Update: ‘Interior’ section updated with more details.
The new generation 2023 Honda CR-V will break cover next month, to give Honda customers in the United States brand new models in the compact, sub-compact (all-new Honda HR-V) and mid-size (2023 Honda Pilot) SUV segments. Here’s what we know about the future iteration of America’s favorite crossover-SUV.
An alleged patent image of the 2023 CR-V came up online (view on Facebook/Vanhoe Rage) on February 18, 2022, based on which TopElectricSUV presented a render (featured image of this article). On May 12, 2022, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) revealed the upcoming model’s exterior with real-life shots in its declaration. Note that the car shown here is the Chinese-spec, but the design for the U.S. should not differ considerably.
The next-gen CR-V 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. On the sides, the 2023 CR-V seems to feature bigger windows and a taller rear quarter glass, which should make long drives more comfortable for all passengers.
On the sides, the all-new CR-V 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.
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.
On May 24, 2022, Honda released new teasers of the 2023 CR-V Hybrid, leaving nothing about its front and rear to the imagination. The official shots offer a good look at the design of the upcoming model’s headlamps, tail lamps, bumpers, radiator grille, and tailgate. Unlike the unofficial pictures, the teasers show the LED DRL inside the headlamps and the LED guide inside the tail lamps illuminated.
Based on the teasers Honda released on May 24, 2022, TopElectricSUV created new renderings of the 2023 CR-Hybrid to provide a complete look at its front and rear weeks before the complete design is revealed.
The next-gen CR-V will be larger than the current model, as per a report from Autocar. In Europe, this would make it a better rival to the Skoda Kodiaq (the VW Tiguan‘s Czech market cousin), which is also available in five- and seven-seat versions. For reference, the current CR-V is 179.4 inches long, 71.6 inches wide, and 64.7 inches (2WD)/65.1 inches tall, and it has a 103.1 inch-long wheelbase.
The 2023 Honda CR-V will have a simple interior that aligns with the brand’s new philosophy – “Simplicity and something.” Honda will 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 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 CR-V’s infotainment system looks the same as the one Honda offers in the 2022 Civic models and the 2023 HR-V. It has a 9-inch HD color touchscreen, which is the biggest size Honda has offered in its models to date. Honda has positioned it high up for better visibility and ease of use.
Honda has designed the infotainment system with simplicity in mind, offering user-defined shortcuts at the bottom of the screen, quicker access to Bluetooth phone calling, Smart Shortcuts, large and easy-to-recognize buttons, and physical controls (a volume knob and Home and Back buttons). This infotainment system includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The company may offer a smaller, 7-inch low-res touchscreen infotainment system in the lower-end configurations of the 2023 CR-V.
The center console of the 2023 CR-V has a built-in wireless charger, and it’s most likely a Qi-compatible 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.
The lower-end configurations of the 2023 CR-V should have a semi-digital instrument cluster with a 7-inch TFT digital instrument display and an analog tachometer. That’s probably the unit shown below in the official interior image.
The top-end configuration may feature a fully digital instrument cluster with a 10.2-inch LCD like in the 2022 Civic. In the sedan, 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.
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 from MIIT have revealed the dimensions of the 2023 Honda CR-V, and below is how the all-new model compares to the current model sold in China:
|Aspect\Dimension||2023 Honda CR-V||2022 Honda CR-V|
|Length||4,703 mm (185.2 in.)||4,621 mm (181.9 in.)|
|Width||1,866 mm (73.5 in.)||1,855 mm (73.0 in.)|
|Height||1,680 mm (66.1 in.)/1,690 mm (66.5 in.)||1,679 mm (66.1 in.)/1,689 mm (66.5 in.)|
|Wheelbase||2,700 mm (106.3 in.)||2,661 mm (104.8 in.)|
Compared to the current CR-V, the 2023 CR-V is 3.3 inches longer and 0.5 inches wider. Its wheelbase is 1.5 inches longer. The redesigned SUV’s front track and rear track measure 1,608 mm (63.3 in.) and 1,623 mm (63.9 in.), respectively. Its front and rear overhangs are 999 mm (39.3 in.) long and 1,004 mm (39.5 in.) long, respectively. The approach and departure angles are 17° and 21°, respectively. Note that these are Chinese market specifications, but they confirm an increase in size and space for the new generation.
On the powertrain front, Honda has confirmed it will unveil the all-new CR-V in both hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrain. In the U.S., however, the official announcement only includes the hybrid variant with a “more advanced” powertrain, which could be an upgraded version of the third-gen two-motor hybrid system that offers fuel economy and performance gains.
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 is 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.
In China, MIIT data has suggested that Dongfeng-Honda, the JV company that builds and markets the CR-V in the country, will introduce the new CR-V with a 142 kW (190 hp) 1.5L VTEC Turbo turbocharged gasoline engine and a CVT.
On the CR-V Plug-in Hybrid
Like the current version, the sixth-gen CR-V should adopt a plug-in hybrid variant in the lineup globally, but its availability in the U.S. is looking 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.
CR-V to replace the Odyssey in select global markets
Honda makes the CR-V in five- and seven-seat versions, but it doesn’t sell the latter in the American market. Citing the prototype’s 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 the third row of seats yet.
In select markets, the new seven-seater CR-V would serve as the replacement for the Odyssey, which is on its way out. The U.S.-spec Odyssey minivan will remain on sale, but in markets like Australia, customers who want three-rows will have the seven-seater CR-V as an option, according to the CarExpert report dated May 5, 2022. The Odyssey sold in Australia is imported from Japan (the Japanese-spec Odyssey differs from the U.S. market model), and Honda Australia has confirmed production will end by the second quarter of 2022. The cost to engineer a right-hand-drive Odyssey for Australia would be high and hence, the CR-V would rightfully fill the void.
There are still some unanswered questions on the seating and powertrain choices of the new CR-V for the U.S., but we’ll get more information in the coming weeks.
Price & Release Date
The 2023 Honda CR-V will debut on July 12, 2022, American Honda Motor confirmed in a press release on June 22, 2022. Expect its Hybrid variant’s prices to start at around USD 33,000. 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 continues to be the most popular Honda model 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).
In Q1 2022, the sales of the Honda CR-V declined 37.5% year-over-year. Compared to 93,766 units sold in Q1 2021, Honda delivered 58,579 units between January and March this year. The Toyota RAV4 was again far ahead, with 101,192 units sold in Q1 2022. However, compared to Q1 2021 (114,255 units), the Toyota SUV’s sales were also down by 11.4%.
2023 Honda CR-V FAQs
What is the 2023 Honda CR-V release date?
The new Honda CR-V for the U.S. premieres on July 12. Sales should begin towards the end of the year.
What will be the 2023 Honda CR-V price?
The next-gen CR-V may start at around USD 27,500 for the gasoline variant and around USD 33,000 for the hybrid.
Featured image: TopElectricSUV’s rendition of the 2023 CR-V.