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The 2023 Honda CR-V is among the most anticipated cars of the year. As one of the most popular compact SUVs, it’s no surprise there’s already a heated debate about which trim level is the best. While experts have their opinions, consumers have their own preferences. When it comes to the best 2023 Honda CR-V trim, there is a clear divide between experts’ picks and the most popular. In this article, we’ll explore both sides of the argument about which 2023 Honda CR-V trim comes out on top.

Comparison of 2023 Honda CR-V trim levels

best 2023 Honda CR-V trims
2023 Honda CR-V | Hyundai Motor Company

The 2023 Honda CR-V comes in five trim levels, each offering a lineup of features and specifications. The base LX trim (starting at $28,410) packs a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive as standard. It also features a 7.0-inch infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a rearview camera, and Honda Sensing, the automaker’s suite of advanced safety features.

The EX trim ($31,060) adds some extra comfort and convenience features, such as a power moonroof, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a 240-watt audio system with six speakers, and blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert.

According to Honda, the Sport Hybrid ($32,400) adds leather upholstery on the steering wheel and shift knob, an electronic continuously variable transmission (E-CVT), dual chrome exhaust finishers, a tire repair kit, and gloss black roof rails.

The EX-L trim ($33,710) is the top-of-the-line gas-powered 2023 CR-V. It comes loaded with features such as a power tailgate, wireless phone charging, four-way power-adjustable front seats, and an eight-speaker premium audio system. It also features parking sensors, leather-trimmed seats, and an automatic-dimming rearview mirror.

Finally, the range-topping CR-V Sport Touring Hybrid ($39,100) adds extra style and performance to the mix. It boasts unique exterior styling elements, a sport-tuned suspension, and 12 speakers, including a subwoofer. The Sport also comes with paddle shifters and a Honda satellite-linked navigation system, among other amenities.

Experts and consumers disagree about which 2023 Honda CR-V trim is the best

The 2023 Honda CR-V offers a range of trim levels to suit preferences, but the EX-L trim is the most popular among consumers, according to Edmunds. The site’s expert reviewers agree: Edmunds says the EX-L trim offers a better drive than the hybrid powertrain. However, other experts have different opinions on the matter.

MotorBiscuit prefers the Sport Hybrid for its powerful and efficient hybrid engine at an affordable price. Car and Driver reviewers recommend two trims — the Sport Hybrid and Sport Touring Hybrid — because of the host of luxury features that really elevate the driving experience. Autotrader also recommends the Sport Touring Hybrid, citing its combination of efficiency and performance.

So, with all these recommendations from automotive experts, why do most consumers prefer the gas-powered EX-L? It could be that the EX-L provides upscale features that today’s drivers desire. They include leather seating, a power rear liftgate, and a 9.0-inch touchscreen. And despite high gas prices, it appears CR-V buyers and lessees are hesitant to go the hybrid route.

Regardless of trim, the redesigned CR-V offers a smooth ride and impressive fuel economy

With its standard 190-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, the 2023 Honda CR-V offers a smooth and comfortable ride ideal for daily commutes or road trips. The ample passenger space and excellent cargo capacity make it a versatile option for small families, outdoor enthusiasts, and everyone in between. Its tech features are easy to use, making it a popular choice for those who value convenience and safety.

According to Edmunds, the non-hybrid version of the CR-V gets an impressive 30 mpg combined, while the hybrid achieves an impressive 40 mpg, dropping only to 37 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Overall, the 2023 Honda CR-V is a reliable, efficient, and stylish compact SUV. Whether you opt for the standard turbocharged engine or the hybrid powertrain, the CR-V delivers capable performance and decent value.


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