2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid first drive review: Electrified version is the one to get

The CR-V is a cornerstone of Honda’s American lineup. Since it debuted here in 1997, the automaker’s sold more than 5 million copies. Last year alone, the CR-V accounted for nearly 60% of the brand’s SUV sales. Clearly, customers appreciate this vehicle’s combination of reliability and affordability, efficiency and spaciousness. 

Building on that inherent goodness, the 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is more economical, powerful and refined than the conventional model. In short, it’s an even better CR-V. 

A cornerstone of Honda’s electrified future

Despite offering various hybrid models for years, Honda has never had a gasoline-electric SUV in its American lineup, but the CR-V Hybrid finally changes that. This crossover’s introduction is part of a larger push to reduce emissions and improve efficiency. The automaker is aiming to electrify two-thirds of its global vehicle lineup by the year 2030.

Helping reach that goal, this CR-V has a two-motor hybrid system under its hood, basically the same one used in the Accord Hybrid. The heart of this powertrain is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that runs on the fuel-saving Atkinson cycle. As for those electric motors, one is used for propulsion while the other handles starting and power-generating duties. A

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Dyson’s $500 Corrale cordless straightener turns down the heat


Molly Price/CNET

The Dyson Corrale is the company’s third hair care product following the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer and Dyson Airwrap styler. Like its predecessors, the Corrale is expensive and technologically innovative, but if you follow Dyson products, you probably already knew that.

Like

  • Battery-powered portability
  • Digital display
  • Three heat settings

Don’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Half-hour battery life
  • Thick and heavy design

The $500 Corrale is cordless, powered by a lithium-ion battery and it includes a charging dock. The ironing plates are flexible, intended to grab hair more accurately for fewer passes over your locks with high heat. Is it five times better than your trusty, corded $100 model? No. It’s not. While there’s much to like about Dyson’s newest hair care product, I can’t recommend the Corrale to anyone without hundreds of spare dollars to throw around. It just isn’t that much better. 

Design

The Corrale will take some getting used to if you’re swapping over from a conventional, corded straightener. I noticed a few things right off the bat. The Corrale is heavy — significantly heavier than my own straightener, a corded model I bought in 2017. The Corrale weighs in at just 1.23 pounds (0.56 kg), but just

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Roku Smart Soundbar review: A simple, potent streaming combination

Streaming TV is blowing up, from Netflix to Disney Plus to Apple TV Plus to HBO Max to… well, you get the idea. And that means media streamers are being built into not only smart TVs but also soundbars. I was pretty disappointed in the first hybrid soundbar-streamer I saw, the JBL Link Bar, but after reviewing the capable and affordable Roku Smart Soundbar, I’m thinking it’s a worthwhile combination after all, especially if you’re main priority is simplicity.

Like

  • The Roku Smart Soundbar combines a full-function 4K HDR Roku streamer with a soundbar in one affordable package.
  • Easy set-up and impressive sound from a single bar.
  • Optional $179 subwoofer is a cost-effective upgrade.

Don’t Like

  • Some competing streamer-less soundbars are less expensive and sound better.
  • No buttons on the unit (including power) and no remote finder as seen on the Roku Ultra.
  • The wireless speakers aren’t worth the upgrade, yet.

The Smart Soundbar upgrades both your audio and streaming experience with a single device and one remote — just add any TV. Its sound quality is good for a subwoofer-less bar and the streaming section works as smoothly I’ve come to expect from any Roku streamer, running

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