2023 Honda CR-V - Performance, Price, and Photos
Bolder styling, a premium cabin along with an updated hybrid option should help the 2023 Honda CR-V stay competitive against rivalsby Khris Bharath, on
Over the past 25 years, the Honda CR-V became one of the best-selling crossover SUVs in the country. They’re a staple of almost any American suburb. For 2023, Honda has decided to revamp its popular crossover from the ground up. The new CR-V carries the underpinnings of Honda’s updated version of the enhanced global architecture, shared with the latest generation Civic and is available with both gas and hybrid powertrains.
The sixth-generation Honda CR-V is larger than the outgoing model and now features bolder styling. Here’s what Honda has done to keep the CR-V at the top of its game.
2023 Honda CR-V Performance and Capability
The 2023 Honda CR-V is available in four trims:
- Sport Touring
Under the hood of the new CR-V, you’ll find one of two available powertrains. Available on the EX and EX-L trims, the first is a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged V-Tec engine, that produces 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque.
The second option is a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle gas engine mated to an all-new 4th generation two-motor hybrid unit. The system has a combined power output of 204 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. This mill can haul up to 1000 pounds and it tops out at 115 MPH. This is apparently, the most powerful CR-V that Honda has ever built.
Regardless of the engine you choose, all CR-V’s come with a continuously varying transmission (CVT), with either front-wheel drive or a mechanical all-wheel drive, which can send up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels. The Hybrid powerplant works with an e-CVT.
The CR-V now packs three selectable drive modes:
The Sport and Sport Touring models also feature an additional Sport mode. Also available for the first time on the CR-V is a hill descent control system, which is now standard across all trims, and works up to speeds of 12 MPH.
Expect a more engaging drive, thanks to revised steering, chassis, and a wider track. You now get a body that sees an improvement of 15 percent in torsional stiffness.
You can expect a compliment ride with MacPherson struts up front and a retuned multi-link independent setup at the rear, which has a 15-percent higher spring rate for the upper spring mount. Honda says that these improvements should help to considerably better the experience from behind the wheel.
|Trims||EX / EX-L||Sport / Sport Touring|
|Engine Type||1.5-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder||2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder and two-motor hybrid system|
|Horsepower||190 hp||204 hp|
|Torque||179 lb-ft||247 lb-ft|
|Top Speed||-||115 MPH|
|Towing Capacity||-||1000 lbs|
When you first see the new Honda CR-V, it’s clear that it adopts the visual aesthetic that is synonymous with other bigger SUVs in Honda’s portfolio like the Pilot and the Passport.
The new CR-V’s—frontend has a bold new grille with gloss black hexagonal elements. Right from the base model, you get an aggressive face flanked on either side by all-LED lights, that also merge into the grille.
The high-spec Sport trims feature some aluminum trim pieces on the front bumper as well, along with a scuff plate. A sensor, that supports the driver assistance features, hides behind the Honda badge.
Onto the side now and you’ll almost immediately notice the 1.6-inch longer wheelbase, which now sits at 106.3 inches, making it one of the longest in the segment. The obligatory plastic body cladding, a hallmark of a true crossover is omnipresent here.
You’ll also find a bigger glass house and also notice that the rear view mirrors’ mounting point has moved to the door now. Honda has also moved the A-Pillars rearward by 4.7 inches, in order to improve visibility. Higher trims also get you low-profile roof rails.
As for wheel sizes, they start with 18-inches on the base model EX, with the top-spec Touring trim coming with 19-inch rims, finished in black and wrapped in 235-section LL all-season tires.
Moving to the back, you’ll find a Volvo-esq vertical tail light setup, with the bottom part jutting outward. While the units themselves are of the LED kind, strangely, you still find incandescent bulbs for the turn signals.
An integrated spoiler, along with a shark fin antenna completes the rear. While the base model makes do with a black plastic bumper, the Sport Touring trim gets dual exhaust units along with what appears to be a diffuser.
Overall, this latest CR-V with its sharper lines and aggressive face has a far more masculine aesthetic to it.
