The 2023 Honda CR-V arrives with a whole new look inside and out, the better to do battle in the brutally competitive compact-SUV segment. With grander proportions and more passenger space, the newly designed CR-V promises to deliver even more of its trademark practicality. Its interior has an attractive design that’s inspired by the Civic compact car and is complemented by modern tech, including an infotainment system with an available 9.0-inch touchscreen that has wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Of course, every CR-V also has a host of standard driver assists that include adaptive cruise, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-keeping assist. A 190-hp turbo-four is the standard engine; a 204-hp hybrid powertrain is optional. Both can be paired with front- or all-wheel drive and no matter which engine you choose, the CR-V delivers a comfortable ride and confident—if not exactly exciting—road manners.
What’s New for 2023?
The 2023 CR-V kicks off the compact SUV’s sixth generation. With it comes a slew of improvements: it’s larger overall, sports fresh exterior styling, and has a roomier interior with a more refined design and fancier features. Honda says that it retuned the standard turbo-four engine to be both more responsive and efficient, and the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and all-wheel-drive system are said to be improved versus the outgoing model’s.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Sport Touring Hybrid
Honda has reworked the CR-V lineup for 2023, distilling it to four trim levels. The EX and EX-L are gas-only models. The Sport Hybrid and Sport Touring Hybrid come exclusively with the hybrid powertrain. The front-wheel-drive CR-V Hybrid Sport is tempting. It comes at a reasonable starting price of $33,695 and carries an EPA-estimated 43 mpg in the city, beating the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid’s city rating, and comes with stylish black exterior accents, black 18-inch wheels, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
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Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Behind the CR-V’s upright grille is a standard 190-hp turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder. It pairs with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and either front- or all-wheel drive. This setup is standard on the EX and EX-L models. The Sport and Sport Touring only come with the hybrid powertrain, which combines a turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors that combine for 204 horses. While the Sport can be had with front- or all-wheel drive, the latter is standard on the Sport Touring. Every CR-V has hill-descent control that helps modulate the compact SUV’s speed on steep or slippery declines when traveling at low speeds. A set of 18-inch wheels are fitted to most models, with the Sport donning black ones. The Sport Touring gets exclusive 19-inchers that are also painted black. The hybrid models are rated to tow 1000 pounds for the first time. While it lacks the handling thrills we love in the Mazda CX-50 and the Volkswagen Tiguan, the new CR-V provides a smooth ride and enough moxie to avoid being boring.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The CR-V’s powertrain options pit a 190-hp 1.5-liter gas engine versus a 204-hp hybrid unit consisting of a turbocharged 2.0-liter and two electric motors. The front-wheel-drive CR-V with the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder gets EPA estimates of 28 mpg city and 34 mpg highway while the most fuel-efficient CR-V is the front-wheel-drive Hybrid Sport which achieves 43 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. We haven’t tested the 2023 CR-V, but when we do, we’ll update this space with its real-world 75-mph highway fuel economy rating. For more information about the CR-V’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The CR-V’s handsome interior design is highlighted by a honeycomb-textured insert spanning most of the dash that discreetly hides the air vents. The steering wheel frames a partially digital gauge cluster with an analog speedometer and a 7.0-inch display that allows the driver to swap between different informational menus. Honda says the front seats are designed to decrease driver fatigue on long trips and that the new CR-V’s driving position has been improved. Between the front-seat passengers is a large center console bin, and behind them are reclining back seats with an extra 0.6-inch of rear legroom compared with the outgoing CR-V. There are 36 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row; 39 cubes on gas-only models with the adjustable load floor in its lowest position.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
The CR-V’s infotainment system operates through a 7.0-inch touchscreen on the EX and Sport trim levels. The setup features physical volume and tuning knobs as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The EX-L and Sport Touring models have a 9.0-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While the bigger display doesn’t include a tuning knob, there is a volume knob that accompanies the built-in navigation, plus two USB-C ports for rear-seat passengers, and wireless smartphone charging. Those who want the 12-speaker Bose sound system will have to spring for the top-of-the-line CR-V Sport Touring.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Honda equips every 2023 CR-V with a boatload of standard driver-assistance technology. Along with newly standard blind-spot monitoring, the compact SUV now comes with a driver-attention monitor, traffic-sign recognition, and a back-seat reminder. For more information about the CR-V’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-keeping assist and lane-departure warning
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
There’s nothing especially special about the CR-V’s limited and powertrain warranties. Both include coverage periods that are competitive with most competitors. On the other hand, Honda will start offering complimentary scheduled maintenance on 2023 models, which we expect to include the new CR-V.
- Limited warranty covers three years or 36,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers five years or 60,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is expected to be covered for two years or 24,000 miles
2023 Honda CR-V
Vehicle Type: front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon
PRICE (C/D EST)
EX, $31,000; EX AWD, $32,500; EX-L, $33,500; EX-L AWD, $35,000
turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 91 in3, 1498 cm3
Power: 190 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 179 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm
continuously variable automatic
Wheelbase: 106.3 in
Length: 184.8 in
Width: 73.5 in
Height: 66.2–66.5 in
Passenger Volume: 104 ft3
Cargo Volume: 39 ft3
Curb Weight (C/D est): 3500–3650 lb
PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)
60 mph: 7.5–7.7 sec
100 mph: 21.1–21.3 sec
1/4-Mile: 15.8–16.0 sec
Top Speed: 124 mph
EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)
Combined/City/Highway: 29–30/27–28/32–34 mpg