The redesigned 2023 CR-V has a less bland exterior, more passenger space, and additional standard features to battle today’s rivals.
Honda didn’t need to reinvent the 2023 Honda CR-V, since it’s one of the best-selling compact SUVs in the world. and the automaker’s most popular model. For its sixth generation, the CR-V grows slightly, sporting a more upright and boxy front end, and a modernized cabin with larger touchscreens and higher-quality materials.
The new CR-V. The mid-range 2023 E X-L comes mounting 18-inch wheels that were fitted to much of the range. While not quite as bold in appearance as the 2023 Kia Sportage or Hyundai Tucson, the new CR-V cuts a sleeker path through traffic than the previous version.
By the numbers, the 2023 CR-V is 2.7 inches longer, rides on an extended wheelbase by up to 1.6 inches, and has slightly wider front and rear tracks (0.4 to 0.5 inches front and 0.3 to 0.5 inches rear) more than the previous model. This pays off with a bit more rear legroom and a slightly larger cargo volume with the rear seatbacks folded down. With its nearly flat floor and expansive glass area, the CR-V’s cabin is a light and airy place to spend time.
A 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder returns, delivering the same 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque as before, though peak torque comes a few hundred revs earlier. This engine is again mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission, or CVT, and the 2023 CR-V is available with front or all-wheel drive. Our EX-L is equipped with all-wheel drive, and the updated system can now send more torque to the rear wheels, up to 50 percent compared to a previous maximum of 40 percent. The Honda CR-V also adds Hill Descent Control.
While the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine powers the EX and EX-L models, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with two electric motors is found in the two top models, Sport Hybrid and Sport Touring Hybrid. It makes 204 horsepower (down from the previous 212 horsepower) and 247 pound-feet. The hybrid variant, however, will not be available until later this year.
More important is the fact that the 2023 CR-V now comes standard with more driver-assist features, including blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. Also new are a driver attention monitor and rear seat reminder. Buyers are more likely to appreciate the infotainment system’s clearer menus and quicker response times. The EX-L model comes with the larger 9.0-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone connectivity and wireless charging, an upgrade over the base 7.0-inch system, with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, found in the EX. and the Sport. All models get a digital instrument cluster. Honeycomb-pattern trim that neatly conceals the air vents, a sleek design first introduced on the Civic sedan, graces the dash itself.
True, the improvements to the 2023 New CR-V are incremental, but this practical, value-oriented SUB is already among the best in its crowded segment. Honda did a good thing a little better with the 2023 CR-V, and that’s probably enough.