Honda is looking to retire its current generation small family crossover. In its place, we’ll get an all-new 2023 Honda CR-V, which should debut towards the end of the year for the American market. Fortunately, you won’t have to wait that long to get a look at its design or learn about its specs.
The last two generations of the CR-V didn’t look that different from each other, so you barely noticed the transition when the 5th-gen started selling in 2017. However, Honda still managed to keep it fresh with a mid-life update in 2019 and the introduction of a hybrid powertrain.
As with the 2022 Civic, the 2023 Honda CR-V is transitioning towards being more upmarket, a premium vehicle, if you will. And this will be reflected in the design, which we can already sample.
For the most part, test prototypes have been fully camouflaged when driving around Detroit or Colorado. However, we know exactly what to expect thanks to some leaked patent images, which we included in the photo gallery of this article for added credibility.
2023 Honda CR-V design
As you can probably tell, these patent images, leaked last week, serve as blueprints for this set of renderings done by Kolesa. The design is much simpler and easier to understand, mirroring that of the bigger Pilot to a degree, but also models sold outside the United States.
The front end sports a rectangular grille that looks like it was stolen from a Subaru Outback. However, the chrome brow still connects both LED headlights over the top in the trademark Honda style. There are no pointless air intakes, and the lines going down the sides of the car are straight.
Other stand-out features include lower-mounted door mirrors designed to reduce wind noise and large quarter glass for better visibility. The side view suggests the CR-V will grow in length, perhaps to accommodate a 3rd-row option, which is already available in some corners of the world for the old model. Remember that the VW Tiguan offers such a feature and sits in the same segment.
New Honda CR-V engines
The 2023 Honda CR-V powertrains will depend on the market, of course. But we’re 100% it won’t be offered as a diesel. For the record, the previous generations had a 2.2-liter diesel and then switched to a 1.6L that was available as a twin-turbo.
Honda has already switched all its focus to electrification, and the North American model should come both as a hybrid or a plug-in hybrid with power outputs that compete with the RAV4 Hybrid and upcoming RAV4 Prime, as well as the Hyundai Tucson. Honda reportedly sold 56,000 units of the outgoing CR-V Hybrid in 2021.
The 190 horsepower 1.5 VTEC Turbo should carry over and we believe A CR-V 2.0t will also be available with about 250 horsepower and a 10-speed automatic. Some markets will need a CR-V electric model, China for sure, maybe Europe as well. We know this because of the smaller HR-V.
Pricing and release date
The CR-V is Honda’s best-selling model with 361,000 of them shipped last year in the United States. It’s trailing behind the Toyota RAV4, but this refresh could change that. Expect to see an all-new 2023 Honda CR-V in showrooms towards the end of the year. Prices will start from $27,500 for the regular model and could reach $38,000 in Touring trim.