While the rest of the world got a redesigned Honda HR-V this year, the US didn’t. Until now. Honda has given the US its own 2023 HR-V subcompact crossover. With a more aggressive design, the new Honda HR-V will be available later this year.
“Year of the crossover”
Honda is calling 2022 “the year of the crossover” according to Automotive News. Its Passport midsize crossover got an update recently. And more hybrid versions of some other models will become available soon.
This is Honda’s third-best-selling crossover behind the CR-V and Pilot, so it is a significant vehicle for the automaker. Its compact crossover has sold between 85,000 and 95,000 a year for the past several years. But last year it sold 137,000 of the crossovers, representing a 63 percent increase from 2020. That number lifted the subcompact to the number one position in the category in the US.
The 2023 Honda HR-V was designed specifically for North America
The Honda Vezel is the global version of the HR-V, but it has less of an off-road design. So the US version is unique from its Japanese and European offerings. It uses a hybrid platform as standard equipment in those countries, so it is expected to be the standard powertrain here as well.
The current HR-V is powered by a 141 hp four-banger and can be equipped with all-wheel drive. Right now it is too early for Honda to give us specifications for the new crossover, but these renderings give us a glimpse of what it will look like.
The subcompact crossover segment has blown up
Subcompact crossovers have become a crowded category in the past few years with 20 different choices in North America. Most automakers have at least two different vehicles that fit the segment, while most had none before 2015. That popularity comes from their low starting prices, fuel economy, versatility, and the amount of cargo space they provide.
Generally speaking, the top three best subcompacts will usually include the Kia Soul and Seltos, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30, Buick Encore GX, Toyota Corolla Cross, or Subaru Crosstrek. Most all have acceptable power, comfort, and a slew of safety features to match more expensive, larger SUVs.