2023 Honda CR-V Spied In The Wild: Here’s What We Know So Far!

We should see an actual debut sometime next year

2023 Honda CR-V
A new Honda CR-V is in the making, and we should know more about it sometime next year. (Images: TFLcar, via Mark S.)

It’s time for a new Honda CR-V.

There’s a reason Honda’s compact crossover often takes the runner-up sales spot behind the Toyota RAV4 — it’s a solid choice in nearly every aspect. While there’s little to criticize it on, and there’s even a hybrid version now, the current-gen Honda CR-V has been around for nearly five years. That won’t do when its main rival has a fresh design, and other competitors like the Mitsubishi Outlander and Volkswagen Tiguan are upping their game. Now, though, we’re seeing more evidence that a sixth-generation model is on the way. Our friend Mark took a couple shots of an (unfortunately) camouflage-laden CR-V out in the wilds of Ohio, roughly two hours from Honda’s Marysville plant.

What is there to see? Even behind all the coverings, we can divine what the 2023 Honda CR-V is bringing to the table. This new version sees a continuation of the upright mesh grille design we’ve come to know in the updated Ridgeline and Passport. From other spy shots floating around, it seems the smaller American-market HR-V will get this treatment in its redesign as well, in a short while. I can’t say at the moment what specific elements will change from the A-pillar rearward, but the general theme seems to lean toward a more assertive stance than the model we know right now.

What sort of powertrains can we expect?

While the Prologue aims to kick off Honda’s EV revolution, the automaker will almost certainly refrain from rocking the boat with the 2023 Honda CR-V. New styling and driver assistance tech aside, you should expect gasoline engines and a hybrid option in the next-generation car. We’ll most likely see an electric CR-V in time, though probably not until after 2024.

Exactly which gasoline engines Honda will land on for the next-gen CR-V is a question mark at this point, at least in any official capacity. 1.5- and 2.0-liter engines have been the go-to for Honda’s smaller vehicles over the past few years, and it’s doubtful we’ll see any seismic shift there, though we’ll have to wait and see.

2023 Honda CR-V

There’s a bit of a strange phenomenon going on around the back, as Mark captured here. It looks like this car will keep the vertical taillights, at least judging by the cutouts in the black camouflaging. However, the black-and-white camouflage covers the upper portions where the taillights would be, so we’re not certain whether Honda’s going to change it up this time around. The vertical taillights have been a design hallmark since Honda originally launched the CR-V.

Every new generation is an opportunity to reinvent the design conventions, though, so Honda could take a few steps toward daring with this design. Time will tell, as always, though we can clearly see this is a gasoline-powered model by way of the muffler and exhaust exiting on the left-hand side of the car.

Whatever happens, expect the 2023 Honda CR-V to actually debut next year, with an actual launch following that up — possibly somewhere around summer or fall 2022.

In the meantime, check out some off-roading we did with the current CR-V below: