2023 Honda CR-V is Bigger, More Premium, and More Powerful
New model will arrive later this year, with hybrid-only Sport Touring trim as the new range-topper.
After multiple teases, Honda on Tuesday revealed the sixth-generation CR-V. The 2023 model refines the brand’s best-selling model, with a more premium look inside and out, plus a range-topping hybrid that boasts more power.
The compact SUV still looks distinctly like a CR-V. Honda’s design team has kept the wide headlight look of the previous model, but tweaked the nose with a longer, flatter hood and more upright grille. The taillights are the same basic shape as before too, only sharper. A more chiselled shoulder line connects the ends of the vehicle. Breaking out the tape measurer, the 2023 model is 0.4 inches (10 millimeters) wider than before, while length is up 2.7 inches (69 mm) to 184.8 inches (4,694 mm). That gives the CR-V some extra breathing room between it and the recently embiggened HR-V. Rolling stock measures 18-inches for all trims except the Sport Touring, which uses 19s.
Speaking of little brother, the CR-V follows Honda’s latest interior design approach with a Civic-like cabin. There’s the now-familiar strip of mesh hiding the air vents, and the trio of knurled-metal rotary dials for climate control duty below that. A new metallic trim lines the lower edge of the vents, and extends onto the doors. A 7.0-inch touchscreen is standard on the EX and Sport trims, while the EX-L and Sport Touring pump that up to 9.0 inches. The latter two trims also include wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus an accompanying wireless charging pad.SEE ALSO: Nissan Rogue vs Honda CR-V: Which Compact Crossover is Right for You?
Honda is proud of what it’s calling the “largest center console bin in its class,” with nine liters of storage space between the front seats. Those seats have been redesigned to reduce fatigue over longer drives, while Honda has made the steering angle more car-like. A stretched wheelbase provides an additional 0.6 inches (15 mm) of rear legroom. In addition, the rear seats now offer eight different angles of recline.
Out back, all models now offer up 36.3 cubic feet (1,028 liters) of storage space. Gas-only models also include a moveable load floor, extending that upwards to 39.3 cu-ft (1,113 L). Fold the seats flat and there’s 76.5 cu-ft (2,166 L) of room for family knickknacks.SEE ALSO: Hyundai Tucson Hybrid vs Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Comparison: Fuel-Sipping Family Haulers
There are two engines available in the sixth-generation CR-V. The standard 1.5-liter turbo-four continues on, with the same 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. The latter arrives earlier in the rev range now, however, and Honda says it has reduced engine noise. The CVT sees improvements as well.
The Sport and Sport Touring adopt the hybrid engine, which sees numerous updates for 2023. The two-motor system still pairs with a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder, which now benefits from direct fuel injection. Combined horsepower is up slightly to 204 hp, while torque swells to 247 lb-ft.
Front-wheel drive is standard on the EX, EX-L, and Sport. An updated AWD system is standard on the Sport Touring and optional on the rest of the range, and is now capable of sending up to 50-percent of available torque to the rear wheels. Hill Descent Control, which debuted on the HR-V, is also standard-fit.
On the safety front, the CR-V uses the same donut-shaped driver airbag to cradle heads during angled collisions. Driver assists consist of the standard Honda Sensing suite, which now includes blind spot information, as well as Traffic Jam Assist, traffic sign recognition, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and a driver attention monitor.
The CR-V will be built in no less than three North American plants; two in America, and one in Canada. Production will kick off soon ahead of the SUV’s summer on-sale date. Expect pricing and more trim details ahead of that.
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