If this is the mid-cycle refresh for the 2020 Honda CR-V, expect light exterior changes and the introduction of the hybrid to the American Market.

Built on the 10th gen Civic platform and with a host of competitive engines, the 5th gen Honda CR-V has been nothing short of a home run with the CR-V having its best year ever last year coming close to 380,000 CR-V’s sold. 2020 we expect a mid-cycle refresh and if this CR-V spied by @that_500000_mile_civic_guy has any say in the CR-V we’re getting for 2020, as far as the exterior goes, it’s much of the same.

Here’s the CR-V he spied in Greensboro on Interstate 40 below.

The biggest exterior difference that may not even make it to the 2020 Honda CR-V are those trapezoidal exhausts reminiscent of the ones on the 2.0T Accords, except inverted. The current CR-V does with round ones.

Perhaps Honda is trying to further differentiate the RDX and CR-V which both have round exhaust outlets. If those are really duals then this isn’t the Hybrid which would do with just a single exhaust.

Spy shots of the CR-V before hid the rear tail lights but it looks like those remain unchanged. Hidden, this time, are a set of red reflectors on the bumper so perhaps Honda has cleaned up the rear a tad.

As mentioned, the CR-V Hybrid has already debuted in Shanghai and is sold worldwide so I fully expect Honda to carryover that powertrain for this mid-cycle refresh.

Embed from Getty Images

The biggest issue for the CR-V, at this point, is oil dilution for their turbo engines. Supposedly, Honda has addressed this issue with a software refresh, and in some instances, a new A/C unit. You’d better believe Honda is going to get the software for their 1.5T engines right for MY 2020, no matter where you live. Oil dilution was more of an issue for CR-V owners in colder climes.

This CR-V, as is, is a winning formula, so it makes sense Honda won’t change much.

Expect this new CR-V to hit the presses and showroom floor after Summer.


  1. From what I’ve read, the oil dilution issue was not just limited to the colder climates, as there were reports of the issue; even in TX. Honda would like everyone to beleive that the issue was limited to a small geographical area and that they fixed it. Yet, there are reports of the issue continuing in the 2019 model. I test drove the CR-V and really liked it. If it were not for the oil dilution issue, I would have picked one up. If they come out with the hybrid version, using the 2.0 L engine, I’m pretty sure that would be my next vehicle.

  2. I own a 2017 CR-V Touring, AWD with 46K miles. I love the vehicle. I live in Texas and have driven it to New Mexico, California and all over Texas. Great on the road. I have not had any oil dilution issues! I check with my Honda service advisor each time I take it in for service. The shifter button broke and was replaced under warranty. That is the only problem I have had. I love the 1.5 L turbo. I would highly recommend this vehicle.

  3. I had a 2017 CRV EX-L and really liked the car. The oil dilution problems were worrisome to me and when I questioned the service manage at the local Honda store, he just blew me off. It seems silly to me that Honda has not seen fit to put the 2.0L turbo engine in the CRV. With that, it would be the perfect car. I frequently check oil levels in all my vehicles and noticed that the oil level was up about a 1/2 quart so took it into the dealer and again questioned the service manager. He was abrupt with me and once again blew me off, however they did change the oil again. I started car shopping immediately – being retired and on fixed income, I did not need any unexpected and expensive car problems down the line. I did a lot of research and ended up with a 2019 Subaru Limited with the 3.6R engine. It is a nice car but I do miss that CRV. Honda is going to have to step up and admit that there is a design flaw in the 1.5 turbo engine and do whatever is necessary to address the problem. I had two CRVs prior to the 2017 – 2002 EX and 2009 EXL. Both cars were trouble free with nothing but normal maintenance items for 200K miles, so the problems with the 2017 CRV turned me away from them.


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