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Compact crossover SUVs are very popular these days — and two leading models for the segment are the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5. Both crossover SUVs have various strong points. However, for the 2023 model year, there’s something that gives the CR-V an edge. The 2023 Honda CR-V has one big benefit over the 2023 Mazda CX-5: an excellent redesign. 

2023 Honda CR-V has a redesign — but the 2023 Mazda CX-5 is mostly unchanged 

Front angle view of gray 2023 Honda CR-V crossover SUV
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

The Honda CR-V is one of the best-selling compact crossover SUVs, but it lost some of its luster in recent years. Also, it was starting to get outdated. However, Honda flipped the script for the 2023 model year and gave it a fantastic redesign. If you’re the type of automotive shopper that likes the newest and freshest look for a vehicle, then the redesigned 2023 Honda CR-V might be a good choice for you. 

Conversely, other than the addition of a new paint color option, the 2023 Mazda CX-5 is unchanged for the new model year. Also, while the CX-5 had some styling changes and feature upgrades for last year’s model, it hasn’t had a complete overhaul in six years. That’s a long time in automotive life cycles.

The exterior design of the all-new CR-V has a nice combination of sophistication and ruggedness. It features a sleek roofline, a long hood, and a large upright grille. Additionally, there’s a strong horizontal beltline that flows from the LED headlights to the rear section, which has stylish vertical LED taillights. 

Furthermore, to provide better outward visibility, Honda repositioned the CR-V’s roof pillars and installed door-mounted mirrors. Additionally, the crossover SUV has attractive new wheel designs, with either 19-inch or 18-inch versions. 

Increased size of the 2023 CR-V — with a roomier cabin than the 2023 CX-5

Side view of red 2023 Mazda CX-5 crossover SUV
2023 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

Another element of the redesign for the 2023 Honda CR-V is its increased size. This results in a roomier cabin than the outgoing model — and the 2023 Mazda CX-5. It has a total passenger volume of 104 cu-ft, compared to 98.9 cu-ft for the CX-5. Also, the CR-V offers more legroom. It has 41.3 inches for the front seats and 41.0 inches for the rear, compared to 41.0/39.6 inches for the CX-5. 

Additionally, the CR-V provides much more cargo space. It has a rear storage capacity of 36.3 cu-ft and a maximum cargo capacity of 76.5 cu-ft. The CX-5 only offers 29.1 cu-ft of rear storage space and 58.1 cu-ft in total. 

Other strengths of the Honda CR-V over the Mazda CX-5


What Does ‘CR-V’ Stand for in the Honda CR-V?

The 2023 CR-V crossover SUV has some other strengths over the 2023 CX-5. This includes higher gas mileage, especially for the new hybrid powertrain. The CR-V Hybrid has an estimated fuel economy of up to 43 city/36 highway mpg, while the fully gas-powered model gets up to 28 city/34 mpg. However, the CX-5, which doesn’t offer a hybrid model, only gets an estimated gas mileage of up to 24 city/30 highway mpg.

Also, while neither crossover SUV is a serious off-roader, the CR-V is better for light off-road use and driving in the snow. This is because it has higher ground clearance (up to 8.2 vs. 7.5 inches). Furthermore, the CR-V offers a complimentary maintenance plan (two years/24,000 miles), but the CX-5 doesn’t have one. 

With its excellent redesign, the 2023 Honda CR-V has a big benefit over the 2023 Mazda CX-5. When choosing which crossover to get, the redesign is an important consideration.