2023 Honda CR-V Debuts With First-Ever Hybrid Variant in Canada

Published on July 12, 2022 in New Models by Guillaume Rivard

Honda has teased the all-new 2023 CR-V a few times in recent week, but today we finally have the whole picture. Here is the sixth generation of the popular compact SUV that will go on sale this summer.

And as previously reported, a hybrid variant will be offered in Canada for the first time, starting later this year. Honda expects it to account for 50 percent of CR-V sales going forward.

What About This CR-V Hybrid?

A next-generation hybrid system can now be found in the range-topping Touring model. Combining a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine with a pair of electric motors mounted side by side, it generates 204 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque—the most ever achieved by a CR-V but not as much as, say, the Hyundai Tucson Hybrid and Kia Sportage Hybrid. Towing capacity is rated at 1,000 pounds. However, fuel consumption ratings have yet to be announced.

The other models (LX, EX-L and Sport) get an updated version of the turbocharged 1.5-litre engine, though output remains the same at 190 horsepower. Peak torque is stilll 179 pound-feet, but you can access it a tad earlier—from 1,700-5,000 rpm. Honda engineers have significantly reduced engine noise. More importantly, perhaps, the continuously variable automatic transmission has been updated to reduce noise and vibration, while Step-Shift programming simulates gear changes at full throttle.

The updated Real Time AWD system can now send up to 50 percent of engine torque to the rear wheels. For the first time, the CR-V features Hill Descent Control, while a new Snow mode maximizes available traction in slick snowy conditions. Honda is advertising a sportier and more engaging driving experience thanks to a revised chassis and significantly stronger structure (including a 15-percent gain in torsional stiffness). Handling is further improved with a stiffer rear subframe for the retuned multilink suspension which features 15-percent higher spring rate for the upper spring mount.

Photo: Honda

More Rugged Looks

Physically, the 2023 Honda CR-V is 69mm longer and 10mm than its predecessor. Styling is all-new, giving the SUV a more modern and more attractive appearance complete with rugged design cues inspired from the recently redesigned Ridgeline and Passport TrailSport.

The base of these A-pillars has moved 119mm rearward, 71mm outward and 36mm lower. Together with new door-mounted side mirrors, these changes radically improve outward visibility. In the rear, the redesigned LED taillights continue to stretch both vertically and horizontally.

Sport and Touring models stand out from the others with Berlina Black 18-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels and black 19-inch split 5-spoke alloy wheels, respectively. They also feature more aggressive grille designs, rectangular exhaust tips and black trim on the rear spoiler.

Photo: Honda

More Space and Comfort

Honda claims the interior of the 2023 CR-V is quieter and more comfortable thanks to new Body Stabilizing Seats up front that reduce fatigue over long drives. Between them is the largest centre console storage compartment in the segment (9 litres). The rear seats now feature eight angles of recline for increased comfort.

By the way, the CR-V has never been more spacious. The 41mm of extra wheelbase result in 15mm more legroom for rear passengers. As for cargo, the trunk can fit 1,028 litres, or 1,112 litres if you lower the load floor. Folding the rear seats down will get you 2,166 litres, a number that’s only bested by the Mitsubishi Outlander.

Photo: Honda

Front occupants will almost feel like they’re sitting in a Civic. This includes the dashboard design with the horizontal mesh grille hiding the air vents, as well as the new-look steering wheel, digital instruments and high-mounted centre touchscreen. The latter is either 7 inches (LX, Sport) or 9 inches (EX-L, Touring) and powered by a new multimedia system with a simplified menu structure. It’s also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (wireless integration with the larger display). Wireless smartphone charging and a 12-speaker Bose premium sound system are available, too.

The Safest CR-V Yet

We cannot end this story without a few words about safety. An updated Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistance technologies integrates a new wide-angle camera (90 degrees) and millimeter-wave radar (120 degrees) for improved collision prevention performance.

Photo: Honda

Blind spot information is now standard. Also new are Traffic Jam Assist, Low-Speed Braking Control and Traffic Sign Recognition, as well as more natural responses for existing features, such as Lane Keeping Assist and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow. Let’s not forget the Driver Attention Monitor, plus standard Rear Seatbelt Reminder and Rear Seat Reminder.

Canadian pricing for the 2023 Honda CR-V will be announced closer to launch this summer. Interestingly, Honda of Canada Mfg. in Alliston, Ontario will build its 2 millionth CR-V later in 2022.

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