2023 Honda CR-V Has More Space, Power and Civic Influence

The Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape and Chevrolet Equinox have been locked in a battle for small SUV supremacy for decades. On Tuesday, the 2023 Honda CR-V premiered delivering family-friendly features, Civic-inspired design, and a roster of safety technology.

"As America's outright best-selling SUV of the past 25 years the Honda CR-V has played a critical role in our past, but what's significant about the all-new CR-V is the important role it will play in our future – with the CR-V hybrid to represent about 50 percent of sales," said Mike Kistemaker, assistant vice president of Honda sales at American Honda in a press release.

"More stylish, more rugged, more tech and more fun-to-drive, this 6th generation CR-V will be best in class in a large segment where that really matters."

The 2023 CR-V takes exterior design inspiration from the Ridgeline pickup and Passport SUV. Its overall length is up 2.7 inches while its wheelbase has grown by 1.6 inches. The windshield pillars have moved back, outward and lower for better visibility. The side mirrors have been moved to the doors.

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For the 2023 model year, Honda has shuffled its CR-V lineup. The automaker retains its Honda CR-V EX, EX-L and Sport grades. It will now also sell a Civic Sport Touring version atop the lineup. That most expensive version of the CR-V gets new Snow and Hill Descent driving modes.

LED headlights are standard across the lineup. CR-V EX and EX-L trims comes with a gloss black mesh grille, body color side mirrors and 18-inch wheels. A new body-color spoiler with LED taillights completes the look.

The Sport and Sport Touring models get more aggressive front and rear fascias than the other models. They also come with rectangular exhaust finishers and unique bumper designs. Sport Touring is the only model that offers 19-inch wheels.

The 2023 Honda CR-V Sport and Sport Touring models get a new two-motor hybrid system with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 204 horsepower (hp) and 247 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque. And those models can now tow 1,000 pounds.

The EX and EX-L models continue with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque.

Every CR-V has its powertrain completed by a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

2023 Honda CR-V
The 2023 Honda CR-V EX and EX-L have a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine delivering 190 horsepower. Honda

The all-wheel drive system has been updated, available on all trims, now with Snow mode in addition to Normal and Econ. Sport and Sport Touring models also get a Sport model. Hill Descent Control keeps the speed slow and steady automatically on steep declines.

Inside, the CR-V has more rear legroom than the previous model and those rear passengers can also recline more.

Honda Civic design cues, like the mesh grille concealing the air vents, feature in the space.

For 2023, the CR-V comes with Honda's Body Stabilizing Seats, which offer a sportier and more comfortable driving position. Seats were a common pain point for reviewers of the previous generation model.

The new CR-V has the most cargo room in the model's history with 36.3 cubic feet rear seats in both turbocharged and hybrid models. In EX and EX-L, the rear load floor can be lowered, expanding the cargo space to 39.3 cubic feet, more than what is in any RAV4. With the second row of seats folded owners get 76.5 cubic feet of cargo space.

2023 Honda CR-V
The 2023 Honda CR-V comes with a new digital instrument cluster. Honda

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is standard as is a 7-inch digital instrument cluster, which looks different depending on if the vehicle is one of the EX trims or one of the Sport trims. Sport models get a digital power flow meter for seeing how the hybrid system is working.

A 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard with physical knobs for volume and tuning. There's space for two phones to be charged by a USB. EX-L and Sport Touring comes with a 9-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and wireless charging. The Sport Touring adds a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system.

Honda Sensing is standard with a new camera offering a 90-degree field of view to compliment the radar, which has a 120-degree field of view. Honda says the wide angle improves collision prevention performance by more easily recognizing road hazards. Blind spot warning, Traffic Jam Assist, Low-Speed Braking Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, adaptive cruise, and lane keeping are also included.

Honda hasn't announced pricing for the 2023 CR-V, but the 2022 model started at $26,800 and went up to $36,600 for the Touring model. The 2022 Toyota RAV4 starts at $26,975 and the Chevy Equinox can be had for $26,050.

The 2023 Honda CR-V goes on sale later this year.