2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid: Know the new RAV4 Hybrid rival [Update]

  • America's best-selling Honda gets a full redesign for its 6th generation
  • Honda is expecting about 50% of buyers to opt for the Hybrid version
  • With the redesign, CR-V Hybrid gains power and towing capability
  • 2023 CR-V Hybrid goes on sale in October 2022, with prices starting at USD 33,695

Update: ‘Production’ section added.

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid made its world debut on July 12, 2022, and will go on sale in the U.S. soon. This is the sixth generation of America’s best-selling SUV of the past quarter, or the second generation if we talk about the CR-V Hybrid specifically.

Exterior

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid features a more masculine exterior. A taller radiator grille with chunky hexagonal mesh inserts, wider lower air intake, sportier bumper, higher and straighter hood, and slimmer headlamps lend the redesigned model a striking appearance at the front.

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid rear three quarter
The 2023 Honda CR-V looks more mature and less sporty than the 2022 model. Image Source: Honda

On the sides, the 2023 CR-V Hybrid has a more angular greenhouse that helps it look squarer and tougher. It has a more defined shoulder line that starts from the upper corner of the headlamps and stretches all the way to the rear cluster. The redesigned model seems to feature bigger windows, which should make long drives more comfortable for all passengers.

At the rear, the 2023 CR-V looks even closer to Volvo SUVs and wagons, thanks to the tail lamp redesign. The L-shaped clusters incorporate L-shaped light guides in the lower section. Another noteworthy change is the repositioning of the registration plate area from the bottom of the tailgate to the top. The avoidance of a chrome tailgate applique is a good move, as it gives the rear-end a clean appearance.

Honda will sell the 2023 CR-V in EX and EX-L grades and the 2023 CR-V Hybrid in more premium Sport and Sport Touring grades. The Sport and Sport Touring grades, and thus the 2023 CR-V Hybrid, feature an even bolder styling. They have more aggressive front and rear fascias and grille mesh, all highlighted with a gloss black accent. They flaunt uniquely designed bumpers with exclusive rectangular exhaust finishers (black on Sport and platinum on Sport Touring). The rear spoiler’s also sportier, with the underside painted in matte black (Sport)/gloss black (Sport Touring). The Sport grade features exclusive 18-inch ‘Berlina Black’ 10-spoke alloy wheels, while the Sport Touring grade provides an upgrade to 19-inch black split 5-spoke alloys.

The 2023 CR-V Hybrid is larger than the current model in every dimension. In Europe, this makes it a better rival to the Skoda Kodiaq (the VW Tiguan‘s Czech market cousin), which is available in five- and seven-seat versions.

Dimension\Measurement2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid
Length182.1 in.184.8 in.
Width73.0 in.73.4 in.
Height66.1 in. (FWD)/66.5 in. (AWD)66.2 in. (FWD)/66.6 in. (AWD)
Wheelbase104.8 in. (FWD)/104.7 in. (AWD)106.3 in.
Track Width (front/rear)63.0 in. / 63.7 in.63.4 in. / 64.0 in.
2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid dimensions (Source: Honda)

Interior

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid has a simple interior that aligns with the brand’s new philosophy – “Simplicity and something.” Honda has used a slimmer dashboard and cleaned up the center console, relocating the infotainment system screen and reducing the number of physical controls. The company has mounted the touchscreen panel atop the dashboard, making it more easily accessible to the driver, while keeping the console clean.

As seen above, the dashboard of the 2023 CR-V looks nearly identical to the Civic. The AC vents hide behind rectangular mesh grilles, a compact piece on the driver’s side and a particularly wide piece stretching from the other end of the steering wheel to the other end of the dashboard. There are four tiny knobs reminiscent of high-end home entertainment devices to adjust the airflow direction.

The center console is new but it houses a familiar gearshift lever instead of a more modern button- or dial-type gear selector. This tells us that Honda is committed to making the CR-V an easy-to-operate model, while also saving on production costs with traditional mechanical components.

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid features new front Body Stabilizing Seats and has a more sedan-like steering wheel angle for improved comfort. There’s a 9-liter center console bin between the front seats, the largest in its class. The all-new hybrid SUV offers 0.6 in. more legroom in the rear. Another improvement in the back is more, eight angles of recline for the seats. However, as in the fifth generation, the U.S. hasn’t got a seven-seat option.

There’s 36.3 cu. ft. of cargo room behind the rear seats (2022 model: 33.2 cu. ft.). As for the total cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded flat, Honda has mentioned a 76.5 cu. ft. figure for the 2023 CR-V but not clarified whether the same applies to the 2023 CR-V Hybrid. For reference, the gas-powered 2022 CR-V offers 75.8 cu. ft. of cargo volume but the 2022 CR-V Hybrid offers 68.7 cu. ft. of cargo volume.

