Saying the Honda CR-V is just a best seller for the brand is an understatement. It’s a huge seller, with the automaker selling just over 361,000 CR-Vs in 2021. The crossover sells so well that even with all the issues surrounding the supply chain and chip shortage, Honda still moved almost 23,000 in June of 2022. Suffice to say, a new CR-V is a big deal for the brand. So the CR-V is all new in nearly every aspect for 2023.
The design shares a similar design direction as the new HR-V and Civic. Both of which are handsome, by the way. And if the CR-V looks longer, that’s because it is. The A-pillar is moved further back, lower, and made wider to increase visibility; the wheelbase increased 1.6-inches with an overall length that’s increased 2.7-inches; and the CR-V has gotten just a bit wider, by 0.4 inches.
The result is a CR-V that — and I can’t believe I’m going to say this — has more handsome, sportier proportions. New trims in the Sport and Sport Touring give it even more aggressive styling with the addition of things like mesh gloss black grilles, rectangular exhaust, and unique lower bumpers.
The interior has also been redesigned, of which I touched on its familiarity before. This isn’t to say it’s bad. It’s handsome, yet still CR-V if you’re familiar with the previous generations. Rear-seat legroom has increased by 0.6-inches which is huge. The rear seats even have eight angles of recline for passenger comfort. Up front, Honda threw in Body Stabilizing Seats which they say improve comfort and prevent fatigue over long drives.
While all this is well and good, the big news is under the hood. The CR-V has never been known for performance. I’m not saying that’s not the case anymore, but Honda finally gave it a bit more... oomph. While EX and EX-L (I should point out that for 2023, Honda has gotten rid of the base CR-V LX, and is now EX.) trims get an updated version of the 1.5-liter 190 horsepower turbocharged I4, you’re going to want the Hybrid trims.
Only available on Sport or Sport Touring, the CR-V Hybrid get the fourth generation of Honda’s hybrid system. That pairs a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with a dual-motor Atkinson cycle setup. The combined result is 204 horsepower (up 3 hp) and a not too shabby 247 lb-ft of torque (a 15 lb-ft increase.) All-wheel drive is only standard on the Sport Touring trim but is an option on all others. Strangely, hill descent control is standard on all trims.
Honda hasn’t released pricing for the 2023 CR-V yet, but it should be coming soon as the CR-V is set to hit dealers in the a couple of months.