Interior Quality and Technology
The interior of the sixth-generation CR-V sees a significant improvement in terms of quality and premium materials used. The design of the new Honda CR-V’s cabin is unmistakably reminiscent of the latest Honda Civic.
Take the soft-touch dashboard, for instance, Honda has chosen to go with the same, cheese-grater style honeycomb grille, similar to what you find on the compact sedan. They do a great job of hiding the air vents. Below the vents, you’ll find some knurled dials which take care of the climate control system.
A 7.0-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support is standard with the EX and Sport trims. EX-L and Sport Touring feature a larger 9.0-inch infotainment display. While you get a plethora of USB-C charging ports, right from the base model, only the higher trim features a 15 Watt Qi wireless phone charging pad.
A big letdown, is the part analog, part digital gauge cluster situation, especially since most automakers including Honda themselves offer an all-digital setup. Also, available for the first time in a CR-V is a premium 12-speaker Bose Audio system, exclusive to the top-spec, Sport Touring trim.
The base EX trim comes with fabric seats finished in either gray or black (EX-L comes with leather seats) but they still pack an eight-way power adjustable driver seat, with lumbar support.
According to Honda, the new body stabilizing seats help to reduce fatigue. Sport Touring trim features black trim on the dash, gray or black leather seats with contrasting orange stitching, and a black headliner. While the sunroof isn’t the panoramic kind, it should still let in additional light into the cabin.
The increased dimensions allow for greater space for both people and luggage. Opening up the manual tailgate on the EX-trim (power operated from EX-L and up), you get a best-in-class cargo area of 36.3 cubic feet with the rear seats in place. This is two more than the outgoing model.
The volume increases to 39.3 cubic feet, thanks to the adjustable floor in the trunk (only on the gas variant) Fold the 60:40 split rear bench and the cargo volume grows to an impressive 76.5 cubic feet.
2023 Honda CR-V Price and Availability
Honda hasn’t revealed pricing for the 2023 CR-V just yet, however you can expect it to cost slightly more than that of the 2022 Model, which currently starts at $26,800. You can expect the 2023 Honda CR-V to start at an estimated $28,000 for the base EX trim and top out around $40,000 for the top-spec Touring Sport.You can expect the 2023 CR-V to hit showrooms, sometime towards the end of the year.
The CR-V is one of the most popular mainstream crossovers and Honda has thrown in a lot of safety equipment as standard. You get class-leading active and passive safety equipment that includes a new wide rearview camera (90-degree field of view) with radar (120-degree field of view), next-generation front airbags, and new rear side and knee airbags, all part of Honda Sensing’s suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies.
The pillars and doors feature a stiffer structure as part of the Advance Compatibility Engineering (ACE), which should offer better front and side impact protection.
The list of standard driver assistance features includes:
- Blind spot information
- Traffic jam assist
- Low-speed braking control
- Traffic sign recognition
- Adaptive cruise control
- Lane keep assist
Honda says that it is targeting the Top Safety Pick+ and NHTSA 5 Star safety ratings with the new CR-V.
The Honda CR-V along with its chief rival, the Toyota Rav4 were some of the early entrants in the compact SUV space, and have dominated this segment for decades. However, the market has evolved considerably over the years and is today one of the most competitive segments in the auto business.
The CR-V has a lot to contend with these days, with up to 20 competing models, all fighting for the attention of potential buyers. The Subaru Forester, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Jeep Compass, Volkswagen Tiguan, Ford Escape, Mazda CX-5, and Mitsubishi Outlander are some of the many popular models in this space. Here’s how the CR-V compares to some of its rivals (base models) in terms of performance.
With refreshed styling, a cabin with more premium materials, best-in-class cargo volume, and that hybrid powertrain, the 2023 Honda CR-V should continue to stay competitive against its rivals. In fact, the Japanese automaker also anticipates that with this latest model, hybrids will account for over 50 percent of total sales, as opposed to just 25 percent with the outgoing model.