Infotainment system

2023 Honda CR-V infotainment system cropped
The 2023 CR-V Hybrid features a new touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Image: Honda

The Sport grade has a 7-inch touchscreen with volume and tuning knobs, while the Sport Touring grade benefits from a 9-inch HD touchscreen with a volume knob, customizable feature settings, and Smart Shortcuts.

The 9-inch HD color touchscreen is the biggest size Honda has offered in its models to date. This infotainment system includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The smaller, 7-inch low-res touchscreen infotainment system of the Sport grade has wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Wireless charger

2023 Honda CR-V center console
The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid features a wireless charger built into its center console. Image Source: Honda

The center console of the 2023 CR-V Hybrid has a built-in wireless charger, and it’s a Qi-compatible 15W unit. The driver or passenger can place their smartphone in a dedicated space at the front of the center console, and the bottom section of this space houses the wireless charger. This feature is only available in the Sport Touring grade.

Instrument cluster

The 2023 CR-V Hybrid has a semi-digital instrument cluster with a 7-inch digital driver information display (incl. speedometer) and an analog tachometer. In the era of highly advanced, fully digital instrument clusters, with EVs offering as big as 34-inch panels (like the Lucid Air), the 2023 CR-V Hybrid looks outdated.

2023 Honda CR-V instrument cluster
The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid will be available with a semi-digital instrument cluster (pictured) but not a fully digital instrument cluster. Image Source: Honda

We were expecting at least the top-end configurations to feature a fully digital instrument cluster with a 10.2-inch LCD like in the Civic, but strangely, Honda has avoided that. Could it be due to a parts shortage? Possibly. Regardless, expect the company to release that feature later during the lifecycle.

In the Civic, the 10.2-inch display shows a variety of information, which the driver can customize from the steering wheel. The driver can select between the traditional round speedometer and tachometer gauges or bar graphs. When using Adaptive Cruise Control, the speedometer and tachometer disappear for a more relaxed driving environment, but the driving speed is visible with a numerical speed readout.

Safety

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid has a stronger structure and a variety of features for enhanced safety. It has a new upper A-pillar structure, side frame, and lower firewall structure. Stiffer structures in the roof, side sill, and B-pillar, doors, and the rear wheel arch and C-pillar have resulted in improved side impact protection. New front airbags and standard knee and rear-passenger side impact airbags also provide more passive safety in the 2023 CR-V Hybrid.

As for active safety, the 2023 CR-V Hybrid’s Honda Sensing integrates a new wide-angle camera with a 90-degree field of view and millimeter-wave radar with a 120-degree field of view. This means that it’s better at preventing collisions, as it has improved ability to recognize attributes of objects. Another advantage of the wide angle is that it enables expanded control range for the vehicle at intersections.

Unlike the current CR-V Hybrid, the 2023 CR-V Hybrid features Traffic Jam Assist, Low-Speed Braking Control, Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR), and a Driver Attention Monitor. Moreover, some of the latter’s driver assistance systems, such as Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, give more natural responses.

Specifications

Platform

Honda says that it has revised the chassis of the CR-V Hybrid and strengthened its structure. Thanks to increased track width, the SUV’s stability has improved. The body’s torsional rigidity is up 15%, leading to enhanced ride and handling and overall refinement.

Honda has mounted the MacPherson strut front suspension and variable-ratio steering to a new subframe that is stiffer and repositions the steering rack for better feel and accuracy. The rear subframe is also stiffer now, plus the company has retuned the multilink rear suspension, giving it a 15% higher spring rate for the upper spring mount. These two changes have further improved handling.

Performance

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid packs an all-new fourth-generation two-motor hybrid-electric powertrain. Unlike the 2022 model’s 2.0-liter gasoline engine, the 2023 model’s 2.0-liter gasoline engine features direct fuel injection.

Another change in the latest model’s electrified powertrain is that the electric motors are mounted side-by-side, and this layout allows for the use of a larger propulsion motor with higher torque output. Honda has leveraged the new configuration to provide an increased traction-motor peak torque of 247 lb.-ft. (+15 lb.-ft.). The combined system power is 204 hp, which is an improvement of 3 hp. The top speed of the 2023 CR-V Hybrid is 115 mph, and that marks a significant bump from the 2022 model, which peaks at 86 mph.

Capability & Efficiency

Honda didn’t recommend towing with the 2022 CR-V Hybrid and naturally didn’t mention a towing capacity for the same. The 2023 CR-V Hybrid does have useful towing capability, and it can haul a trailer weighing up to 1,000 lbs. The all-new hybrid SUV delivers an EPA-est. fuel economy of up to 43 mpg in the city, up to 36 mpg on the highway, and up to 40 MPG combined.

