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The 2023 Honda CR-V Is a Reminder Of How Good Normal Cars Have Become

2024 honda crv red
2023 Honda CR-V Expert ReviewBrian Silvestro

Our Take on the 2023 Honda CR-V

The 2023 Honda CR-V is about as normal as a car can get. Sold by a mainstream brand for a mainstream segment, it's meant to appeal to a wide swath of buyers and offend as little as it possibly can. With SUVs and crossovers now the overwhelming majority of car sales, the CR-V has become the go-to for drivers across the country looking for pleasant, reliable transportation. And this new car is more of the same.

The 190-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged engine under the hood delivers enough power to get you around, sure, but you won't be winning drag races any time soon. We recommend going for the optional all-wheel-drive, as it can send up to 50 percent of the torque to the rear wheels when needed—perfect for snowy weekdays when you just want to get to work or get home safely.

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Where the 2023 Honda CR-V really shines is inside. The crossover gets a similar cabin to the layout found in the Civic, with a simplistic design, neat honeycomb trim, and easy-to-use functions. The EX-L trim shown here gets a nine-inch touchscreen with wireless CarPlay for all your infotainment needs, along with leather seats front and rear.

Ride, steering, and visibility are good too, making us question why'd we spend $50,000 on something like a Lexus NX when this CR-V comes in at just under $37,000, sporting many of the same features.

2023 honda crv red
Brian Silvestro

What's New

The 2023 Honda CR-V is all-new for 2023, with a new design that doesn't stray from Honda's corporate looks, with a big grille and slim, streamlined headlights. It's a nice look that isn't outwardly offensive to look at, but it isn't too exciting either.

The sixth-generation CR-V also gets a roomier and much better-designed interior with more features, like available wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While the 1.5-liter turbo engine is a carryover from the last-gen car, Honda says it's been retuned for more responsiveness and efficiency.

Pros

  • Pleasant, compliant ride

  • turbocharged drivetrain is unobtrusive, provides adequate power

  • Genuinely nice cabin

Cons

  • Not exactly exciting to drive

  • Suspension can crash over bigger bumps

  • Fuel economy could be better

Performance, Engine & Horsepower

Under the hood of the CR-V EX-L sits a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine making 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. While it's not particularly powerful or exciting, there's enough grunt here to get you around town or merge onto a busy highway, so long as you're not afraid to bury your foot into the throttle every so often.

2023 honda crv red
Brian Silvestro

Honda CR-V 0-60

The CR-V also has a hybrid powertrain available, which pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors, totaling 204 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. The Honda CR-V can sprint to 60 mph in a respectable 7.9 seconds.

Features & Specs

The 2023 Honda CR-V is well-equipped in EX-L trim, with a standard turbocharged engine and optional all-wheel-drive. There's front MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link suspension setup in the rear, with disc brakes on all four corners.

Curb weight for the 2023 CR-V comes in at just under 4000 pounds, while cargo volume rests at 36 ft cubed. Inside you'll find leather trimmed seats, a leather trimmed steering wheel, and a leather trimmed shift knob. There's also a nine-inch touchscreen with a backup camera.

Honda CR-V MPG & Range

The 1.5-liter-powered Honda CR-V with all-wheel-drive is EPA rated at 27 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, with a combined rating of 29 mpg.

We were only able to scrum up 24.1 mpg during our 200-mile test, according to the onboard computer. Most of our driving took place in the city, but we were still left disappointed considering the tiny displacement and CVT transmission should've worked wonders to improve mileage.

2023 honda crv red profile side
Brian Silvestro

Test Drive

The 2023 Honda CR-V defines the modern crossover driving experience. It's not very exciting, but it disappears under you as you run errands and commute to work, which is exactly what a good daily-driver should do. The ride is good over most poor-quality roads thanks to big tire sidewall, but bigger potholes will send a jolt through the cabin.

Honda CR-V Pricing

The 2023 Honda CR-V starts at $29,705 including a $1245 destination fee. Our AWD-equipped EX-L model optioned with this fancy red paint was a bit more expensive, with a sticker price reading $36,900.

Not cheap, but still a relative bargain for what you get: A reliable, capable SUV that, with proper maintenance, you know will last for hundreds of thousands of miles.

Interior

The CR-V's cabin is where this car shines brightest. It utilizes the same design ethos as the interior found in the Civic, which we absolutely adore. There's a simplicity to the layout that positions a central infotainment screen up top, following by a honeycomb trim piece that's lovely to look at, with climate control underneath.

2023 honda crv red
Brian Silvestro

The rest of the cabin is nice too, with a comfortable seating position, good visibility, and plenty of space.

Comfort

The 2023 Honda CR-V is particularly nice inside, especially in EX-L trim. The suspension is compliant and the seats are supportive, with a wide range of adjustability for different body types. The steering is typical Honda lightweight and doesn't dart around at high speeds, meaning you won't suffer fatiguing over long drives.

Technology

The Honda CR-V EX-L comes standard with a nine-inch touchscreen mounted to the center of the dashboard, complimented with physical controls for home, volume, and skipping tracks.

2023 honda crv red
Brian Silvestro

It's easy to use and navigate, and comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard (a must for any new car).

Storage

The CR-V is bigger than ever, but still doesn't have a third row. That means a generous amount of storage space in its hatch-accessed trunk area.

With the second row up, the trunk offers 36 cubic feet of storage. Fold the 60/40 split rear seats down, and you can increase that number by double digits.

Safety

In addition to the standard suite of airbags, and an anti-lock braking system, the 2023 Honda CR-V gets a collection of active safety systems that include collision mitigation braking, lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.

Trims

The 2023 Honda CR-V is available in five trim levels: LX, EX, Sport Hybrid, EX-L, and Sport Touring Hybrid. The one we'd recommend is the front-drive Sport Hybrid, as it delivers an EPA-estimated 43 mpg for just under $34,000.

Wrapping Up

The 2023 Honda CR-V is a reminder that you don't have to step up to an expensive luxury brand to get a pleasant, well-rounded driving experience. This Honda crossover delivers virtually everything you could want from a normal car, all for an out-the-door price of under $40,000.

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