Next-Gen 2023 Honda HR-V Looks More Rugged, Packs More Power

Honda today unveiled the fully redesigned 2023 HR-V for the North American market. Great news for customers: it will arrive in dealerships later this month.

The once popular but now overshadowed small SUV is radically transformed for its second generation. This HR-V is built on Honda’s enhanced global architecture that combines the best of the CR-V platform with the latest Civic platform.

“The new HR-V is the perfect size for those looking for a SUV that can park in tight spaces and carry all their gear while delivering a fun and sporty driving experience,” said Steve Hui, Assistant Vice President at Honda Canada.

Beefier With a Polarizing Front-End Look

The 2023 Honda HR-V is 221mm longer and 70mm wider, giving it a beefier and more rugged stance. The headlights and front bumper are reminiscent of the Civic, but the redesigned grille is totally unique. It will define Honda SUVs going forward, including the new 2023 CR-V, but in the HR-V’s case it might be too small and not assertive enough. For sure, not everyone will like the new front-end look.

The side view is more attractive, especially with revised 17-inch wheel designs, while the sharp new taillights and rear spoiler add a touch of sportiness. Upper trim levels such as the HR-V Sport boast distinctive accents and finishes. The HR-V will be available in eight different colours, including an all-new Nordic Forest Pearl.

Photo: Honda

Convenient and Connected Interior

Honda says the 2023 HR-V is more comfortable with extra space up front and redesigned seats, while offering one of the largest cargo areas in the segment (691 litres). Looking at the specs, however, we can see that rear-seat legroom (958 mm) and total cargo capacity (1,559 litres) are slightly down from the outgoing HR-V. Same thing for first- and second-row headroom.

Visibility is improved and the dashboard is a close copy of the Civic’s, including the metal honeycomb mesh accent that stretches from door to door and conceals the air vents. The centre console is pretty different: up top is the shifter with a row of buttons including a drive mode selector, while below are USB charge ports and convenient storage for small items.

Photo: Honda

For the first time, the HR-V features a 7-inch colour LCD instrument display. The centre touchscreen, meanwhile, is 7 or 9 inches in size depending on the trim level. Navigation is available along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Qi-compatible wireless charging pad and upgraded audio system with eight speakers.

More Power and Safety

The 2023 Honda HR-V houses a larger 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine producing 158 hp and 138 lb-ft. of torque, exactly like the base Civic. These numbers are up by 17 hp and 11 lb-ft. compared to the old 1.8-litre unit. The standard continuously variable transmission has been re-engineered for improved power delivery and simulates gear changes when accelerating at full throttle, while the available AWD system has been re-tuned to send more torque to the rear wheels when things get slippery.

Photo: Honda

Other technical upgrades include Hill Descent Control, a Snow mode, recalibrated steering, larger brakes for quicker stops, and a fully independent, multi-link rear suspension that improves ride quality.

There are pretty big gains in the safety department, too. Honda’s latest driver and passenger front airbag technology is now applied to the HR-V, designed to cradle the head and offer enhanced protection. For the first time, standard knee and rear-passenger side impact airbags are included. The HR-V also features the new single-camera Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistance systems, plus Traffic Jam Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition. Want more? Blind Spot Information is available for the first time, not to mention a Driver Attention Monitor and Rear Seat Reminder.

Photo: Honda

How Much?

The 2023 Honda HR-V carries a base MSRP of $28,730, an increase of about $2,500 from 2022. Add $2,300 for an all-wheel drive model. The top-line Sport and EX-L NAVI start at $33,930 and $37,130, respectively.

The Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Seltos, Toyota Corolla Cross and other small SUVs need to watch out. By the way, we’ll get the opportunity to test drive the new HR-V real soon, so don’t miss our first impressions.

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