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New look, performance lead off 2023 Honda HR-V changes


The Honda HR-V is a compact vehicle closely related to the Honda Civic sedan. Think of it as a crossover version of the sedan with similar ride characteristics, just a taller cabin and easier-to-use storage room in the rear rather than a trunk. Aiming to stay competitive in the hot-selling compact crossover space, the 2023 Honda HR-V changes are pretty major.

Here is what you need to know.

A new generation

The 2023 Honda HR-V is a next-gen vehicle, with a completely refreshed design and a new platform.

Starting with the front end, the Honda logo has been moved onto the hood, the front grille has been reshaped along with the headlights and the fog lights. It is a completely different look. Along the sides, the rear doors have door handles mirroring the front doors and not the often goofy handle hidden along the back pillar.

The rear has been completely redone from the taillights to the rear spoiler is different, and the overall look seems longer and wider.

The new platform, which is the same the Honda Civic uses, has a new independent rear suspension. This makes the vehicle 9.4 inches longer and 2.6 inches wider with the wheelbase extended as well. Honda says these changes lead to the tire tracks being significantly wider, which gives it an athletic stance and improved stability.

New tech & safety

Inside, Honda focused on adding technology to appeal to a “young, active buyer.” There is a new standard 7-inch digital gauge cluster as well as a 7-inch color touchscreen for the infotainment system. Also, there is an available 9-inch high-definition touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for the EX-L trim.

For safety, it now has standard Honda Sensing system with new front wide-view camera, Traffic Jam Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition. There is also standard front occupant knee and rear passenger side-impact airbags.

Powertrain tweaks

Under the hood, the 2023 Honda HR-V gets the larger 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine producing 158 horsepower, and 138 pound-feet of torque. Compared to the outgoing 1.8-liter, 4-cylinder engine, the new engine has 17 more horsepower and 11 pound-feet of torque. Honda says the new engine is improves the driving experience and has more refinement while also having lower emissions.

This engine is paired with a standard continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which has been reengineered for better power delivery, refinement and, rather interestingly, engine sound.

Yeah, engine sound is one of the 2023 Honda HR-V changes.

Honda HR-V pricingNext, the AWD system has been re-tuned as well to send more engine torque to the rear wheels in slick conditions.

Another new feature, is Hill Descent Control appearing for the first time in a Honda SUV. This feature helps assist when descending down a steep slope. Instead of having to manage the brake and steering, this system manages the brake and engine to keep the speed at your preset speed of between 2 and 12 mph while all you need to do is steer.

The bottom line on the 2023 Honda HR-V changes

With its relatively inexpensive price point (for today’s cars), unique design, better driving dynamics, tech-focused interior and good fuel economy, the 2023 Honda HR-V is a great option for consumers. On paper, it looks like Honda really knocked this one out of the ball park.

The new 2023 Honda HR-V should be at dealers now.

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Tim Esterdahl

Automotive Journalist Tim Esterdahl has been a lover of trucks and SUVs for years. He has covered the industry since 2011 and has pieces in many national magazines and newspapers. In his spare time, he is often found tinkering on his '62 C10 pickup, playing golf, going hunting and hanging out with his wife and kids in Nebraska.

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1 Comment

  1. Dan June 26, 2022

    Unfortunately, this 2023 HRV is the ugliest vehicle Honda has ever produced. The front grill looks like a whale mouth design…very bad. I’m a 45 year Honda owner, and I am shocked that the designers and engineers would release something like this….just terrible.


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