Is the 2023 Honda HR-V Just a Tall Civic?

Honda has released new information on the 2023 HR-V, its second generation of the small crossover, and it’s now going to be based on the 2022 Honda Civic platform. That’s a big step up from the previous generation which was based on the small Fit platform. The current HR-V is popular but never received the praise its larger brother the CR-V does.

The 2023 HR-V will look a lot different

2023 Honda HR-V Sport in Urban Gray Pearl
2023 Honda HR-V Sport | Honda

It’s going to be longer, wider, and sleeker, the company says, with “improved dynamics and powertrain responsiveness.” A lot of that refinement will come because the new HR-V is based on the current generation of Civic. The Honda Fit was always a fun car to drive with great fuel economy. Those attributes made it a good platform for the first-generation HR-V in the U.S. But the Civic is a bigger car, with bigger motors available, and a longer wheelbase. That means the 2023 HR-V will likely have a lot more room inside.

But HR-V is a crossover. That means it has a large hatch that adds cargo capacity in the back and a taller stance that adds visibility. Honda has not released interior figures yet, but the new HR-V is expected to be a much larger crossover.

The Civic is bigger, bolder, and possibly a better fit

2022 Honda Civic Touring front
2022 Honda Civic Touring | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The Civic is built on a solid platform that already comes in several flavors. The 2022 Civic can be ordered as a four-door with a 2-liter four-cylinder with 158 horsepower in the LX and Sport variants. In LX trim, it can achieve mileage as high as 40 mpg combined. Most Civics come with a CVT, transmission, but a six-speed manual is available.

The Civic can be ordered in Sport Touring trim. The Sport Touring version offers a large hatchback that boots cargo volume to 25 cubic feet, over the 14 cubic feet in the sedans.

The current Civic is also an award winner and was named the North American Car of the Year in 2021.

The 2022 HR-V was competent, but never quick

A blue 2022 Honda HR-V small SUV is parked.
The 2022 Honda HR-V | Honda

The 2022 HR-V is not the quickest Honda. It is powered by a 141-hp four-cylinder motor in every trim level. It could be ordered in two- or all-wheel-drive paired top a CVT transmission. Depending on the model, it could achieve a 30 mpg combined EPA rating.

The 2022 HR-V comes in four flavors: LX, Sport, EX, and EX-L. The EX and EX-L variants come with a seven-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, compared to the LX and Sport’s five-inch infotainment center that does not offer Apple or Android compatibility. The EX comes with a standard moonroof, roof rails, and some driver-assist technologies. The big difference with the Sport trim is the paddle shifters that allow the driver to select gear ratios in the CVT.

Could we get an HR-V Type R?

The rear 3/4 view of the red-black-and-white-camouflaged 2023 Honda Civic Type R prototype at the Nurburgring
2023 Honda Civic Type R prototype | Honda

Honda has made faster Type R versions of Civic for years and a Type R version of the HR-V could be a fun, tall, people hauler. The Type R cars are known as quick, fun, turbocharged beasts that often top their more expensive rivals in performance – and they can be ordered with a manual.

The 2022 Civic Type R has a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that makes a stout 306 horsepower. The 2023 version will have a more powerful engine, and it will keep many of the same performance cues that the current car has, including the big rear wing.   

Honda has teased a 2023 Civic Type R but has not released much information on it. With the HR-V being built on the Civic platform it could be hopped up with some of the Type R goodies. While it’s unlikely in the crossover segment, an HR-V Type R could be the quickest crossover in the elementary school pickup line.

Related: 2022 Toyota Corolla Cross Crushes the 2022 Honda HR-V