The Honda CR-V has always been the proverbial bread and butter model for Honda, with the current generation being in service since 2016. You would be hard-pressed to remember just how different a globe it was back then, especially with the notion of a pandemic being a borderline fantasy. Alot has changed in those six years, but the CR-V’s need to innovate hasn’t, which is why Honda chose to finally unveil the 2023 Honda CR-V as it seeks to gain the attention of more younger buyers in this hotly contested segment.
CR-V No Longer The Butt Of Jokes In The Segment
The outgoing CR-V’s looks were starting to age, and it has slowly morphed into the model that others would pick on for its lunch money. Those days are now over, thanks to the extensive redesign that the SUV has received. It’s bigger than before and also embraces a greater sense of width with the CR-V taking a welcome trip to the gym. Lifting the proverbial weights has made the design edgier than before, with the Honda Civic providing some of its youthful mojo to the hot-selling family hauler.
Honda also used other segment stalwarts like the Volkswagen Tiguan and the Mazda CX-5 as inspiration but chose to focus the bulk of the changes at the front. If the nose looks longer to you, that’s because it is thanks to an A-pillar that’s been moved up 5 inches. The front grille is more prominent than before, and in the case of the Sport model, it receives a blackout treatment too. Honda claims that the new face improves forward visibility, but we will save our final judgment until we have an opportunity to slip behind the wheel for ourselves.
Honda CR-V Takes Civic’s Lead In Interior Design
Honda’s goal here is to make the CR-V go on a two-tier strategy, and when you slip inside the interior, this plan plays its hand in earnest. For now, the 2023 CR-V will only be available in EX and Sport guises, with both base models getting a standard 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. EX-L and Sport Touring models increase the real estate to 9 inches and include wireless phone charging.
The Civic will play a prominent role in the design process for many other Hondas moving forward, especially since the CR-V is the latest model to use a full dash width air vent and the Civic’s steering wheel. That’s not bad since it helps the CR-V be more dynamic and visually appealing. Digital instrumentation is now standard across the board, and Honda even redesigned the seats to help provide better long-haul comfort. The materials for the thrones themselves have also been redone to be more upscale looking.
Two Engines For Different Flavors Of Performance
The two-tier strategy will also influence what kind of performance buyers will get in the CR-V. EX and EX-L models will be powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that will continue to make 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. The Sport and Sport Touring models will get their motivation from a revamped hybrid setup that now makes 204 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. These are not earth-shattering performance levels versus the outgoing model, but the CR-V is not meant to be a corner carver.
Instead, look for the extra torque to help improve towing with the 2023 model capable of towing up to 1,000 lbs when equipped with the hybrid engine. That could allow the hybrid engine to be a favorite with traveling families that would greatly appreciate the extra lb-ft when hauling a small boat or trailer, as well as the additional amount of cargo space that the CR-V has on hand with the new one now boasting 36 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up. Fold them down, and it expands to 76.5 cubic feet.
When Can I Buy A 2023 Honda CR-V?
Honda revealed that the 2023 CR-V will make its way to showrooms later this summer, with the EX and EX-L models leading the charge. The hybrid models will appear towards the end of the year, and we hope to hear more about pricing closer to the CR-V’s official rollout date. In the meantime, potential buyers will be pleased to hear that safety has not been forgotten about in the new CR-V, with all models coming standard with Honda Sensing, blind-spot monitoring, and other goodies, including a revamped adaptive cruise control system and lane, keep assist function.
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.