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Ranking lists compiled by popular automotive publications can give consumers a general sense of the best options in a particular category. The small SUV vehicle segment is easily one of the most competitive vehicle segments in the industry. Kelley Blue Book’s pick for the best compact SUV of 2023 happens to be one of the most expensive options. Is it a good SUV to get?

Kelley Blue Book recommends one of the priciest small SUVs

A gray 2023 Honda CR-V small SUV is parked outdoors next to a body of water.
The 2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

The best compact SUV of 2023 is none other than the redesigned 2023 Honda CR-V, according to Kelley Blue Book. The CR-V’s redesign couldn’t have come at a better time.

Honda’s small SUV has been gunning for the top spot for years, but the Toyota RAV4 regularly outsells it. Toyota’s small SUV is one of the most popular small SUVs ever made because it’s both practical and affordable. It also outlasts many competitors, so it’s a good long-term buy.

Kelley Blue Book’s choice to rank the 2023 CR-V at the top of its segment is surprising because it’s expensive compared to many of its rivals. The 2023 Honda CR-V starts at $31,610. The 2023 Toyota RAV4 starts at just $27,975. That’s a difference of $3,635. So, why does the CR-V get the top spot, and why is it so expensive in the first place?

Why is the 2023 Honda CR-V so expensive?

The front of a blue 2023 Honda CR-V small SUV.
The front of a 2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

The 2022 Honda CR-V started at just $26,800. So, why the huge difference year over year?

The short answer is the CR-V’s design language has evolved for 2023. The small SUV comes with more standard features than previous model years. Sure, the new CR-V may be expensive compared to competitors, but it has better standard equipment than most of its rivals.

What comes standard on the new Honda CR-V?

A blue 2023 Honda CR-V small SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

The latest Honda CR-V model year comes standard with Blind-Spot Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, and a driver monitoring system. It also comes with standard Road Departure Mitigation, a lane-keeping assist system, and a rear-seat reminder.

Standard all-wheel drive would have been nice, but it’s only standard on the Honda CR-V Sport Touring Hybrid trim. Whether or not the base model CR-V provides enough value is up to you, but the small SUV does come with some advanced safety and driver assistance features that are often found on upper trim-level models.

Which 2023 Honda CR-V trim should you get?

A white 2023 Honda CR-V small SUV is driving in the snow.
The 2023 Honda CR-V | Honda

The 2023 Honda CR-V comes in two different trims: the EX and the EX-L. Car and Driver recommends either Hybrid trim level (Hybrid Sport, Hybrid Sport Touring) over the gas CR-V options. The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid produces more power and has better fuel economy.

The CR-V Hybrid starts at $32,950. It uses a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors to make 204 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid achieves 43 miles per gallon in the city and 36 miles per gallon on the highway.


Only 1 2023 Honda CR-V Comes With Standard AWD