2023 Honda HR-V vs. 2023 Honda CR-V: Does the Cheaper Honda Make Sense?

When the choice facing you is between the 2023 Honda HR-V and the 2023 Honda CR-V, go with the larger SUV. This isn’t a case of “go big or go home” mentality but more of a value consideration. Even though the smaller HR-V is cheaper, the larger CR-V has more of nearly everything, making it the better choice between these two compact SUVs.

Why would you compare the 2023 Honda HR-V with the 2023 Honda CR-V?

In most cases, you might think these two SUVs don’t share a platform and aren’t made new at the same time, but that’s not the situation for these two Hondas. Somehow, the stars aligned for Honda to build both of these models on the same platform and offer them for a new generation in the same model year.

The 2023 model year represents the first year for the sixth generation of the CR-V, while the HR-V hits its second generation starting in 2023.

Let’s see why you want to drive the CR-V rather than the HR-V.

Which Honda SUV offers more choices?

Red 2023 Honda CR-V compact crossover SUV posed
Red 2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

The Honda HR-V is the more affordable of these two models: that’s a given. The HR-V has only three trim levels: LX, Sport, and EX-L. Additionally, this smaller version only offers one powertrain with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and CVT automatic transmission. The smaller SUV of these two is the 2023 Honda HR-V.

Turning our attention to the 2023 Honda CR-V, we see an SUV with four trim levels: EX, Sport, EX-L, and Sport Touring. There are two powertrains for the CR-V. One uses a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and CVT, and the other is a hybrid powertrain. Of course, the CR-V is the larger of the two Honda SUVs, making it the model that offers the most options.

2023 Honda HR-V vs. 2023 Honda CR-V: Powertrains and Fuel Economy

Front angle view of gray 2023 Honda HR-V, the most affordable new Honda model that costs under $30,000
2023 Honda HR-V | Honda

Honda HR-V

2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, CVT automatic transmission

158 horsepower, 138 lb-ft of torque

26 city/32 hwy mpg (FWD), 25 city/30 hwy mpg (AWD)

Honda CR-V

1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, CVT automatic transmission

190 horsepower, 179 lb-ft of torque

28 city/34 hwy mpg (FWD), 27 city/33 hwy mpg (AWD)

2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine plus two electric motors

204 horsepower, 247 lb-ft of torque

43 city/36 hwy mpg (FWD), 40 city/34 hwy mpg (AWD)

The CR-V bests the HR-V regarding fuel economy for these two compact crossover SUVs. This might be a bit surprising, considering the CR-V is larger.

Comfort and utility: The final nail in this compact crossover coffin

Cargo Area 2023 Honda CR-V
Cargo Area 2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

J.D. Power covers the size and spaciousness of these two Honda SUVs to give us a final, and probably the most important reason you’ll want the CR-V instead of the HR-V. The cabin and cargo room for these two SUVs measure out as follows:

Honda CR-V

Passenger Space: 103.5 cubic feet

Rear Cargo Room: 39.3 cubic feet

Maximum Cargo Room: 76.5 cubic feet

Honda HR-V

Passenger Space: 98.7 cubic feet

Rear Cargo Room: 24.4 cubic feet

Maximum Cargo Room: 55.1 cubic feet

The verdict: The 2023 Honda CR-V is the best value when compared to the 2023 Honda HR-V

​​Front angle view of new blue 2023 Honda CR-V crossover SUV, highlighting how much a fully loaded one costs
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

In every category that makes a compact SUV useful, the CR-V has a distinct advantage over the HR-V. The CR-V is more efficient, larger, and offers more options. The only advantage the HR-V offers is a lower price, which means several compromises.

In this comparison, the Honda CR-V makes the most sense.

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