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Checking out the 2023 Honda CR-V: Fresh, Stylish, and Confident

Image Source: Abdul Razak Latif / Shutterstock

This year, Honda is giving its entire crossover lineup a makeover. The spotlight is now on the popular CR-V, following the release of the 2023 HR-V. The 2023 version of the CR-V boasts a more refined and rugged exterior, enhanced interior, and updated powertrains.

The exterior of the 2023 CR-V has a more upscale appearance compared to its predecessor, with sleek lines, a bolder grille, and elongated hood. By pushing back the A-pillars by 4.7 inches, it now exudes a sportier vibe. The 2023 model has grown in size, being 2.7 inches longer with a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase. Its width has increased by 0.4 inches, giving it a more grounded stance. While the new look is an improvement, it still retains the iconic vertical lights at the rear that signal it’s a CR-V.

There are two distinctive exterior designs available, with the EX and EX-L models offering a more conservative look, while the Sport and Sport Touring models opt for a sportier appeal with aggressive front and rear fascias. Interestingly, the Sport and Sport Touring models exclusively offer the hybrid powertrain. Honda anticipates that up to half of CR-V buyers will choose the hybrid option.

Despite the previous CR-V’s competitive exterior design against rivals like the Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue, its interior was showing its age. Honda has completely revamped the interior following the design philosophy of the Civic and new HR-V. If you’re familiar with the Civic’s design, you’ll notice similarities like the honeycomb mesh pattern over the air vents and the revamped infotainment system.

Significant tech upgrades have been made to the CR-V’s interior. The introduction of a new 7-inch digital instrument cluster alongside a traditional speedometer is a notable improvement. The infotainment system has also received a major overhaul, with a standard 7-inch touchscreen and a 9-inch system in EX-L and Sport Touring models. The system now looks modern and user-friendly. The upper trim levels offer wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charger, and a 12-speaker Bose audio system. The former hybrid push button gear selector has been replaced with a more conventional gear lever. The overall ambience of the interior now feels more upscale.

With the extended wheelbase, the interior has gained more space. Rear legroom has increased by 0.6 inches, alongside reclining rear seats with eight angles for added passenger comfort. The CR-V boasts more cargo space with 36.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats, expandable to 39.3 cubic feet by lowering the rear floor, and up to 76.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Under the hood, the powertrain offerings for the 2023 CR-V are familiar. The EX and EX-L models are equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque. An updated turbocharger and exhaust port cylinder head have been added, enhancing responsiveness. The available all-wheel drive system can distribute up to 50 percent of the torque to the rear wheels.

For a more fuel-efficient option, the CR-V hybrid is available in Sport and Sport Touring trims. It utilizes a fourth-generation two-motor hybrid system combining a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine with two electric motors, producing 204 horsepower and 247 lb-ft. of torque. The new hybrid model offers improved performance, a higher top speed, and towing capacity up to 1,000 pounds.

Overall, the CR-V’s updates promise a driving experience similar to its predecessor with enhancements in responsiveness, efficiency, and ride quality. Suspension and steering adjustments aim to make the CR-V more enjoyable to drive.

Notable safety features in the 2023 CR-V include the Honda Sensing suite as standard, featuring a new wide-angle camera and millimeter-wave radar for improved collision prevention. Additional safety features include a blind-spot monitor, Traffic Jam Assist, Traffic Sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist. The CR-V incorporates advanced front airbags designed to reduce brain trauma in frontal collisions, along with a rear seat reminder system and Driver Attention Monitor.

The 2023 Honda CR-V is expected to hit the market this summer, with the CR-V hybrid arriving later in the year.

Image Source: Abdul Razak Latif / Shutterstock

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