2023 Honda HR-V

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2023 Honda HR-V Review: Shooting Its Shot

Just one class below one of the most popular segments in the USA sits the subcompact crossover, populated by the likes of the Toyota Corolla Cross, Mazda CX-30, Hyundai Kona and the Honda HR-V. The template is simple - put a small car on stilts to give it some SUV swag and sports-utility credibility, and watch the customers break down your door to get one, right? It hasn't always been that easy for the Honda HR-V and any review of the outgoing model will talk about how unrefined and slow it is, despite being supremely practical with its second-row seats that flip up. The completely redesigned 2023 Honda HR-V takes on its competitors with a larger body that looks nothing like the old one, riding on the independently sprung platform of the latest Civic, and fitted with a bigger 158-hp 2.0-liter engine. Will it cut the mustard this time?

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 9 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 9 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 10 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2023 Honda HR-V Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 HR-V?

The 2023 HR-V is a brand-new car, carrying over nothing from last year's CR-V. The old one was built on the same platform as the Honda Fit that we last saw in 2020, and it shared that car's space-saving torsion-beam rear suspension and the flip-up rear Magic Seat that this layout made possible. The new Honda CR-V crossover sits on the Civic platform and has independent rear suspension and a more powerful engine to improve the driving experience. It's also bigger and has a more grown-up look than before, with an MSRP starting at $23,800.

Pros and Cons

  • Improved ride and handling
  • Comfortable and roomy cabin
  • Solid build quality
  • Many standard driver assists
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Still underpowered and slow
  • No Magic Seat
  • Annoying CVT drone
  • Subpar fuel economy

What's the Price of the 2023 Honda HR-V?

The price of the 2023 Honda HR-V starts at an MSRP of $23,800 for the cheapest LX model, excluding a $1,295 destination charge. The mid-range Sport will cost you $25,900, and the price of the flagship EX-L is $27,900. Adding the AWD setup will increase these prices by $1,500 across trims.

Best Deals on 2023 Honda HR-V

2023 Honda HR-V Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Honda HR-V Trims and Specs

2023 Honda HR-V Handling and Driving Impressions

The previous HR-V didn't set a terribly high bar and was often slated for its lack of sophistication. Running on the Fit platform meant torsion-beam rear suspension and a certain lack of polish. It was fleet-footed up to a point, but was underdamped and had a jittery ride on less-than-perfect surfaces. The new one rides on the lauded Civic platform, and compared to what's gone before, it's a revelation. The Civic genes shine through and the new HR-V delivers a pliant, well-damped ride that easily matches that of the Corolla Cross, but with appreciably better handling than the Toyota. It never unravels into an untidy mess, and although there isn't much steering feedback, it's precise and won't roll excessively when the road gets curvy. Double the shame, then, that the powertrain is just as bad as before. Bigger and more powerful the engine may be, but it hardly offsets the extra mass; the HR-V is slow, with a frustrating lack of passing and hill-climbing power. It's all the worse for the whiny CVT that sends the revs soaring in an effort to extract meaningful impetus from an underpowered package.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Honda HR-V A Good SUV?

Had Honda given us the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine from the Civic, the result might have been quite different, but as things stand, the brand-new HR-V's powertrain spoils the package. It has all the ingredients to be a class leader, with a roomy and comfortable cabin complemented by user-friendly controls, solid construction, and deft, enjoyable handling. But it falls apart when your right foot requests forward progress. It is just as underpowered as before, and the CVT still drones away depressingly in an effort to redress the imbalance. The loss of the rear Magic Seat doesn't help at all and keeps the new HR-V several notches down the subcompact crossover pecking order. It's a shame, for it's otherwise a very good effort.

What 2023 Honda HR-V Model Should I Buy?

Starting under $25k, the Honda HR-V base trim's price is not even $700 higher than the previous-gen LX, and it's the best value for money in the range. The Sport arguably makes the most sense among the Honda HR-V models, and stands out more in a parking lot while adding a few desirable features such as heated front seats, remote start, and an upgraded audio system. The highest price belongs to the Honda HR-V EX-L, and its leather upholstery, upgraded infotainment system, moonroof, and parking sensors really set it apart, making it the only trim that lacks none of the must-haves in the crossover class. However, its price encroaches on the class above and performance specs across the Honda HR-V range are the same; you can get a base Kia Sportage or Hyundai Tucson with more power for less than that, even if they're down of features, making the Sport the most sensible HR-V.

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