2023 Honda HR-V Revealed With More Power And Sporty Styling

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The all-new HR-V crossover targets young, active, and style-conscious buyers.

Sure buzzwords in marketing departments like sporty, stylish, or active lifestyle can be overused but the 2023 Honda HR-V plans to deliver on all of them with the new model year upgrades. The Honda HR-V crossover might be popular but nowhere near the Honda Civic on which it is based. The Honda Civic has outsold the HR-V by nearly 10x month-over-month historically, but in 2022 so far, the HR-V's numbers are up while the Civic is down.

The pint-sized HR-V sold 137,090 last year but is over 70K already in 2022 and on track to beat that. With these latest updates for 2023, Honda promises to bring qualities to the HR-V that are "beyond its segment" and have official pricing and trims to satisfy the needs of younger customers. Additionally, Honda is going big on styling, powertrain and tech improvements.

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Honda
Honda
Honda

Now based on the Honda GLobal Architecture that underpins the 11th-gen Civic, HR-V buyers will be happy to hear that the engine is larger and provides more responsiveness and power than the outgoing powerplant. The new mill is Honda's 2.0-liter four that develops 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the old 1.8-liter it gives not only 17 hp and 11 lb-ft more but it's more responsive and has lower emissions. And while there is no new transmission for the HR-V, the CVT has been refined with G-Design programming to simulate banging gear changes at full throttle with 'Step-Shift' tech.

Surefooted grip for varied conditions has been bumped up with HR-V AWD revisions. The Honda Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control is now re-tuned to send more engine torque bias to the rear wheels in slippery conditions and features Hill Descent Control. The chassis itself benefits from independent rear suspension inherited from the 11th-generation Civic platform, while a 1.7-inch longer wheelbase improves stability and larger brakes improve stopping power.

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Honda
Honda
Honda
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The styling and dimensions have been vastly improved on the 2023 Honda HR-V. The major change with the exterior is the lower beltline and a bit of bulging around the fenders. If it looks wider, you are not wrong as it has grown by 2.6 inches and yes, it's also longer overall by 9.4 inches. In Europe, the USDM HR-V is now known as the ZR-V which slots between the traditional HR-V and the larger CR-V. Roof moldings have also disappeared and the wipers hide under the hood when not in use for a sleek look. The rear spoiler, grille mesh, headlights, and taillights are all new to form a design that complements the increase in dimensions.

17-inch alloys are standard fare, but the Sport gets larger 18-inch items finished in black to complement the blacked-out styling found elsewhere on this trim.

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Honda
Honda
Honda

Inside the HR-V looks to be a more roomy, comfortable cabin with loads of new tech. The outward visibility has been improved with the beltline and repositioning of the side mirrors. The HR-V interior integrates the new Body Stabilizing Seats to hold front passengers firmly in place, while the rear seat area is enlarged to comfortably fit three adults. The cargo area has been enlarged to 24.4 cubic feet but the major change is to the tech.

All trims of the 2023 Honda HR-V include the seven-inch LCD instrument display with programmable features and physical gauges on the right. This is complemented by a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system sporting physical button controls. On the top-of-the-line EX-L trim, a nine-inch color touchscreen is standard. Both displays come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility as standard equipment too, but the larger one is wireless in this regard, has a wireless charging pad, and has eight speakers.

All models come with 10 standard airbags, the Honda Sensing collision mitigation suite, and standard blind-spot monitoring from the mid-grade Sport onwards.

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Honda
Honda
Honda

We think the model changes to the 2023 Honda HR-V equate to more fun overall and since they added an all-new, fully independent rear suspension, we're sure drivers will agree. We have to side with Michael Kistemaker, assistant VP of Honda National Sales at American Honda Motor who stated, "This new HR-V will welcome a new generation of customers to Honda, and we look to grow its position as the segment leader with young buyers, first-time buyers, and multicultural customers."

Only three trims are available, all of which are FWD by default with AWD optional. The price of the 2023 Honda HR-V starts low at just $23,650 for the LX in FWD configuration. The mid-grade Sport has an MSRP of $25,650 while the EX-L starts at $27,450. AWD is a $1,500 option on all three, and all prices exclude a $1,245 destination fee.

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Honda
Honda
Honda

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