2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid Drive Review: Blending Efficiency with Adventure

6th Generation CR-V

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid is the first model year of the 6th generation CR-V. As such it has been redesigned outside and in and has additional powertrain improvements. 

Driving the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid

Terrain Management

While the CR-V Hybrid lacks a dedicated off-road mode like some of its competitors, it does offer multiple driving modes to adapt to various conditions. The ECON mode prioritizes fuel efficiency, while the Sport mode enhances throttle response and steering feel. In slippery or uneven terrain, you can engage the Snow mode, which optimizes power distribution for improved traction. These modes add versatility to the CR-V Hybrid’s performance. In our testing the Snow mode was good at immediately sending power to all four wheels, which helped while climbing the articulation test hill.

Suspension and Ride Quality of the 2023 CR-V Hybrid

The CR-V Hybrid’s suspension setup is designed for great handling and stability on road. Its MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension provide a smooth ride on the highway and absorb bumps on fairly well maintained dirt trails. The steering is responsive, making it easy to maneuver through tight spots and around obstacles. Honda has an excellent job with making the CR-V fun and sporty on pavement. It’s not going best the Mazda CX-50 for handling, but neither does anyone else. The sporty on road feel comes at a bit of a cost for off-pavement travels. The CR-V is more comfortable on rally car roads than in Baja, Moab, or the Rubicon.

Off Road

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid, is not a hardcore off-roader designed for extreme terrain. However, it still exhibits decent off-road capabilities that will satisfy most crossover SUV enthusiasts. Thanks to its Real Time AWD system the 2023 CR-V Hybrid has great all weather capability. The CR-V Hybrid boasts a respectable 7.8 inches of ground clearance, allowing it to handle moderate obstacles with ease.

2023 CR-V Hybrid Powertrain

One of the standout features of the 2023 CR-V is its hybrid powertrain. It combines a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with an electric motor to produce a total system output of 204 horsepower and 247 lb.ft. of torque. The electric motor provides instant torque, which is beneficial when navigating off pavement situations, such as steep inclines or uneven terrain. However, combining steep inclines with uneven terrain will stop the CR-V.  The hybrid system also contributes to better fuel efficiency, reducing the need for frequent refueling during your offroad adventures. For rougher roads consider the Passport Trailsport.

Cabin Comfort and Technology

Inside the 2023 CR-V Hybrid, Honda continues to impress with a spacious and well-appointed cabin. Compared to the previous generation CR-V the 2023 CR-V has grown just about everywhere. This trend is common for most manufacturers. The seats are comfortable for long journeys, and the generous cargo space remains intact despite the hybrid components. The infotainment system is user-friendly, with a responsive touchscreen and smartphone integration. However, some may find the lack of physical buttons for climate control a bit inconvenient, especially when wearing gloves on cold and snowy days.

Pricing the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid

The 2023 CR-V Hybrid Sport Touring starts at $38,600 before destination and other fees. Our tester had no additional options, so with the $1,245 destination and handling fee the total MSRP comes to $39,845. At this price, Honda brings value with a strong list of included features, reliability, comfort and good driving characteristics.


The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid is a compelling choice for crossover SUV enthusiasts who want to explore off the beaten path while enjoying the benefits of hybrid technology. While it may not be a dedicated off-road machine, it handles moderate off-pavement conditions admirably, thanks to its capable all-wheel-drive system and hybrid powertrain. If you’re looking for a versatile and efficient SUV that can take you on adventures both on and off the pavement, the CR-V Hybrid is definitely worth considering.


Matthew Barnes is an experienced towing expert. He works as a mechanical engineer and his day job involves testing a variety of vehicles while towing trailers of all types and sizes. Matt shares his knowledge by writing for automotive news outlets in the evenings. When he’s not working he can be found spending time in the great outdoors with his family. He enjoys camping, hiking, canyoneering, and backpacking. Whenever possible he spends time riding in or on any power sports vehicle he can find and claims he can drive anything with a motor, which probably isn’t true.

Matt lives in the Utah mountains and often posts cool off-roading videos to his Instagram and YouTube channel.

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