2023 Honda CR-V Review: Classy, Quiet, and Pretty Efficient

2023 Honda CR-V Review:

  • 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid: ($31,610 – $39,100)
  • Pros: The 2023 Honda CR-V was redesigned with a bold new look inside and out, revised powertrains, and a quieter ride.
  • Cons: The hybrid powertrain could be more fuel efficient, and the CVT makes the engine drone under hard acceleration.

Among all of the segments in the automotive field, the compact SUV category has to be one of the toughest to compete. The good thing for Honda is that it’s been competing in this category for decades and takes on rivals with Floyd Mayweather-like precision. The Japanese automaker’s entrant, the CR-V, is one of the most popular cars in America.

For 2023, Honda CR-V has been completely redesigned and now sports a bolder aesthetic, a refined interior look, and an updated hybrid system. We drove the all-new CR-V for a week and were thoroughly impressed with all of the updates, with the exception of one issue.

2023 Honda CR-V front view
2023 Honda CR-V | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

What’s new for 2023?

The 2023 Honda CR-V comes with a bevy of improvements, including a larger body, refreshed exterior styling, and a roomier interior. Honda revised the turbocharged engine for better efficiency and responsiveness.

Which Honda CR-V trim level should you get?

2023 Honda CR-V rear view
2023 Honda CR-V | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

Shopping for a 2023 Honda CR-V is as easy as picking from four different trim levels:

  • CR-V EX: $31,610
  • CR-V Sport Hybrid: $32,950
  • CR-V EX-L: $34,260
  • CR-V Sport Touring: $39,100

If you want to best bang for your buck, we recommend getting the 2023 CR-V Sport Hybrid, as it’s priced reasonably and comes with stylish black exterior accents. Our test car for the week was a CR-V Hybrid Sport Touring with an overall cost of $39,845.

How does the 2023 Honda CR-V drive?

2023 Honda CR-V steering wheel
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

Driving the 2023 Honda CR-V is a surprisingly serene experience. Upon first setting out in the car, we couldn’t get over how quiet the cabin was at every speed. Additionally, the car’s steering was smooth and the car felt confident on the freeway. It also felt compliant on the pothole-filled street we drove on. It even handled well in the snow.

In terms of power, our CR-V Hybrid Sport Touring test car felt spritely when accelerating off the line thanks to its two-motor system. However, when accelerating onto the freeway and passing cars, the four-cylinder engine would drone due to the nature of the CVT when it was in Sport mode. However, in the other modes, the fake shifts made it feel like a normal car.

The visibility out of all four corners of the car is exceptional. However, we do wish that the Sport Touring trim level came with a 360-degree camera for easier parking. It comes with a backup camera and sensors, but for $39,000, it would be nice to have a little more.

As for fuel economy, the EPA estimates that the 2023 CR-V Sport Touring can achieve up to 40 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. In our week of testing, we were able to squeeze out an average of 33 mpg in mixed driving situations. Overall, the CR-V feels more comfortable than before, and we wouldn’t hesitate to take it on a cross-country road trip.

Does the 2023 CR-V have a nice interior?

Yes. Honda spruced up the CR-V’s interior for the new generation, and it’s very Acura-like. Actually, there are some elements from the 2022 Civic as well. For example, there are retro-styled mesh inserts on the dash vents, a 9-inch color touchscreen that sits front and center, and a traditional-style shifter instead of buttons.

Everything on the dashboard is within easy reach, and every button is clearly laid out so as not to cause any confusion. We even liked that the wireless phone charger is placed neatly ahead of the shifter.

How is the CR-V’s tech?

The 2023 CR-V comes with a large amount of tech-savvy features, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, and an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. There is also a premium Bose sound system available on the higher trims.

Heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and a leather interior are all available on the higher trim levels. As for standard equipment, the base model CR-V comes with a dual-zone climate control system, push-button start, and smart entry with a walk-away auto-lock feature. We really enjoyed that last feature as the car locks itself when you walk away from it.

How safe is the Honda CR-V?

2023 Honda CR-V in the snow
2023 Honda CR-V | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Honda CR-V has not been rated by the IIHS or NHTSA at the time of this writing, but we’re sure it will gain the same 5-star overall rating and “Top Safety Pick” award as the last model. However, the 2023 CR-V is loaded with a host of safety features, including:

  • Traffic Jam assist
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System
  • Adaptive Cruise Control
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Traffic Sign recognition

What powers the Honda CR-V?

2023 Honda CR-V engine
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

The 2023 Honda CR-V comes with a choice between two different engines: a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine and a hybrid powertrain. The hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter engine mated to a pair of electric motors for a combined output of 204 hp.

The turbocharged engine (EX and EX-L trims) is slightly revised for this year and puts out 190 hp. Both engine choices are mated with a CVT and come standard in a front-drive configuration. However, an all-wheel drive layout is optional across all trim levels.

MotorBiscuit awards the 2023 Honda CR-V with an official rating of 8.7 out of 10

The editors at MotorBiscuit award the 2023 Honda CR-V with an overall rating of 8.7 out of 10. Honda has gone above and beyond with the CR-V this time around, as it exudes near-luxury features and an opulent appeal. Gone are the days of cheap plastics and a loud ride; this new CR-V is a pleasure to drive and provides plenty of comfort, practicality, and fuel efficiency. However, we do wish the hybrid model was a little more efficient.