Skip to main content

Sometimes an automotive brand should simplify things. The new 2023 Honda CR-V recently hit dealerships, and in doing so, Honda also decided to keep things simple by cutting down on some of the unnecessary trim levels and features that were not selling well.

Will this simplification of the CR-V pay off for Honda in the long run? Only time will tell, but for now, here is everything you need to know about how Honda trimmed the fat surrounding the 2023 CR-V.

Front angle view of blue 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid compact SUV
2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

2023 Honda CR-V trim levels explained

The Honda CR-V has been completely redesigned for 2023, marking the beginning of the sixth generation for this compact crossover SUV. According to U.S. News, the Honda CR-V is offered in only four main trim levels for 2023.

These four trim levels include the EX two-wheel drive, EX four-wheel drive, EX-L two-wheel drive, and EX-L four-wheel drive. Both the EX and EX-L trim levels are powered by a 1.5L turbo four-cylinder engine producing around 190 horsepower.

The CR-V EX comes standard with heated seats, automatic power windows for front passengers, Apple CarPlay and android auto connectivity, and a 7-inch infotainment screen. Standard safety features include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and more.

For the 2023 CR-V EX-L trim level, you will find all of the same features found in the EX model with some additional features including automatic power windows for the rear passengers, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a power liftgate with programmable height settings, four-way power-adjustable front seats, leather-trimmed seats, and an upgraded 9-inch infotainment screen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Andriod Auto.

Both the 2023CR-V EX and EX-L are available with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.

Simplifying the Honda CR-V

With the sixth generation 2023 Honda CR-V, we saw a massive drop in available trim levels with only four total offerings (only two if you don’t count the four-wheel drive models as their trim levels). For the 2022 CR-V, there was a whopping nine different trim levels available, and for the 2021 CR-V, customers had to choose one of 10 different models.

Is it better to have a smaller list of trim levels?

There are both positive and negative aspects when it comes to having such a short list of trim levels for a vehicle. The most obvious drawback when it comes to having only two main trim levels Is the fact that consumers have to choose “all or nothing” with their included features.

You either have the base model, or you have the fully loaded model. For some consumers who are looking to save money, this could end up making the CR-V a tough choice if the top-of-the-line EX-L trim has a list of features that these buyers don’t necessarily need and don’t want to pay for.

However, Honda still had issues when it had 9 and 10 different trim levels to choose from in prior model years. With this many options, many consumers had decision paralysis, where they just couldn’t find the exact model that they wanted due to so many options being available.

At least with the 2023 Honda CR-V, consumers will be able to always find a fully loaded model with every feature they may need. Will this work out for Honda in the long run? Only time will tell. Perhaps in the future, we will have more automotive companies that simplify their lineup as well.


3 Most Common Honda CR-V Problems Reported by Thousands of Real Owners