The 2023 Honda CR-V gets a fresh redesign that brings an equipment shuffle and commitment to hybridization.
The original CR-V was one of the first models in the market to bring SUVs into the mainstream without a body-on-frame chassis. Five generations later, it outsells just about anything else Honda currently builds.
Honda is capitalizing on that success with the launch of the sixth-generation 2023 CR-V. The updated model brings it in line with its platform-mate, the Honda Civic, which also received a redesign recently. Similarities are obvious, as are equipment levels, with one big caveat. More on that in a sec.
The biggest change concerns the exterior, which does away with a lot of the funky details of the previous generation. Replacing the oddball cues is a design that’s a more streamlined, rugged appearance with a hint of premium, particularly on the rear side of the car. The floating L-shaped tail lights remain, receiving a sharper LED style reminiscent of the Volvo XC60.
Inside, the 2023 CR-V is effectively a mirror image of the Civic that it’s based on. This means the dashboard and features carry over to the bigger sibling. Sadly but unsurprisingly, the manual transmission won’t make a return here.
What the CR-V gains instead is hill descent control as standard, as well as blind-spot monitoring that supports the Honda Sensing system, which itself includes traffic-jam assist, low-speed braking control, and traffic-sign recognition system.
The 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four cylinder returns, making the same 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque, with peak torque at lower RPMs than before. Further refinements mean the engine should be smoother. A continously-variable automatic transmission is standard. Sport and Sport Touring variants will be available.
In addition to having a blacked-out visual package, both the Sport and Sport Touring models are hybrids. A 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder is bolted to a two-motor hybrid-electric setup which replaces the CVT. The EPA hasn’t rated the new CR-V yet but anticipate improvements in fuel economy. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet.
The 2023 CR-V EX and EX-L will be released for sale during the summer months with the hybrid Sport and Sport Touring coming later toward the end of 2022.
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