The 2023 Honda CR-V takes a proven formula and polishes it with the latest technologies and electrification. Don’t let the evolutionary exterior fool you, you’ll find a lot of meaningful changes here. Versus the outgoing generation, the new CR-V grows in length by 2.7 inches and 0.4 inches in width. Honda increased the wheelbase by 1.6 inches to 106.3 inches while torsional stiffness increased by 15 percent.
2023 Honda CR-V: Familiar Looks With Minor Tweaks
Some of the changes to the 2023 CR-V bring it in line with the Honda SUV family look. The front fascia evokes the Passport while the overall profile and L-shaped taillights harken back to previous generations. You also get two distinct looks based on the trim level. EX and EX-L variants feature a black mesh grille, chrome trim, and 18-inch wheels. Sport and Sport Touring variants get a revised front fascia and dual exhaust tips. The latter also adds 19-inch alloy wheels while the former gets black 18-inch units with a 10-spoke design.
Space, Comfort, and Safety for the Family
Honda touts that the 2023 CR-V possesses the most cargo space in its class. With all seats up you get up to 39.3 cubic feet with the load floor in its lowest position. Folding the second row down increases the overall capacity to 76.5 cubic feet. The interior design essentially mirrors that of the new Civic, featuring a 7.0- or 9.0-inch touchscreen depending on the trim. Sport Touring variants also include a 12-speaker Bose audio system. Newly designed front seats that reduce fatigue on long drives debut on the 2023 CR-V along with a large center console bin that holds nine liters.
Every CR-V gets the latest version of the Honda Sensing driver assistance suite as standard equipment. Unlike its predecessor, this version now includes traffic jam assist and traffic sign recognition. Existing functions like lane-keeping, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking get an expanded range of functionality thanks to a new 90-degree field-of-view camera. This allows the car to better recognize vehicles, objects, and people on the road. Additionally, the CR-V’s collision prevention features now work at intersections.
2023 Honda CR-V: Better Handling and Powertrains
The latest CR-V uses a version of the new Honda Architecture that also underpins the latest Civic and HR-V. It gets stiffer spring rates (15 percent) and front and rear subframes for improved ride and handling. Honda’s Real Time AWD system gets improved traction management for slippery conditions via a new Snow mode. Sport and Sport Touring variants get a Sport mode.
EX and EX-L models use an updated 1.5-liter turbo-four paired to a CVT automatic. It makes the same 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque as in the outgoing generation. Tweaks include a high-efficiency, high-response turbocharged, and a 4-2 port cylinder that broadens the torque curve and improves engine response. The CVT now mimics gears at full throttle and has reduced noise and vibration levels.
On the hybrid front, Honda continues to use its two-motor setup. Unlike other systems, this forgoes the traditional transmission for a direct drive setup. This version uses an updated 2.0-liter four-cylinder with direct fuel injection and a pair of electric motors now mounted side-by-side. As a result, this allowed Honda to use a larger, more powerful drive motor yielding a total system output of 204 hp and 247 lb-ft. That’s an 8-hp decrease and a 15 lb-ft increase in torque. This setup should find its way into the Civic Hybrid and the next-generation Accord Hybrid.
Still Made in North America
As before, three North American plants will make the 2023 Honda CR-V. These include the East Liberty Auto Plant in Ohio, the Indiana Auto Plant, and Honda of Canada Manufacturing. The hybrid variant is part of Honda’s electrification offensive, which also includes the first-ever CR-V PHEV, Civic Hybrid, Accord Hybrid, and the upcoming Prologue electric SUV.