As consumer tastes shift, Honda CR-V wins Green award

Henry Payne
The Detroit News

Los Angeles – Reflecting the sea change in hybrids from cars to SUVs, the Honda CR-V took home the 2020 Green SUV of the Year award at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

CR-V was honored as a mainstream, volume-selling SUV that for the first time has added a competitively priced hybrid model to its line. It joined the Toyota Corolla and its hybrid variant which won Car of the Year.

2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid

The CR-V’s win tales place as the pioneering hybrid Toyota Prius, the first popular battery-powered car in the U.S/, has seen its sales plummet as sedans have lost favor in the marketplace. This year, Toyota’s RAV4 Hybrid leapfrogged the Toyota Prius Hybrid as the best-selling hybrid in America.

Adding insult to injury, the Prius was beat out this year for Green Car of the Year by the remade and Toyota Corolla. The gas-powered Corolla achieves notably high fuel economy of up to 40 highway mpg, while its hybrid variant records 52 highway mpg.

"The 2020 Toyota Corolla and Honda CR-V earned their respective distinctions by standing out with their exceptional efficiency, desired features, and satisfying driving experience," said Ron Cogan, editor Green Car Journal which sponsors the award. "Affordable price points for both conventional and hybrid variants make them approachable to a great many buyers and not just a select few."

Manufacturers are under pressure to comply with increasingly struct global emissions regulations. Honda forecasts that two-thirds of its lineup will have a battery by 2030.

While the new 2020 CR-V Hybrid has not yet been rated by the EPA Honda is promising a 50%  fuel economy increase over its gas model. The CR-V joins the $28,945 RAV4 — priced just $2,200 above the base LE gas model — and the forthcoming Ford Escape Hybrid in the biggest selling segment in autodom.

The 2020 Ford Escape was also a nominee for this year’s award.

Other SUV nominees included the RAV4, Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid and Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Other car nominees were the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Soul, and Mazda3.

This was the 15th year for the Green Car award.