Honda CR-V Review: Is the New Car Worth the Extra Cash? Here’s a Closer Look at Honda’s Latest RAV4 Rival

It's bigger and pricier, but is it better?

2023 Honda CR-V
(Images: Honda)

The 2023 Honda CR-V is bigger and pricier than before: But is it better?

Honda invited Roman out to Nashville, Tennessee to try both hybrid and purely gas-powered versions of the new CR-V. This is the automaker’s best-selling model by far, and competes in what’s arguably the most competitive class in the business. So, it’s critical that this car refines the formula to compete against the Toyota RAV4 among many others, and possibly bring in some new conquest sales from its biggest rival.

The first signs look promising. This car is physically larger than before, for a start. It’s 2.7 inches longer, rides on a slightly longer wheelbase, and is 0.4 inches wider to boot. That helps the passenger area feel more commodious, and cargo volume is another huge plus. With its rear seats folded, the 2023 Honda CR-V packs 76.5 cubic feet of available space.

Like the revamped Civic and HR-V, the 2023 Honda CR-V brings a thoroughly updated interior. The overall layout among the three cars is virtually identical, though that’s just fine because what’s here actually works. You do get more pleasant styling, even if it’s fairly subdued compared to some of the competition.

The base EX model uses a 7-inch display with both volume and tuning knobs, as well as a far more responsive system than what came before. Upgrading to the EX-L and beyond will up the infotainment screen to a 9-inch unit with a volume knob alone, plus physical home and back buttons.

2023 Honda CR-V
2023 Honda CR-V

What’s under the hood?

For 2023, at least, the Honda CR-V retains its 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. That means you get 190 horsepower on tap with 170 lb-ft of torque, mated up to a continuously variable transmission. You do get a Sport mode, but…that’s not really the main feature here, and you’ll come up against the CVT sluggishness depending on how you drive it.

The all-wheel-drive 2023 Honda CR-V manages 29 mpg combined, while you get one extra mile out of a gallon sticking with front-wheel drive. The CR-V Hybrid is far more efficient at 40 mpg combined for the front-wheel drive version (as you’d expect). While Roman did get a chance to check the hybrid version out, we will not have driving impressions for another few weeks.

2023 Honda CR-V pricing

If you’re interested in Honda’s latest crossover, pricing starts at $32,355 for the base EX trim. The previous LX model has been dropped. From there, pricing jumps to $35,005. All-wheel drive adds another $1,500 to the price tag. Both the $33,695 and the top-end $39,845 Sport Touring are available as a hybrid — while the latter of the two is only available with all-wheel drive.

Stay tuned, and check out more on the standard CR-V below: