The 2023 Honda CR-V Is the Best Ever — We Compare It to the Old One to See What’s Changed

At least on paper, this new CR-V should be the most refined and well-rounded model yet

Honda CR-V old vs new comparison
/(Image: TFL Studios)

Roman and Kase check out Honda’s revamped CR-V, in both turbo and hybrid forms.

Crossovers equal cash cows, and the Honda CR-V has dominated the brand’s sales charts for several years running. Now, the 2023 Honda CR-V evolves the formula with new styling, a larger footprint and a host of quality-of-life improvements. This sixth-generation model aims to take the fight even harder to the Toyota RAV4 among so many others, but how well does it do the job? In this latest TFLcar video, the guys check out the new car alongside the old one to see just how much it’s changed in this sixth generation.

Like the previous model, the 2023 Honda CR-V is available in either gas-only or hybrid versions. In that respect, it takes an approach simliar to the RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage and Ford Escape. Unlike those models, though, there is no plug-in hybrid version — though Honda’s offering trades blows with the others in most other respects. After all, this is a ferociously competitive segment and automakers need to bring their A-game to fend off so many rivals. Other players in this class include the Nissan Rogue, Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Bronco Sport, Mazda CX-5 and CX-50, Jeep Compass, Subaru Forester, Volkswagen Tiguan…every player is in this class, and buyers have virtually endless choice.

What do you get with the 2023 Honda CR-V?

Two items that will feel familiar to the outgoing fifth-generation models are the powertrains. The purely gas version still packs a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, putting out 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. Power makes its way to the front wheels or all four (depending on whether you want AWD) through a continuously variable transmission.

The CR-V Hybrid is more potent, according to Honda’s specs, managing 204 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy is naturally a point in the Hybrid’s favor, as it manages up to 40 combined mpg (for the AWD version – the FWD model gets up to 43 mpg). The gas-only model is the same per EPA estimates, at up to 30 mpg combined (29 mpg with AWD).

A quick side note on the Hybrid: Honda says it is using a new method to measure horsepower for this new model. So, while the number is lower than the outgoing car, the automaker notes it actually gains 3 horsepower (and that the old car had 201 horsepower) using the new measurement.

Overall, the 2023 Honda CR-V has also grown in every dimension from the outgoing car. It’s riding on a 1.6-inch longer wheelbase and measures out 2.7 inches longer and 0.4 inches wider. That’s not a huge difference, but the new CR-V also touts class-leading cargo capacity, at 76.5 cubic feet with the seats folded.

Pricing information

While Kase and Roman will dive into more of the tech details and overall feel, let’s chat about 2023 Honda CR-V pricing.

In short, this model has a far higher barrier to entry than the old one. The base LX trim is no more, and the now-entry-level EX is also more expensive. Pricing starts at $32,355 for that model, rising to $35,005 starting MSRP for the EX-L.

The CR-V Hybrid’s starting figure splits the difference between the two gas models. The Sport Hybrid is $33,695, while the top-end Sport Touring is the most expensive CR-V of the bunch, at $39,845 to start.

We’ll have even more info on the new CR-V coming up in the next few days, so stay tuned!