2023 Honda HR-V Review: Fresh and Comfortable But Weak

2023 Honda HR-V Review: 

  • 2023 Honda HR-V – $23,800 – $27,900 
  • IIHS Top Safety Pick+
  • Pros: Smooth ride, improved passenger space, agile 
  • Cons: Weak engine, limited comfort, reduced cargo room 
2023 Honda HR-V review
2023 Honda HR-V | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Honda HR-V is the smallest SUV In the lineup, and we wish we could call it tiny but mighty. However, it could use a little extra muscle to become more enticing. But the 2023 HR-V provides a smooth ride and is extremely convenient in the city. 

The HR-V used to be based on the beloved and missed Honda Fit, but now it takes after the Civic. It’s a bit larger and more refined, but you may miss the magic seat. The decision to get rid of it was to improve the interior room. Passengers may notice the extra space to stretch out. 

You’ll find that the interior is loaded with modern tech and higher-quality materials. But some features, such as built-in navigation, a heated steering wheel, ventilated seats, and a premium audio system, are missing. 

Which Honda HR-V trim is best? 

  • There are three 2023 Honda HR-V trims: 
  • Honda HR-V LX – $23,800
  • Honda HR-V Sport – $25,900 
  • Honda HR-V EX-L – $27,900 

The 2023 Honda HR-V Sport is a nice option to consider that adds convenience features without going up too far in price. It adds 18-inch wheels, heated seats, remote start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a distinctive grille, keyless entry, heated mirrors with black mirror caps, and blind spot warning. 

But rivals such as the 2023 Mazda CX-30 have a lower starting price with more amenities to offer. Edmunds recommends comparing the HR-V Sport to the standard 2023 Honda Civic model. 

How does the 2023 Honda HR-V drive? 

Front angle view of silver 2023 Honda HR-V crossover SUV
2023 Honda HR-V | Honda

The 2023 Honda HR-V gets the job done. It will get you from point A to point B, but it might seem to struggle a little. The standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in about 10 seconds. 

More power is probably on the way. But until then, give yourself a few extra seconds to merge into traffic and pass others on the highway. Rumors suggest that more power is on the way because the Civic uses a turbocharged 1.5-liter hybrid engine with 180 hp. 

You can use Normal mode for relaxed daily driving and switch to Eco mode to save more fuel. The Normal mode is a little faster, but we were surprised to find that there isn’t a Sport mode. On a positive note, there is a Snow mode for inclement weather situations. 

The HR-V has responsive handling and confident brakes. The desire to be more athletic is there, but it’s a leisurely SUV that performs best in crowded downtown city areas. On the highway and country roads, you may want more engagement. 

Can the 2023 HR-V go off-roading? 

2023 Honda HR-V off-roading
2023 Honda HR-V | Honda

The 2023 Honda HR-V isn’t built for tackling the wild. But each model can be equipped with all-wheel drive for $15,000, and the Snow mode should help on the pavement. It only features a 7.3-inch ground clearance and lacks the necessary torque for mud and ruts. 

It could probably handle gravel roads without large impacts. It doesn’t come with roof rails, so the ability to store cargo for adventures is limited. During off-road tests, the HR-V was prone to slipping and struggled up steep inclines. 

Does the 2023 Honda HR-V have a good fuel economy?

223 Honda HR-V
2023 Honda HR-V | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Honda HR-V gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and up to 32 mpg on the highway. Adding AWD may reduce these figures by one or two mpg, but it didn’t hurt our model. 

We averaged about 27.7 mpg and spent time around steep mountain roads in Asheville, NC, on flat country roads in South Carolina, on multiple highways, and in the downtown Charlotte, NC, area. 

Is the 2023 Honda HR-V comfortable? 

2023 Honda HR-V Sport from the back
2023 Honda HR-V Sport | Honda

The 2023 Honda HR-V has a new independent suspension that replaced the old torsion beam setup. As a result, the ride and handling have been improved. The HR-V has an incredibly smooth ride over the pavement. 

Seriously, it absorbs impacts extremely well. However, it’s loud at highway speeds as wind and road noise enters the cabin. Also, the engine emits a noticeable whine under hard acceleration and while climbing hills. 

Body roll is well controlled, and the seats are pretty supportive. They become stiff during longer trips but offer a wide range of adjustment controls. The back seat is spacious and comfortable. The backrest sits at a relaxed angle with plenty of space for two adults. 

The climate control system takes a few minutes to kick in, but it’s strong and effective. Passengers in the front may notice how cold the air conditioning can be, but there are no rear vents. It has to be powerful to keep the entire vehicle cool. 

How is the 2023 Honda HR-V interior? 

The 2023 Honda HR-V’s interior is one of the bright spots for this tiny SUV. The doors open wide, providing easy access to each row. The front and rear provide plenty of space for adults of all sizes. 

You’ll find that the interior is crafted with premium, high-quality materials such as premium leather and upscale upholstery with attractive red accent stitching. There are pops of chrome trim to break up large sections of soft-touch covered areas of the dash. 

The sunroof is a bit small, but a larger unit would be difficult to fit. It allows plenty of natural light to enter the cabin. The layout is simple and intuitive, with everything you need conveniently within reach. 

Outward visibility is strong, but rearview visibility is a bit limited. Parking sensors help make up for the difference. Ambient lighting, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and leather upholstery are limited to the EX-L trim. 

Does the Honda HR-V have nice tech? 

2023 Honda HR-V dash
2023 Honda HR-V | Honda

The 2023 Honda HR-V has modern tech that’s easy to use. While a 7.0-inch touchscreen comes standard, you can upgrade to the 9.0-inch unit. The system features attractive graphics and works quickly. It’s easy to find different menus and adjust your settings. 

While the digital gauge cluster is a little basic, at least it provides crucial driving information, such as your driving mode and how many miles are left before going empty. Lower trims have standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

To access the wireless phone charging pad, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, satellite radio, and parking sensors then, you have to move up to the EX-L trim. Overall the tech is basic and straightforward. 

How much cargo space does the 2023 HR-V have? 

The 2023 Honda HR-V provides 24.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, with plenty of room for suitcases and groceries. You can access up to 55.1 cubes overall. 

It’s easy to fold the seats flat. It creates a flat cargo floor, which is very convenient. Plus, the HR-V has a wide hatch opening with a low liftover height, making it easier to load heavy or awkward items. 

Personal storage is a bit limited. The center console, glove box, and door panels are a bit tight. Larger cups and bottles don’t fit very easily. Also, the seat pockets are tight. There is a nice rubber tray in front of the gear shifter, though. 

If you need extra space, you might be out of luck. The Honda HR-V isn’t recommended for towing and doesn’t offer a towing capacity. 

How safe is the 2023 Honda HR-V? 

The 2023 Honda HR-V is incredibly safe. It’s an Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+. It earned a ‘Good’ rating in almost every crash test, which is the highest score possible. 

It got an ‘Acceptable’ rating for its ability to protect the driver’s pelvis and torso. It has excellent roof strength and low rollover risk. 

The HR-V got a ‘Superior’ rating for its ability to avoid collisions at 12, 25, and 37 mph speeds. Also, a warning was issued 2.4 seconds in advance. 

The child seat anchors got an ‘Acceptable’ score because the tether for the middle seat in the rear is difficult to find. But the tethers are easy to attach and mauver. They aren’t located too deeply in the seats. 

Is the 2023 Honda HR-V reliable? 

2023 Honda HR-V Sport in gray on a street
2023 Honda HR-V Sport | Honda

It’s a little early to provide the 2023 Honda HR-V with an official reliability rating. It needs to be put through the paces. However, based on similar models and brand history, the HR-V is expected to be more reliable than other options. 

The outgoing model is projected to last between 150,000 to 200,000 miles, which is on the lower end of the spectrum. But the updated platform, suspension, and engine could help the 2023 HR-V last longer. 

MotorBiscuit awards the 2023 Honda HR-V with an official score of 7.9 out of 10 

The experts at MotroBiscuit have provided the 2023 Honda HR-V with an official score of 7.9 out of 10. While the 2023 HR-V has a fresh look and updated interior, the sluggish engine takes away from its spunky personality. 

It doesn’t even come with a Sport mode. But at least it has a smooth ride with responsive handling. Also, it lives up to its fuel economy, even when equipped with AWD. However, brace yourself for interior noise at highway speeds. 

The seats could use a little more padding, but there’s plenty of space and visibility. Also, while the tech is intuitive and effective, it’s a little lackluster. 

Rivals offer more advanced options. If we’re lucky, we will get another model this winter to see if the Snow mode is up to par.