Honda did not have to reinvent the CR-V for 2023, as it’s already one of many bestselling compact SUVs within the U.S. and the automaker’s hottest mannequin. For its sixth era, the CR-V grows barely, sports activities a extra upright and squared-off entrance finish, and has a modernized cabin with bigger touchscreens and higher-quality supplies.

We traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, to take a spin on this all-new CR-V. Our pattern automotive, a midrange EX-L, got here completed in Radiant Red paint and rode on 18-inch wheels which are fitted to a lot of the vary. While not as outwardly daring because the 2023 Kia Sportage or the Hyundai Tucson, the brand new CR-V cuts a extra fashionable path via site visitors than the outgoing model.

Not that there was a lot site visitors to navigate on the meandering nation lanes that constituted our take a look at drive across the Nashville Superspeedway, a 1.3-mile tri-oval situated 30 miles east of downtown. The racy staging level was an ironic twist, contemplating the CR-V’s mission is to move as much as 5 folks and loads of cargo comfortably and economically with stress-free driving dynamics.

By the numbers, the 2023 CR-V is 2.7 inches longer, rides on a wheelbase stretched as much as 1.6 inches, and has barely wider entrance and rear tracks (0.4 to 0.5 inch entrance and 0.3 to 0.5 inch rear) than the earlier mannequin. This pays off with a bit extra rear legroom and barely elevated cargo quantity with the rear seatbacks folded, now 77 cubes, whereas the 39 cubic ft behind the second row is similar as earlier than. Thanks to its almost flat flooring and ample glass space, the CR-V’s cabin is a light-weight and ethereal place to spend your time.

Two Familiar Engines

A turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder returns, delivering the identical 190 horsepower and 179 pound-feet of torque as earlier than, though peak torque arrives just a few hundred rpm sooner. This engine is once more coupled to a repeatedly variable computerized transmission, and the CR-V is accessible with front- or all-wheel drive. Our EX-L was outfitted with all-wheel drive, and the up to date system can now ship extra torque to the rear wheels—as much as 50 % versus a max of 40 % beforehand. The CR-V additionally provides hill-descent management.

While the turbocharged 1.5-liter powers the EX and EX-L fashions, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder coupled with two electrical motors is discovered within the high two trims, Sport Hybrid and Sport Touring Hybrid. It makes 204 horsepower (down from 212 horses beforehand) and 247 pound-feet. The hybrid variant, nonetheless, will not be obtainable till later this 12 months. EPA estimates should not but obtainable however should not stray removed from final 12 months’s 30 mpg mixed for the front-wheel-drive 1.5-liter and 29 mpg for the AWD model. The AWD hybrid beforehand was good for 38 mpg general, however the brand new Sport Hybrid additionally is accessible with front-wheel drive, which ought to end in a slight improve. (We averaged 30 mpg in our long-term test of a 2021 CR-V Hybrid.)

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Performance with the usual engine is ok for a car on this phase. The turbo four-cylinder fades into the background and the transmission makes the a lot of the obtainable energy. Acceleration is modest, although the CR-V will get up to the mark with out you needing to pin the fuel pedal to the ground. If you do, the result’s merely extra engine noise.

Our drive loop consisted of well-groomed two-lane roads, although we tried to flummox the suspension by aiming for any bumps and ruts encountered alongside the best way. To its credit score, the CR-V was unflustered and intensely quiet at a gradual cruise. Honda stiffened the chassis and strengthened the entrance and rear suspension, the end result being a really easy journey and steering that is mild and correct. Unfortunately, the dealing with would not have the fun-loving nature present in some rivals, most notably the Mazda CX-50. To be honest, driving pleasure would not rank excessive amongst must-haves for a lot of buyers on this phase.

Upgraded Interior and New Features

More vital is the truth that the 2023 CR-V now comes normal with extra driver-assist options, together with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise management. Also new are a driver-attention monitor and a rear-seat reminder. Buyers could also be extra prone to admire the infotainment system’s clearer menus and faster response instances. Our EX-L tester got here with the bigger 9.0-inch touchscreen with wi-fi smartphone connectivity and wi-fi charging, an improve over the bottom 7.0-inch system, with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, discovered within the EX and Sport. All fashions get a digital instrument cluster. Honeycomb-patterned trim that neatly hides the air vents, a smooth design flourish first launched on the Civic sedan, clothes up the dashboard itself.

Improvements to the CR-V are incremental, true, however this sensible and value-oriented SUV already ranked among the many greatest in its crowded phase. Honda made a superb factor slightly bit higher with the 2023 CR-V, and that is in all probability sufficient.

Specifications

Specifications

2023 Honda CR-V

Vehicle Type: front-engine, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE (C/D EST)

EX, $31,000; EX AWD, $32,500; EX-L, $33,500; EX-L AWD, $35,000

ENGINE

turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct gas injection

Displacement: 91 in3, 1498 cm3

Power: 190 hp @ 6000 rpm

Torque: 179 lb-ft @ 1700 rpm

TRANSMISSION

repeatedly variable computerized

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 106.3 in

Length: 184.8 in

Width: 73.5 in

Height: 66.2–66.5 in

Passenger Volume: 104 ft3

Cargo Volume: 39 ft3

Curb Weight (C/D est): 3500–3650 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)

60 mph: 7.5–7.7 sec

100 mph: 21.1–21.3 sec

1/4-Mile: 15.8–16.0 sec

Top Speed: 124 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)

Combined/City/Highway: 29–30/27–28/32–34 mpg


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