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The CR-V and HR-V are small crossovers from Honda. New U.S. sales data shows one of these models is faltering, while the other is becoming even more popular. Which Honda SUV is losing its appeal, and why?

Honda CR-V and HR-V sales numbers are revealing

A black 2023 Honda CR-V Sport Touring (top) and dark-gray 2023 Honda HR-V EX-L
2023 Honda CR-V Sport Touring (top) and 2023 Honda HR-V EX-L | American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Honda released U.S. sales numbers for April 2023, and things aren’t looking great for the HR-V. In 2022, Honda sold 55,953 units of its subcompact crossover. That number dropped 36.60% to 35,474 in 2023. 

The figures for April are similar. In April 2022, Honda sold 13,785 vehicles. And last month, the number was 8,970. That’s a 34.93% drop year-over-year.

However, the Honda CR-V is performing well. It’s the third-highest-selling vehicle in April. In 2022, the CR-V sold 76,579 units. That number increased to 99,017 in 2023, for a jump of 29.30%.

When you look over the numbers for April, they’re even better. In April 2022, Honda sold 18,000 CR-V SUVs. In April 2023, the numbers increased by 76.53% to 31,776, GoodCarBadCar reports.

Now the real question is, why is the HR-V falling behind?

Why is the Honda CR-V selling so much better than the HR-V?

The short answer: The CR-V is an all-around better SUV than the HR-V. In addition, the compact SUV, which came out in 1997, has more name recognition than its subcompact sibling, which didn’t arrive stateside until 2015.

Honda gave the HR-V a redesign for 2023. It’s longer, wider, and slightly more modern. Still, it feels rather lackluster and offers fewer options than its bigger sibling.

The CR-V also received a redesign, arguably making Honda’s best-selling SUV better than ever. It offers two powertrain options: a 190-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a 145-hp hybrid version. The HR-V offers only a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

Furthermore, the 2023 CR-V provides five trims for greater customizability, whereas the HR-V has three trims.

The CR-V has several other benefits over the HR-V. They include more cargo space, better fuel economy, superior acceleration, and more upscale amenities, such as an available Bose sound system.

What does the HR-V have going for it?

Even though the CR-V is superior in many ways, the HR-V tops its bigger sibling in two notable areas.

The first is price. The CR-V ranges from about $28,400 to $39,100. Those MSRPs are pretty high for a compact SUV, and given the state of the economy, many consumers can’t afford a new CR-V. On the other hand, the HR-V ranges from about $23,800 to $29,400. Shoppers on a budget might find the HR-V more attractive.

The second area where the HR-V shines is in ride and handling. It takes curves without that awkward lean some SUVs exhibit, and the brakes are highly responsive. Add the optional all-wheel drive for an even better ride.

Regardless, the Honda HR-V can’t compete with the CR-V in sales. In this case of sibling rivalry, the CR-V is the clear winner, and the numbers prove it.


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