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The brand-new 2023 Honda CR-V is here. This sixth-generation redesign boasts many changes, including mightier hybrid powertrain options than its predecessor. The 2023 hybrid variants are not only more powerful than prior year models, but they’re also more powerful than the gas-powered ones. For a mass-market vehicle whose generation was already lauded for impressive power, performance, and handling, this improvement is even more reason for you to consider buying a 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid.

What’s new with the 2023 Honda CR-V?

Like most automakers these days, Honda is hard at work electrifying its fleet. Current hybrid options include those you’ll find on the Honda CR-V Sport and Sport Touring. However, while being climate conscious is increasingly important, it still may not be at the top of your car-buying criteria. If you’re considering a compact SUV, you may be looking for aesthetics, comfort, amenities, safety, and performance. Still, the 2023 Honda CR-V delivers in spades.

At first glance, the 2023 CR-V looks more rugged than the 2022 version. That’s because Honda has widened and lengthened its wheelbase, added a larger, upright grille, lengthened its hood, added a roof spoiler, and redesigned its taillights. The company has also added door-mounted side mirrors and repositioned its interior pillars to improve outward visibility.

Inside is more comfortable than ever with more rear-seat legroom, higher quality interior materials, and Body Stabilizing Seats in the front row. In addition to more passenger space, the new CR-V has more cargo room – 36.3 cubic feet with both rows up – than other models. Drop the rear row, and that space expands to 76.5 cubic feet.

The 2023 Honda CR-V sports a 7-inch digital instrument panel and a 7-inch touchscreen on its EX and Sport models, though when you upgrade to an EX-L or a Sport Touring, you’ll get a 9-inch touchscreen instead. The Touring also comes with a 12-speaker Bose audio system, USB charging ports, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, and Honda Sensing advanced safety features that come with lower trim levels.

The all-new hybrid powertrain options for the 2023 Honda CR-V

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid compact SUV badging on the trunk
2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid badging | American Honda Motor Co., Inc.

If you’re looking for amenities like these, plus performance, you’re better off opting for a Honda CR-V Hybrid trim – a Sport or a Sport Touring – than a gas-powered trim. The EX and EX-L trims generate 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque through a 1.5-liter turbo engine, which are respectable numbers for the segment. However, the Sport and Sport Touring feature a brand-new two-motor hybrid system paired with a 2.0-liter Atkinson 4-cylinder engine producing 204 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque.

By comparison, the 2022 Honda CR-V’s LX and EX-L trims also featured a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine that could generate up to 190 hp. However, as per Edmunds, the 2022 hybrid models with an inline four-cylinder engine only generate 212 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. Honda has not released anything about the 2023 model’s fuel economy. Presumably, it will be similar to the 2022 model year’s combined 38 mpg.

Improved performance and likely comparable fuel economy are not all the new hybrid powertrains offer. They can also tow up to 1,000 pounds. Furthermore, the new powertrain allows CR-V Hybrid models to provide a continuous maximum speed of 115 mph. Previous CR-Vs could only hit 86 mph continuously. Additionally, standard with the Touring trim is Real-Time AWD with an Intelligent Control System that can push up to half of the engine’s torque to the back wheels, helping improve performance in inclement weather, mud, and snow.

Are more powerful hybrid powertrains a new development?

While every automaker is electrifying its fleet, not every prospective buyer is convinced that their next vehicle should be eco-friendly. It would be reasonable to assume that Honda has beefed up its hybrid powertrain to entice more would-be buyers to make the switch.

However, looking at the previous year’s model, you’ll see that Honda also offered a more powerful hybrid powertrain option. The 2022 CR-V Hybrid models produce 22 less horsepower and 53 fewer lb-ft of torque, respectively. So, this isn’t a new practice of the Honda CR-V, just a continuation of an old one.

The more robust hybrid powertrains on the 2023 CR-V models are a notable improvement over the prior year’s model. If you were teetering on the edge of the new eco-conscious car reality, that added performance might be enough to push you over the brink. Additionally, at this rate, if you’re considering a CR-V or another model, gas-powered models may soon be hard to come by.


3 Reasons the 2023 Honda CR-V Is a Major Improvement