No Hybrid option available in the 2023 Honda HR-V [Update]

Update: ‘HR-V, a model of significance for Honda in North America’ sub-section revised.

The second-generation Honda HR-V was launched for the North American market on June 7, 2022. While the global model (introduced in 2021) comes fitted with an e:HEV hybrid system, the U.S.- and Canada-spec version is quite different and does not get the hybrid powertrain option, not at least in 2022. Here’s everything we know about the 2023 Honda HR-V:

Design

Distinct styling for all variants

There are three variants of the 2023 Honda HR-V in the United States: LX, Sport, and EX-L. They all get dedicated styling elements.

The HR-V LX gets a matte-finish honeycomb grille and 17-inch alloys with silver paint. The HR-V Sport gets a horizontal-themed grille mesh, a gloss-black rear spoiler, and a chrome exhaust tip. The lower rear bumper is painted in gun-metallic, and the Sport also gets exclusive 18-inch five-spoke Berlina Black wheels.

The EX-L gets generous black treatment to the exterior. It gets a gloss black honeycomb grille, gloss black door pillars, and gloss black inserts on the front and rear bumper. The EX-L rides on 17-inch alloy wheels painted in Shark Gray with an exclusive machine-cut finish. All models will be available in seven colors, including two new options: Nordic Forest Pearl and Urban Gray Pearl.

Aggressive front-end

All 2023 Honda HR-V variants get wide-set LED headlamps with an L-shaped DRL, an extended hood with two sharp lines, and a grille flanked by air curtains that channel the air through the bumper around the front wheels for aerodynamic benefits.

Compared to the global Honda HR-V model, the North American HR-V’s headlamps are more prominent yet less ‘meaner,’ but the straighter hood and the bumper’s powerful outer ends give it a more dominating character. The front windshield wipers remain hidden under the hood when not in use. Honda has used ‘laser brazing technology’ for precise roof casting to eliminate uneven moldings.

Bigger windows

The North American Honda HR-V looks different from the side profile. It seems more practical than its predecessor and European cousin, with larger rear windows. Another significant change is the traditional rear door handles instead of concealed units of the global spec, which may result from cost-saving measures.

Rear elements that emphasize the width

The new HR-V for the U.S. and Canada has a familiar hunched rear-end for a sporty stance. Newly designed beak-shaped LED tail lamps look contemporary, while the sharper edges on the tailgate, and an inverted license plate section, make it immediately recognizable. It also gets a subtle roof-mounted spoiler, a shark fin antenna, and a black rear bumper.

Interior

Honda has focused on making the HR-V’s interior ergonomic and minimalist. There’s equal attention paid to form and function. The interior builds on Honda’s ‘simplicity and something’ design language that debuted on the Civic. Moreover, the Japanese brand says that close attention was paid to the operation of all switch gear, including the click and heft of the knobs, stalks, and switches.

The ‘Body Stabilizing Seats’ feature French stitching, while the rear seat bench is wider to make room for three passengers. Usually, accommodating three passengers at the rear can be a squeeze, but that might not be the case with the Honda HR-V. It gets a 24.4 cu-ft of the cargo area and a lift height of only 27-inches making loading and unloading items easy. By folding the 60:40 split seats, the cargo area can be expanded to 55.1 cu-ft.

Tech-laden cabin

For the first time, the HR-V gets an all-digital instrument cluster. The unit is a standard 7-inch LCD, while the infotainment is a 7-inch touchscreen. The LX and Sport models get a larger 9-inch touchscreen supporting wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The HR-V also features wireless charging, 8-speaker premium audio, and physical controls for simple functions like volume and home and back touchscreen navigation. An active noise cancellation feature isolates the cabin from the engine and exterior noises.

2023 Honda HR-V specifications

Longer and wider

Honda says the new HR-V shares its platform with the 11th generation Civic. The SUV has grown by 9.4 inches in length and 2.6 inches in width. The SUV is 179.8-inches long, 72.4 inches wide, and 63.4 inches tall. It has a wheelbase of 104.5 inches. That said, unladen ground clearance is 7.3 inches for the Sport and 7 inches for the other variants.

2023 Honda HR-V EX-L side profile
The 2023 Honda HR-V shares its platform with the 11th generation Civic. It is 9.4 inches longer and 2.6 inches wider than before. Images: Honda

No hybrid powertrain for the U.S. yet

In terms of powertrain, the HR-V gets a non-hybrid gas-powered engine. It’s a 2-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 158 hp and 138 lb-ft. There are three driving modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport, and power is sent to the wheels through a CVT. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel-drive is available.

In Europe, Honda sells the 2022 HR-V exclusively with an e:HEV hybrid system that combines a 1.5-liter i-VTEC gasoline engine with two electric motors – a traction motor and a generator. The engine produces 79 kW (106 hp) of power and 131 Nm (97 lb.-ft.) of torque, and the traction motor generates 96 kW (129 hp) of power and 253 Nm (187 lb.-ft.) of torque.

