2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid: Cheaper than RAV4 Hybrid, but slightly less efficient

Honda reveals that its hybrid crossover returns respectable fuel economy figures, but they don't match Toyota's RAV4 Hybrid.

The CR-V is a solid choice, and a hybrid option should make it even more appealing.

Fifteen years ago, this story would likely have revolved around the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, but times have changed. Today, the CR-V and RAV4 are the Japanese automakers' big breadwinners, so naturally, Honda concocted a proper rival to the mighty popular RAV4 Hybrid.

On Thursday, Honda announced pricing and fuel economy estimates for the 2020 CR-V Hybrid, and for those shopping the hybrid crossover segment, Honda's newcomer will cost $28,870 after a $1,120 destination charge. Those who go home with one will find the hybrid crossover returns a very respectable EPA-estimated 40 miles per gallon city, 35 mpg highway and 38 mpg combined.

How well does the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid challenge the RAV4 Hybrid when it comes to buyers' bank accounts and how frugally it sips fuel? It's a mixed story.

The Toyota RAV4 Hybrid returns ever so slightly better fuel economy, eking out a few more miles per gallon at 41 city, 38 highway and 40 combined. Ah, but Honda's played the pricing game and undercut its rival from Toyota. The base CR-V Hybrid, which wears the LX trim, costs $100 less than the RAV4 Hybrid. In the grand scheme of things, it's not much, but it does give Honda some advertising bragging rights.

Moving into better equipped CR-V Hybrid models, the EX comes next and will cost $31,380; the EX-L rings in at $33,870; and the range-topping Touring boasts a price of $37,070. It's worth noting not every CR-V Hybrid is cheaper than its RAV4 Hybrid rival -- the Touring model actually costs $100 more than the comparable Toyota. Otherwise, there's a few hundred dollars separating the fuel-sipping crossovers between comparable trim levels.

Like the RAV4 Hybrid, every CR-V Hybrid comes with all-wheel drive. Power comes from a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle inline-four engine, which musters 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. The engine works with a small electric motor and battery to give the CR-V its hybrid credentials.

Buyers will find Honda's suite of active safety gear standard on every CR-V Hybrid, and compared to nonhybrid models, each gets smart keyless entry, pushbutton start and LED headlights as standard equipment. Moving through the EX, EX-L and Touring models unlocks more comforts.

Buyers will find the 2020 CR-V Hybrid at dealers shortly. Those not looking for an electrified model should note the standard 2020 CR-V is already on sale.

Now playing: Watch this: 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid makes its US debut