Honda’s HR-V compact utility showed that the Japanese auto giant could play in the popular compact CUV segment but while its fuel economy was very impressive, the rest of it felt like it was meant to be a jack of all trades, being competent at everything but not standing out in any discernible way. Honda is not content with being merely competent in this hot-selling segment of the utility market anymore and has unveiled the bigger 2023 Honda HR-V and even confirmed official pricing as well.
Bigger Dimensions Create More Conventional HR-V Styling
The biggest change that buyers will immediately see is that Honda completely rethought the HR-V’s exterior styling. The outgoing one embraced its funky charms (for better or for worse) and that resulted in an appearance that was a disjointed mess of themes. The new HR-V unifies everything this time around and adopts a more conventional suit of clothes. The front end is still sporty looking, but it also has a more mature vibe to it while the rear door handles ditch the concealed units for a pair of conventionally mounted ones. The rear end (even in Sport trim) has a plainer look but with many of its rivals having similar problems with the rear styling of their entries, we are willing to give the Honda a pass in this regard
The 9.4-inch stretch that the HR-V added to its overall length translates into more passenger room for occupants but cargo room carries over unchanged at 24.4 cubic feet with the second row up, and 55.1 cubes of space when all the seats are folded down. That’s largely due to the old model’s “Magic Seat” being pitched to help facilitate the revised placement of the gas tank. Moving the tank altered the dimensions back there and that prevented the Magic Seat from being added in.
The rest of the interior moves up from its original Fit origins and is now heavily based on the current generation Civic. The dashboard retains the full-width air vents that debuted on the Civic as well as the same control and infotainment screen layout. A 7-inch screen is standard but buyers can go for a bigger 9-inch unit. The center console also features an open pass-through to improve storage for smaller items which is a small nod to the outgoing model and was one of its signature tricks alongside the defunct Magic Seat.
Civic Performance Enhances “GenZenniall” Effect On HR-V
Honda claims that the 2023 HR-V targets both Generation Z and Millenial buyers and has even coined its own term for the combo “GenZennial.” While we are still scratching our heads at that identifier, we are glad to see that the switch to the Civic’s platform has allowed the HR-V to gain a more powerful engine with that model’s naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder being tasked with providing motivation for the HR-V. The engine makes 158 hp which is an 18-horse improvement from the old model while the handling benefits from a Civic derived multi-link independent rear suspension.
A CVT is the lone transmission option on the HR-V but buyers can choose from either standard front-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive. Adding the latter contributes to the existing fuel economy detriment that’s already present due to the HR-V’s bigger size with front-wheel-drive models getting 26 mpg in the city and 32 mpg in freeway driving. All-wheel-drive models get 25 mpg and 30 mpg in the same categories which is slightly lower than the old model. Other versions of the HR-V will also have a hybrid model available, but Honda didn’t elaborate whether U.S. bound models will eventually get it or not.
When Can I Buy One?
Pricing for the 2023 Honda HR-V starts at $24,895 which will get you behind the wheel of a front-wheel-drive equipped LX model. Sport models are the middle of the pack at $26,895 while the comfort-focused EX-L model starts at $28,695. The LX gets 17-inch wheels standard while the Sport switches them out for a set of 18-inch hoops. EX-L models are the tech-heavy members of the family and not only get the 9-inch screen standard along with a leatherette cabin, but also Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities.
Look for the first models to begin making their way to dealerships this month with the full rollout being completed over the next few months.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.