Aspect2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid Specification
Engine Type2.0-liter GDI and two-motor hybrid system
Displacement1,993 cc
Combined Power204 hp
Traction Motor Torque247 lb.-ft.
TransmissionTwo-motor hybrid system
w/two-stage lockup
EPA-est. Fuel Economy (City/Hwy/Combined)Sport 2WD: 43 / 36 / 40
Sport AWD: 40 / 34 / 37
Sport Touring AWD: 40 / 34 / 37
2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid Specifications (Source: Honda)

First impressions

American journalists have seen the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid in person. Car and Driver’s Carlos Lago, who is 5’10,” says (via YouTube) that there’s plenty of knee room in the second row. The second-row seats offer lots of space and decent comfort. Rear-seat occupants will truly appreciate the new reclining function.

Kelly Blue Book’s Micah Muzio says in his first look video (watch on YouTube) that Honda has moved the CR-V (and CR-V Hybrid)’s A-pillars rearward, improving forward visibility. The company told him that the hybrid’s eCVT creates the feeling of a traditional automatic transmission.

The Fast Lane Car’s walkaround of the 2023 CR-V Hybrid on YouTube reveals that it doesn’t have a dual exhaust system like the 2023 CR-V though it may look that way; the left-side tailpipe outlet is fake. Additionally, as AlexOnAutos.com’s Alex L. Dykes points out in his first look video on YouTube, the hybrid variant continues to miss out on the spare tire as the traction battery pack is below the rear load floor.

On the Honda CR-V Plug-in Hybrid

The sixth-gen CR-V should get a plug-in hybrid variant in the lineup globally, but in the U.S., that looks unlikely. 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 has announced that it will release a new generation of BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) starting with the Honda Prologue in 2024. In the U.S., the strategy is to leapfrog to BEVs from Hybrid models.

Production

2023 Honda CR-V production Alliston Ontario Canada plant
Three North American factories will make the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid beginning in October 2022. Image Source: Honda

Honda will manufacture the 2023 CR-V Hybrid at its plant in Alliston (Ontario), Canada, starting in October 2022. The company will make the redesigned hybrid compact SUV at its plants in Greensburg (Indiana) and East Liberty (Ohio) as well. It expects about 50% of the CR-V sales to come from the CR-V Hybrid in the sixth generation. Production of the gas-powered 2023 CR-V has begun, with the Canadian facility rolling out the first units.

Price & Release Date

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid will start reaching U.S. dealerships in October 2022. Prices start at USD 33,695 (incl. USD 1,245 destination charge):

ConfigurationPrice (excl. destination charge)Price (incl. destination charge)
2023 CR-V Hybrid Sport 2WDUSD 32,450USD 33,695
2023 CR-V Hybrid Sport AWDUSD 33,950USD 35,195
2023 CR-V Hybrid Sport Touring AWDUSD 38,600USD 39,845
2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid prices in the U.S.

As for Europe, Honda has confirmed that it will launch an all-new CR-V in 2023, and offer hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants.

CR-V retains the best-selling Honda title

Though the current CR-V is five years old, it is one of the best-selling Honda models in the United States. In 2021, Honda sold 361,271 CR-Vs in the country, marking 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).

Between January and August 2022, the sales of the CR-V significantly declined 42.46% year-over-year. Compared to 272,657 units sold between January and August 2021, Honda delivered just 156,482 units between January and August 2022, as new supply chain issues unfolded, and the company prepared to induct the new generation model. Toyota doesn’t report monthly sales in the U.S., but during the first half of 2022, its RAV4 was far ahead of the CR-V, with 200,885 units sold (CR-V: 116,602 units).

TopElectricSUV says

The CR-V, particularly the Hybrid, has received significant improvements for the new model year, including a new touchscreen infotainment system, power increase and towing capability. With these upgrades, America’s love for the CR-V is sure to grow even stronger. Prices for the hybrid version hasn’t changed much, ensuring the electrified compact SUV remains affordable to the masses. With an impressive package, Honda will also aspire to surpass the Toyota RAV4 and have the best-selling SUV in the country. Only time will tell if this goal is achievable!

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid FAQs

What is the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid release date?

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid will go on sale in the U.S. in October 2022.

What will be the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid price?

The 2023 CR-V Hybrid starts at USD 33,695 (incl. USD 1,245 destination charge).

Which SUVs are the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid alternatives?

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Hyundai Tucson Hybrid & Kia Sportage Hybrid are some of the CR-V Hybrid alternatives.

Featured Image Source: Honda