2023 Honda CR-V Review

The Honda CR-V is quite a popular vehicle where I live; maybe not as popular as the Toyota RAV4, but it’s pretty close. The CR-V has been in production since 1995, classified as a compact crossover; however, it has grown in size considerably over the years. Honda introduced the 6th generation CR-V in mid-2022, with a new exterior and interior; maybe the CR-V will start to become the dominant compact crossover.

Last week, we had the opportunity to review a 2023 Honda CR-V Sport; below are my thoughts on this ever-popular crossover.

2023 Honda CR-V Canadian Prices

2023 Honda CR V Front scaled

The sixth generation Honda CR-V is offered in six trims, with the base LX 2WD starting at $34,790 and the range-topping HR-V Touring Hybrid AWD starting at $48,890. Freight & PDI charges of $1,950 are not included in these prices. Below is a list of all five trims and their prices:

LX FWD$34,740
LX AWD$37,590
Sport AWD$41,490
EX-L AWD$43,390
Touring Hybrid AWD$48,890

Our review car was the 2023 Honda CR-V Sport, with a price tag of $43,565 and the optional Still Night Pearl blue paint ($300).

2023 Honda CR-V Engine

Other than the Touring Hybrid trim, all trims of the CR-V are equipped with turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engines with VTEC. This is the same engine found on the previous generation CR-V, which we reviewed here and here. Output remains the same, with 190 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 179 pound-feet of torque between 1,700 – 5,000 rpm. The max HP output is reached at 400 rpm higher than the previous generation CR-V, and the peak torque starting point arrives 300 rpm earlier than the previous generation CR-V.

On all but the base trim, power is sent to all four wheels via a Continuously Variable Transmission; the base trim uses the same transmission to send power to the front wheels only.

For the first time in Canada, the CR-V is offered with a Hybrid powertrain, available only on the top Touring trim. This trim is equipped with a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine, producing 204 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. 

According to Honda, the 2023 Honda CR-V FWD should consume 8.4/7.1/7.8 liters/100 kilometers in city/highway/combined driving. The CR-V AWD should consume 9.1/7.6/8.4 L/100 km, and the CR-V Hybrid should consume 6.0/6.9/6.4 L/100 km.

The onboard computer on our CR-V Sport AWD showed 7.8 L/100 km with about 85% highway driving, which is exactly the claimed number when you consider the city portion of driving.

Honda has updated the Real Time All-Wheel Drive system, which is quieter and can send up to 50% of the power to the rear wheels, improving traction in slippery conditions and handling in dry conditions. The system also comes with Hill Descent Control, which should be handy for the few people who take the CR-V off-road.

The CR-V has three driving modes: Normal, Eco, and Snow. I preferred the Normal mode for driving around in the city, as I felt that mode had the perfect amount of power from accelerating from traffic light to traffic light. The Eco mode is best left for long highway drives, as it feels underpowered (which is the point of this mode) in normal city driving.

2023 Honda CR-V Styling

2023 Honda CR V Side

This is a subjective matter, but I personally like the looks of the 6th-generation CR-V a lot. It looks especially good in the Still Night Pearl Blue paint, which is beautiful and definitely worth the extra $300; this is the color I’d get my CR-V if I were buying.

The previous generation CV-V wasn’t a bad-looking car; the 6th generation takes the same basic design but refines it quite a bit, giving a premium look to the CRV. The front features a large grill that looks appropriate for the size of the vehicle. The LED headlights and daytime running lights look absolutely fantastic; the LED lights are standard on all trims.

The side profile is similar to the last generation CR-V but looks much more polished with sharp lines. Our Sport trim came with gloss black exterior accents and 18” black wheels. Normally I don’t like black wheels, but they looked really sharp in this color combination.

The rear also has a similar profile to the previous generation CR-V, and everything looks much more polished and premium once again. Most of the bubbly panels of the previous generation have been replaced with straight lines. The LED taillights are also quite eye-catching and look great; again, Honda is going with a premium look.

