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2020 Honda CR-V Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 Honda CR-V Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: LX vs EX vs EX-L & Touring

What 2020 Honda CR-V Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

Looking for a new crossover SUV but not sure which one to pick? The 2020 Honda CR-V is certainly worthy of consideration. In fact, the CR-V has continuously been hailed as a best-in-class vehicle for years by different auto gurus. And this year might just be the year to buy the CR-V. It has been treated to a totally new hybrid powertrain, and a slew of standard features has been added to the base LX trim, making it more exciting than ever before.

But is the LX trim the right one for you? What about the line-topping Touring? Perhaps the EX or EX-L meets your needs. And then, of course, there is the new hybrid variant, which has garnered so much attention this year.

By the end of this trim level comparison, you should have a better idea of which - if any - 2020 Honda CR-V trim level is the best one for you.


Compare the 2020 Honda CR-V LX vs EX Trims. What is the difference?

The base LX trim really is not that basic. Since it has even more standard features now (like the Honda Sensing suite of driver aids), there is even more reason to want to buy it. Last year's model did not have the benefits Honda Sensing offers. This suite gives you a standard collision mitigation system, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, forward collision warning, lane keep assist, and a road departure mitigation system. You also get a rearview camera that has guidelines. Other features include brake assist, a system for monitoring your tires' pressure, LED daytime running lights, and an easily accessible LATCH system for child car safety seats.

You can expect to find all of that on the EX trim level, plus blind-spot monitoring with a cross-traffic monitor and automatic high beam headlights. Also, dynamic guidelines get added to the rearview camera.

The LX does have a standard 4-speaker 160-watt sound system and a 5-inch color display. Bluetooth connectivity, Pandora Radio, a Radio Data System, and speed-sensitive volume compensation come standard as well. There is a 1.0-amp USB port on the center console and 12-volt power outlets on both the front and center consoles.

The EX adds way more, starting with the 7-inch touchscreen display. While it would have been nice for Honda to up it to the much nicer 8-inch set-up, the 7-inch remains. A 1.5-amp USB port gets added to the center console, and there is a 6-speaker 180-watt sound system. HondaLink comes standard, allowing you to pair your smartphones with the vehicle via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. SMS text messaging, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and two second-row 2.5-amp USB charging ports also get tacked onto the list of infotainment features.

Of course, there are more creature comforts than just the infotainment features. The LX manages to pack in single-zone automatic climate control, power windows with automatic up/down on the driver's window, power tailgate and door locks, a tilt and telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, a capless fuel filler, plenty of front and rear seat beverage holders, huge door pocket storage bins, map lights, rear window defrost, cargo area lights, steering wheel controls that light up, and vanity mirrors for the driver and front seat passenger.

As you can imagine, the EX has all of that and more. The EX's visors gain illumination for their vanity mirrors, for starters. Also, the EX gets upgraded to a dual-zone climate control system. There is also push button start, a retractable cover for the cargo area, auto-up/down for the front passenger's window, and a seatback pocket on the front passenger's seat. The LX's 6-way manually-adjustable driver's seat gets swapped out on the EX for a 12-way power-adjustable seat with 4-way power lumbar support. The EX also gets equipped with heated front seats, which will feel great during the winter.

There are a few ways to tell these two trim levels apart just by looking at them from the outside. The LX trim has power side mirrors, variable intermittent windshield wipers with two speeds, an active shutter grille, a fin-style antenna mounted onto the roof, remote entry system, black door handles, and a black roofline spoiler with a brake light that is integrated. The EX has auto on/off halogen headlights and body-colored door handles and a roofline spoiler. The EX adds privacy glass for the rear, a security system, smart entry with an automatic walk-away lock feature, a one-touch power moonroof with a tilt function, fog lights, and power side mirrors that are heated and body-colored.

Let's not forget what is under the hood. The LX no longer has the underpowered 2.4-L inline-4 engine found on previous model years. Instead, it now has the same 1.5-L turbocharged inline-4 engine that the other trim levels are powered by. This engine gets 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. Hill start assist, an engine immobilizer, and active noise cancellation come standard, but on the EX, you also get remote engine start. This engine is paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Additionally, the LX gets 17-inch alloy wheels while the EX rides atop 18-inch alloys.

Compare the 2020 Honda CR-V EX vs EX-L Trims.  What is the difference?

