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2023 Honda CR-V

Redesigned 2023 Honda CR-V Promises Iterative Improvements

Expect subtle tweaks and enhancements

  • New looks inside and out
  • Slightly larger exterior and interior dimensions
  • Refined tech interface solves biggest problem with previous model
  • Starts the sixth CR-V generation in 2023

What is the Honda CR-V?

The Honda CR-V is Honda's compact crossover, and it's been a stalwart in the segment since the first one was introduced all the way back in 1997. We've regularly recommended the CR-V because it's spacious, great to drive, easy to use, and frugal enough to make sure you don't feel too much pain at the pump. For 2023, the CR-V is getting a from-the-ground-up overhaul. Everything will be new, from the bodywork to the interior, but it keeps plenty of what makes the CR-V great. Maybe a little too much ...

What's under the CR-V's hood?

 2023 Honda CR-V

The base and midlevel EX and EX-L trims will be powered by a revised version of the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine found in the current CR-V. It has the same output (190 horsepower, 179 lb-ft of torque) but peak torque arrives 300 rpm sooner, which could result in slightly snappier acceleration. However, weight may have increased for this larger CR-V, which would make the tinkering underhood essentially moot. Honda does say that the engine and continuously variable automatic transmission are tuned to be less noisy than before, so the driving experience should be a bit more pleasant.

Honda is restructuring the CR-V lineup for 2023, so the CR-V Hybrid will no longer be its own model. Instead, the hybrid will now be positioned as the upgraded powertrain and will drive the new Sport and Sport Touring trims. Consisting of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors, on paper, the hybrid system actually seems a little down on power. Total system output now stands at 204 horsepower (compared to last year's 212 combined hp), but this figure is derived from the new ISO net standards for measuring horsepower. Honda says that when the ISO net standard is applied to the current CR-V Hybrid, the new powertrain is actually more potent to the tune of 3 hp. Torque output from the electric motors has increased from 232 lb-ft to 247 lb-ft. All-wheel drive is optional for all models except the Sport Touring, where it's standard, and can now divert up to 50% of power to the rear wheels.

We like the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine in the current CR-V. While it doesn't offer thrilling performance, acceleration is quick enough for this kind of vehicle. Unfortunately, today's CR-V Hybrid is quite a bit slower than the standard version, and a long-term test of a 2021 CR-V Hybrid revealed that its fuel economy was nearly the same as with a non-hybrid. We'll temper expectations for the revised hybrid system until we can get behind the wheel of the 2023 CR-V.

How's the CR-V's interior?

  2023 Honda CR-V

With the powertrains staying largely the same as last year's, the Honda team mostly turned its attention to the CR-V's cabin. The current model's interior is already one of the most spacious in the segment, with ample headroom and legroom in both rows. The new CR-V looks to be even more accommodating thanks to a 1.6-inch increase in wheelbase (which typically translates to more legroom). Cargo room stays virtually the same in the gas-only models, though you'll have to slot the two-tiered cargo floor panel in its lower position to maximize space. There's no lower tier in the hybrid model, but the hybrid's maximum cargo space behind the rear seats increases by 3.1 cubic feet year over year.

The 2023 CR-V's cabin design takes obvious inspiration from the recently redesigned Civic. An almost identical layout means you'll find a honeycomb element that stretches across the dashboard, a 7-inch digital instrument panel, a spiffy new front console and a touchscreen perched atop a low-profile dash. While the interior isn't as visually arresting as that of, say, the Mazda CX-50, the CR-V is packed with high-quality materials that are a cut above those in most other compact SUVs.

How's the CR-V's tech?

An unintuitive technology interface is the current CR-V's singular weak spot. Thankfully, the 2023 model will receive Honda's newest UI. It doesn't feature slick graphics, but it is thoughtfully laid out and easy to use — a vast improvement over the CR-V's current system. EX and Sport models feature a 7-inch central touchscreen and wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. Step up to the EX-L or Touring, and you'll get a 9-inch screen with wireless smartphone compatibility, plus a wireless charging pad. Rounding out the tech improvements is a 12-speaker Bose audio system, which comes standard on the Sport Touring, perfect for blasting Doja Cat on Costco runs.

The Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety systems is once again standard on the CR-V. As a refresher, the suite consists of forward collision mitigation, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. Those features are joined by new enhancements such as lane centering assist at speeds up to 45 mph, speed limit sign recognition, a driver drowsiness monitor and a rear seat reminder. A blind-spot monitor is also newly standard for 2023.

Edmunds says

The 2023 Honda CR-V plays it safe by building on the strengths of the previous model and fixing its mistakes. As with many of the newest Hondas, the CR-V offers overall competency but not much that we consider truly exciting or groundbreaking. A logical approach for a logical SUV.

    2023 Honda CR-V