20-inch wheels and the availability of King's Red Metallic paint, as a $395 option. The Pro is well-equipped with attractive trim elements and an impressive collection of communication and infotainment technologies. Pro S comes with a glass roof with an electrically-retractable shade and front seats with leatherette upholstery and 12-way power adjustments (including four-way lumbar support and a massage system).

We drove the new ID.4 AWD over a course of 160 miles along a variety of roads to sample its handling and ergonomics. The interior has a clean and open feel with good visibility. Controls and gauges are well-placed and the seatbelts are height-adjustable, while a configurable console holds different drink sizes and has removable cupholders. A futuristic LED "Light" strip with 10 different ambient lighting selections extends across the dashboard and pulses with directional signals, incoming phone calls, navigation prompts and other in-cabin inputs (optional is 30-color lighting selection on the Pro S). Driving is also a bit futuristic with no stop/start button; the vehicle senses the approaching key and can start climate control, unfold side mirrors, unlock doors and illuminate door handles at night, among a number of other high-tech features. There is 30.3 cubic feet of stowage behind the rear seats and up to 64.2 cubic feet with the second row folded. Under the floor storage holds the charging cable and small items. Pro S has an adjustable trunk floor that can be raised and lowered and a ski passthrough.

Pushing the brake pedal triggers the ID.4 to begin motoring, with the option of a "D" mode for typical driving or "B" for a more regenerative driving experience. Travel Assist brings semi-autonomous driving. Notable is the fun and responsive torque-on-tap, well-balanced direct steering and a suspension system that allows the small compact to maneuver well through traffic and along twisty roadways, as well as an impressive turning radius. The vehicle dynamics control system is integrated with the stability control system and an electronic differential to seamlessly engage the front axle, when needed. Volkswagen has added a different asynchronous motor to the front with a permanent-magnetic synchronous motor at the back for a combined 295 hp. and 339 lb.-ft. of torque.

2021 VW ID.4 AWD The ID.4 AWD will start shipping in early 2022.Volkswagen

Carried over are 82-kWh battery packs and the 5 to 80 percent fast-charging time of 38 minutes, when using 125kW fast-charging. VW says it can add 62 miles of range in 10 minutes; home charging on a Level 2 charger is projected to take approximately 7.5 hours for a full charge.

Of note: VW includes three years of complimentary charging up to 125 kW, with any ID.4 purchase or lease; VW Group's Electrify America charging network has over 650 stations and more than 2,700 fast chargers.

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The new Si gets many improvements over the standard Civic.

Honda

The 2022 Civic and Civic Hatchback are just starting to hit our streets, but Honda's already moved on to higher performance versions of the car. The automaker just announced the Civic Si, which lands between the standard cars and the red-hot Type R in the Civic lineup.

2022 Honda Civic Si The Si's manual transmission gets rev-matching from the Civic Type R.Honda

The 2022 Civic Si gets a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. The VTEC unit has been updated with broader power curves and better output at the top of the rev range. It's paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission that features the handy rev-matching feature from the Civic Type R. The system can detect downshifts and blips the throttle to perfectly align engine revs with the shift.

Honda tightened up the new Si's body with an 8 percent bump in torsional rigidity and a 13 percent increase in bending rigidity over the previous model. The 2022 Civic Si also rides on a longer wheelbase and has a wider rear track for better stability. Honda says that at 107.7 inches, the Si has the longest wheelbase in its class, which should give the car a stable and comfortable ride.

2022 Honda Civic Si The 2022 Civic Si's interior is clean and sporty. Honda

The Si's cabin borrows heavily from the standard Civic, but the sporty car gets more aggressive front sport seats with stronger bolstering and better thigh and shoulder supports. Honda raised the seats' bottom cushion by half an inch at the front for better thigh support. A 9-inch touchscreen display is standard that runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 12-speaker Bose stereo with Centerpoint 2 tech and SurroundStage digital signal processing are also standard.

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