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U.S.-Spec 2023 Honda HR-V Teased Ahead of Reveal

U.S. version will be unveiled on April 4. Here's what we know so far.

  • Updates to the engine are likely, and much needed.
  • Style of the 2023 HR-V will be different from Euro-spec model.
  • Honda's latest touchscreen tech is a likely addition.

Honda's smallest crossover, the HR-V, is due to be redesigned for the 2023 model year, and it's about time. Though the HR-V was one of our higher-rated extra-small crossover SUVs when it first debuted for 2016, newer competitors such as the Chevrolet Trailblazer and Volkswagen Taos have leapfrogged the HR-V in terms of performance, comfort and technology.

Honda is tight-lipped about many details of the new HR-V so far, but we do know what its overall shape will look like. We also have a lengthy wish list of what we'd like to see Honda improve upon for the next-generation HR-V.

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Style will probably be distinctly different than the European HR-V

The forthcoming 2023 Honda HR-V shares a name and a platform with its European counterpart, but it's going to have its own style. The teaser released this week shows what appears to be production-ready bodywork and a sculpted taillight that has an LED element sweeping across it, from the liftgate to the side. This is notably different from the HR-V sold in the UK, which sports a full-width LED bar that connects both rear taillights.

Previous teaser images include a pair of illustrations, which show styling that's significantly different from the European HR-V. Depending on how closely the HR-V hews to the concept illustrations when it's officially revealed on April 4, it will certainly wear a more sculpted look than the old model.

Here's what we hope Honda has done with the HR-V

If you take a look at our reviews of the HR-V you'll notice that it's no longer one of our standout subcompact SUVs. Sure, it was a good choice back in 2016 and 2017 when it launched, but since then the competition has kept moving forward with more compelling vehicles. Shortcomings that we hope Honda will address include the powertrain and the infotainment system. The outgoing model is slow, and its engine gets pretty noisy when you go full throttle. Not a good combination. As for the infotainment system, its smallish 7-inch touchscreen requires a distracting look away from the road when trying to navigate menus and press on-screen buttons.

The European HR-V is a hybrid, but Honda has not given us any indication yet about what will power the U.S. model. Our guess is that the 2023 HR-V will debut with an engine lineup similar to the Civic's: a base 2.0-liter 158-horsepower four-cylinder and/or possibly a turbocharged 180-hp 1.5-liter four-cylinder. Getting a HR-V Hybrid seems likely too. It appears that the European HR-V has a similar powertrain to that of our Honda Insight hybrid.

If the U.S. version gets the same touchscreen interface as the European model, it would seem the HR-V is getting Honda's latest infotainment system. In this Civic this is either a 7-inch for the base trim levels or a top-level 9-inch touchscreen. In the Civic we've found this system to be intuitive and easy to use.

We're also hoping the configurable rear seating returns with the new model too. The rear seating in the current HR-V can be stowed and folded in a number of ways to accommodate different cargo and loading needs.

Edmunds says

If Honda keeps the interior practical and roomy, adds a more powerful engine and updates the model's technology features, it'll be back in the running with the HR-V. This is one for budget-SUV shoppers to keep in mind.