2023 Honda CR-V: Everything you need to know about the future RAV4 rival

Update: ‘CR-V retains title of the best-selling Honda’ section updated.

The new generation 2023 Honda CR-V will break cover later this year, giving Honda customers in the United States brand new models in the compact SUV segment in addition to the sub-compact (with the new HR-V). Here’s what we know about the future iteration of America’s favorite crossover-SUV.

Exterior

2023 Honda CR-V front spy shot
Road-testing of the 2023 Honda CR-V is in full swing in the United States ahead of the launch this year. Prototypes confirm a longer and slightly wider body for the incoming CR-V. Image Source: Mark S./TFLcar

The shape and styling of the next-gen Honda CR-V were revealed in spy photos shot in March 2021 (via Motor.1.com), and yet again when prototypes appeared on the European testing leg in August 2021 (via MotorAuthority.com). The snaps revealed quite a lot about the redesign. The familiar crossover shape will repeat, but it will be tougher and more assertive. The nose is more upright, giving it an aggressive presence.

Adding to the aggression will be slimmer headlamps that squint at the outer ends. A chrome strip should connect the upper edge of the lights. The radiator grille is likely to be hexagonal like that of the current model but in a new design. On the sides, the spy shots show a new trapezoidal quarter glass. And the license plate? It would be on the upper portion of the tailgate.

2023 Honda CR-V rendering
A speculative rendering from TopElectricSUV previews the 2023 Honda CR-V in a more mature and practical design.

Above is a speculative rendering of the 2023 Honda CR-V by TopElectricSUV, reflecting the change in qualities. The front of the new CR-V is bolder and more powerful, as evident by a larger hood, a larger grille, and a more athletic bumper. A lowered roofline and a longer greenhouse should improve space and more natural light inside the cabin, respectively. Unlike the old model, the D-pillars don’t slant forward as much. With a more confident stance and an expanded interior, this new CR-V will change customer’s perspectives about the crossover’s design and practicality.

At the rear, the camouflaged test mule (see the image on TFLcar) has cut-outs that indicate repetition of the signature L-shaped graphic in the rear lights. However, those cut-outs could be a disguise, and the tail lamps could be rectangular instead. Regardless of the shape and orientation of the rear lights, expect them to feature a wide L-shaped light guide on their outer ends that flows out to the shoulder line, similar to the 2022 Civic Hatchback (and maybe even BMW’s 8 Series model).

2023 Honda CR-V spy shot
Spy pictures from HondaPro Jason offer a clear look at the 2023 Honda CR-V’s hexagonal radiator grille and thicker C-Pillar. Image Source: Facebook/HondaPro Jason

Interior

The 2023 Honda CR-V will have a simpler interior that aligns with the brand’s new philosophy – “Simplicity and something.” Honda should use a slimmer dashboard and clean up the CR-V’s center console, relocating the infotainment system screen and reducing the number of physical controls. The company will likely mount the touchscreen panel atop the dashboard, making it more easily accessible to the driver, while keeping the console clean. Another significant change should be the adoption of a 10.2-inch fully digital instrument cluster. It is safe to assume that wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto will be available.

2022 Honda Civic interior
The 2023 Honda CR-V would borrow interior parts from the 2022 Civic (pictured) and is expected to adopt a cleaner layout. Image Source: Honda

The 2023 CR-V will likely feature a new touchscreen infotainment system with deeper integration of Google services. On September 23, 2021, Honda announced that its future models would integrate Google’s in-vehicle connected service and that it will launch the first of these models in North America in the second half of 2022.

The release date and the global relevance suggest that the debut model for the advanced Google system could be the new CR-V. With Google built-in, customers will get to use Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play directly through native apps installed on the vehicle’s infotainment system.

Safety

Honda will likely offer the new Honda Sensing 360 system, a package of various safety and driver-assistive technologies, in the next-gen CR-V. Honda Sensing 360 should get a better sense of the vehicle’s surroundings compared to 2022 CR-V’s Honda Sensing, as Honda says that it has an expanded sensory range around the vehicle. The company said in 2021 that it will first apply the new omnidirectional safety and driver-assistive system in China in 2022 and that it plans to make it a part of standard equipment in the U.S. by 2030.

Specifications

On the powertrain front, Honda should upgrade the third-gen two-motor hybrid system for improved fuel economy and performance. In the current CR-V Hybrid, the powertrain clubs a 2.0-liter i-VTEC engine with two motors with flat wire technology for a total power of 212 hp. One is a 181 hp generator/starter motor, and the other a propulsion motor. The vehicle operates the majority of the time as a series hybrid. The propulsion motor drives the wheels while the engine generates electricity for the traction battery and/or the propulsion motor. The system can switch to parallel hybrid operation when it sees the need for more power.

Honda CR-V 7-seat third-row seats
Honda may build the 2023 CR-V in a seven-seat version as well in the United States. The company doesn’t offer the third-row in this market. Image Source: Honda

Like the current version, the sixth-gen CR-V should adopt a plug-in hybrid variant in the lineup globally. Honda would be studying the response and customer preference for its all-electric SUV, Honda Prologue, due in 2024, to decide whether an all-electric or plug-in hybrid option is suitable for the CR-V’s segment. The Prologue is positioned between the Passport and Pilot SUVs, so it is a more premium offering that won’t influence the CR-V PHEV shoppers. Honda sold over 56,000 units of the CR-V Hybrid in the United States in 2021, a new record, implying that more shoppers are looking for electrified options.

Honda makes the current CR-V is available in five- and seven-seat versions, but it doesn’t sell the latter in the U.S region. Citing the longer body, American media outlets are speculating that Honda will launch the next-gen CR-V in the U.S. in both five- and seven-seat versions, though we haven’t spotted a third row of seats on prototypes yet.

There are still some unanswered questions on the seating and powertrain choices of the new CR-V, but we’ll get more information in the coming months.

Price & Release Date

The 2023 Honda CR-V should arrive in American Honda showrooms this fall. It will likely be available as a hybrid (self-charging) right from the launch. Expect prices to start at around USD 27,000 for the gasoline variant and around USD 32,000 for the hybrid variant, as it aims to catch up to the RAV4.

CR-V retains title of the best-selling Honda

Though the current CR-V is five years old, it continues to be the most popular Honda model in the United States. In 2021, Honda sold 361,271 CR-Vs in the country, marking a year-over-year growth of 8.3% (2020: 333,502 units), despite the situation with the semiconductor chips. However, it ranks No.2 in its segment, with Toyota’s RAV4 claiming the lead position. Toyota sold 407,739 RAV4s in 2021, but that marked a year-over-year decline of 5.3% (2020: 430,387 units).

2023 Honda CR-V FAQs

What is the 2023 Honda CR-V release date?

The new Honda CR-V will likely go on sale in the United States in late 2022.

What will be the 2023 Honda CR-V price?

The next-gen CR-V may start at around USD 27,000 for the gasoline variant and around USD 32,000 for the hybrid.

Which SUVs will be the 2023 Honda CR-V alternative?

Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-5, Hyundai Tucson & Kia Sportage will be some of the many CR-V alternatives.