Clearly, the EX adds a lot of fantastic upgrades that make it somewhat more attractive than the base LX trim. So, what more does the EX-L add? The EX and EX-L have the same Honda Sensing features and active and passive safety features. However, the EX-L gets an audio boost with its 8-speaker sound system.

The real interior changes come from a few upgrades given to the convenience features. The EX-L gets a leather-wrapped shifter knob and steering wheel, the HomeLink universal transceiver system, and an automatically dimming rearview mirror. The driver's seat gains two-position memory, and the front passenger's seat gets 4-way power lumbar adjustment. Oh, and the seats get chic leather upholstery.

These two trim levels are mostly the same on the outside. However, the EX-L adds a power tailgate with a programmable height feature. Other than that, their bodies and mechanical features are all the same.

Compare the 2020 Honda CR-V EX-L vs Touring. What is the difference?

At last, we come to the 2020 Honda CR-V's line-topping trim, the Touring. This trim level is, of course, the most expensive, coming in at about $3,000 more than the EX-L. While it does not add anything new in the way of safety features, it does give you the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System. This system comes with HD Digital Traffic, HD radio, and the ability to recognize voice commands. Honda goes the extra distance by adding a 9-speaker, 330-watt premium sound system that also equips a subwoofer.

With regard to creature comforts, you will find all of the comfort and convenience features that are inside of the Touring in the cabin of the EX-L. Nothing new gets added there. The seats are exactly the same as well. And, of course, things are exactly the same under the hood. So, if you were expecting a lot of changes, you will probably be a bit disappointed. You are really only paying for a few minor upgrades.

Compare the 2020 Honda CR-V Touring vs Hybrid. What is the difference?

While the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid will be similar to the lower trim levels in terms of its offered features, but it promises a 50% better fuel economy. It beats the 1.5-L turbo engine's 190 hp and has a combined fuel economy somewhere over the 40 mpg mark - an astounding feat for an SUV!

Also, the batteries that help power this vehicle are buried beneath the floor so that they do not eat up precious cargo space. There are two motors equipped on the Hybrid, and they get paired up with a 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine. Together, they produce a combined 212 hp.

Additionally, the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid gets its own unique digital gauge cluster that reads out data that is specific to how the Hybrid's system is performing. A push-button gear selector is included as well. The Hybrid has Eco, Sport, and EV modes. There is also a new feature called the Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System. This system emits alerts to pedestrians via a front bumper speaker, but it will only do so when the vehicle is in electric-only mode.

On the outside, expect to see the standard CR-V features, which are all a part of this model year's sleeker and more contemporary design. All-wheel drive comes standard, which is known for sending just the right amount of electric torque to the vehicle's rear wheels. The Hybrid also gets special badging, as well as the blue Honda logo slapped front and center on the front grille.


Which Trim to Choose?

The 2020 Honda CR-V gets a huge boost from the addition of the Hybrid powertrain variant. This addition provides consumers with an even more fuel-efficient option that will save them money at the gas tank. With gas prices getting to be more unpredictable and often making huge jumps seemingly overnight, Hybrid owners will not have to budget out as much money for gas every week. The powertrain is sufficient for powering this type of small SUV, and the fact that the batteries are buried means that cabin and cargo space should remain stellar.

Another note about the Hybrid: This same powertrain has already been introduced in Honda's Accord and Insight line-ups and with great success. Honda's hybrid sales have almost doubled since making this introduction, so it is clear that drivers love this powertrain option. It really is the trim level to buy on the 2020 Honda CR-V, as it combines all of the things you will love about the CR-V with a major boost in fuel economy.

If you do not want to get a hybrid powertrain and are fine with gasoline-only, then go with the EX trim level. It has just about everything you could possibly need and remains at a reasonable price. The base LX trim is definitely much better equipped than it has been in the past, but it still lacks a few of the creature comforts that you get on the EX trim level.

The EX-L does not add a whole lot onto the EX trim level. The only real reason to get it is if you want the leather seats. The leather does have a nice look to it and is pretty comfortable. And, as far as the Touring trim level goes, it just does not feel like a real line-topper. It just does not add enough to justify the price jump. That is why it is best to stick with the EX trim.

The Hybrid variant will not cost much more than the gasoline-only trim levels, and it will save you money in the long run as you cut down on spending at the pump. That is why we recommend picking the Hybrid, as many other consumers will likely do this model year.

Save Money on a 2020 Honda CR-V:
Previous Honda CR-V Trim Configurations:

Compare the 2019 Honda CR-V Trim Levels