The HR-V FWD will deliver an EPA-est. fuel economy of 26 MPG (city)/32 MPG (highway)/28 MPG (combined). The HR-V AWD will return an EPA-est. fuel economy of 25 MPG (city)/30 MPG (highway)/27 MPG (combined).

The 2023 Honda HR-V, because it’s bigger and packs a bigger and punchier engine, is not as efficient as the 2022 HR-V. The outgoing model’s EPA-est. fuel economy is 28 MPG (city)/34 MPG (highway)/30 MPG (combined) in the FWD variant and up to 27 MPG (city)/31 MPG (highway)/29 MPG (combined) in the AWD variant.

On why a hybrid is relevant for the HR-V in the United States

Honda has not offered the HR-V with a hybrid system in the USA and Canada. Perhaps, that could change in the new generation, albeit later, as the company strives to increase the share of electrified models in its portfolio. “Our strategy is focused on introducing a higher percentage of hybrids in core models in the near term,” said Dave Gardner, Executive Vice President, American Honda, on June 28, 2021.

Honda declined to comment when asked about the HR-V Hybrid for the U.S., but Green Car Reports is convinced that it is “A Hybrid system away from greatness.” The website feels that better fuel economy would make the HR-V a complete package and is the only serious aspect that Honda needs to work on. Increasing the EPA-est. fuel economy to 40 mpg with electrification could work wonders for the compact SUV, even if that means charging a premium of a couple of thousand dollars over the gasoline variant. An HR-V Hybrid in the U.S. could help Honda mount strong competition to the 37-mpg (manufacturer-est.) Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.

HR-V, a model of significance for Honda in North America

The HR-V is one of Honda’s main models in the U.S. and Canada. In the United States., it was the fifth highest-selling Honda car in 2021, where the brand sold 137,090 HR-Vs, recording an impressive 63.1% year-over-year growth (2020: 84,027 units). May 2021 was the SUV’s best month in history, with 15,242 sales.

In H1 2022, the HR-V recorded its best first-half sales ever in the U.S. and garnered 6,000 pre-orders for the all-new 2023 model. Year-over-year sales during the period were up 6.7% to 73,016 units (H1 2021: 68,441 units).

July 2022 was the first full month of sales for the 2023 HR-V in the U.S. Compared to July 2021 (13,832 units), HR-V sales were down 68.8% this month, though, with just 4,322 units shipped. In August 2022, as inventory improved to catch up with demand, monthly sales increased to 6,782 units. However, compared to the same month in 2021, shipments were down 37.4%.

Price

The 2023 Honda HR-V is available in FWD and AWD drivetrain layouts and three variants: LX, Sport, and EX-L. Prices start at USD 24,895 (MSRP + USD 1,245 destination fees) for the base LX FWD variant. Check the table below for detailed prices.

2023 Honda HR-V variantPrice (MSRP)
LX (FWD)USD 23,650
LX (AWD)USD 25,150
Sport (FWD)USD 25,650
Sport (AWD)USD 27,150
EX-L (FWD)USD 27,450
EX-L (AWD)USD 28.950
U.S.-spec 2023 Honda HR-V prices as per the official Honda press release dated June 7, 2022.

Honda electrification strategy (North America)

Honda has announced that by 2040, it plans to convert 100% of its North American sales to electric and fuel cell vehicles. In the meantime, it will work to convert 40% of sales to these types of cars by 2030 and increase that count to 80% by 2035. Initially, the company will borrow GM’s third-gen global EV architecture and Ultium batteries to realize an electric car. Leveraging its partnership with General Motors, it has confirmed the Honda Prologue electric SUV launch in early 2024, and the first Acura electric SUV launch a few months later.

Honda’s long-term plan is to develop a new ‘e:Architecture’ specially for EVs. The company has confirmed that it will introduce e:Architecture models first in North America, beginning in the decade’s second half. Pure electric versions of SUVs like HR-V, CR-V, and the Pilot could be realized using this EV platform.

Before introducing EVs, Honda will improve its hybrid portfolio in the U.S. market. The company has confirmed the launch of the next-gen CR-V Hybrid in the U.S. this year, followed by the next-gen Accord Hybrid. It expects the Hybrid variants to account for 50% of its sales. The company has also confirmed a Civic Hybrid as a replacement for the Insight, which goes out of production in June 2022. There’s no plan to launch an HR-V Hybrid in the U.S. yet.

2021 was Honda’s best year for sales of electrified vehicles in the United States, topping 100,000 cars for the first time. Globally, Honda aims for electrified vehicles to form two-thirds of its auto sales by 2030.

Next-gen 2023 Honda HR-V FAQs

What is the 2023 Honda HR-V release date?

The 2023 Honda HR-V was launched in the U.S. on June 7, 2022. A hybrid version could follow in a couple of years.

What is the 2023 Honda HR-V price?

The 2023 Honda HR-V starts at USD 24,895 (MSRP + Destination fees).

Which SUVs will the next-gen Honda HR-V rival?

The 2023 Honda HR-V competes with the Toyota Corolla Cross and the VW Taos.

Featured Image Source: Honda