Overall, I think the Honda CR-V is currently the best-looking non-premium “compact” CUV on the market. Some may disagree with me, but that’s my opinion, and I’m sticking with it.

2023 Honda CR-V Interior

2023 Honda CR V interior scaled

The sixth generation CR-V’s interior is heavily influenced by the Civic’s interior. In fact, they’re almost identical, with the exception of the cupholder placement. The interior of the previous generation CR-V wasn’t bad; the 6th gen’s interior just looks more upscale. Unlike the previous generation, the infotainment screen isn’t integrated into the dashboard; it now sticks out. We used to complain about this treatment, but now it looks normal, and the dashboard-integrated infotainment screens look outdated.

The 2023 CR-V features a standard 7” color TFT gauge cluster on all trims. The output is clear and easy to read, with few customization options to the display. The CR-V also comes with a wireless charging pad on the EX-L and Touring trims; both offer wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The lower trims offer wired Android Auto and CarPlay.

Our review CR-V with a 7” touchscreen; 7” is the standard size on the three lower trims; a 9” touchscreen is standard on the EX-L and Touring Hybrid. The touchscreen is responsive and has clear graphics; our test car didn’t have navigation, which is available on the top trim. Below the screen is a honeycomb treatment on the dashboard, running across the dashboard. The design hides the air vents and is a unique look. Below is the section for climate control, which is also easy to use and self-explanatory. I’m glad Honda has kept it simple and not integrated the climate control system into the infotainment system, which is hidden within multiple menus.

Below is a small storage compartment with some storage, which would be the home of the wireless phone charger on higher trims, a pair of USB plugs (USB-A and USB-C), and a 12-volt outlet. The center console features a gear lever, a pair of cup holders, a drive mode selector, a hill start assist button, and the stop/start button.

The interior is quiet and comfortable. There’s plenty of space in the front and rear. The rear seats recline but don’t move forward and backward. Our test vehicle had cloth seats; I thought they looked good and were quite comfortable. I don’t mind cloth seats; I’d rather have good cloth seats than low-quality leather seats. The trunk is spacious and can be expanded by folding the rear seats, which can be done by pulling a tap on the seatback, and the seats fold somewhat flat with a bit of a hump between the cargo area and the seatbacks, giving you loads of cargo space.

Tech, Convenience, & Safety Features

Although our review car wasn’t the top-of-the-line model, it still had a decent list of convenience features. Thankfully, Honda includes their suite of safety tech (called Honda Sensing) in all trims on the CR-V; below is a list of all the safety stuff offered on the 6th generation CR-V.

  • Brake Assist
  • Auto high beam
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD)
  • Hill Start Assist
  • Hill Descent Control
  • LED daytime running lights
  • Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) system
  • Vehicle Stability Assist3 (VSA) with Traction Control
  • Rear seat reminder
  • Adaptive Cruise Control3 (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow
  • Blind Spot Information (BSI) system
  • Rear Cross Traffic Monitor system
  • Lane Keeping Assist System3 (LKAS)
  • Low-speed braking control
  • Traffic Jam Assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Front (4) and rear (4) parking sensors (on top 2 trims only)

Final Thoughts

The 6th generation Honda CR-V is an excellent crossover that ticks many of the boxes of needs and wants. The CR-V looks quite good, in my humble opinion, especially in our optional blue paint. The interior is simple and classy looking, and the materials are high quality. The interior is roomy enough for a family of 4 with loads of cargo space.

If you are in the market for a compact (more like mid-size) CUV, the 2023 Honda CR-V should be at the top of your shopping list. Visit Honda Canada’s website for more information on the CR-V and other Honda vehicles.




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When I'm not reviewing the latest cars, I'm busy checking out the latest gadgets and watches by the world's best manufacturers. Cars, gadgets, and watches... that's all a man needs to get through life.

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