2023 Honda CR-V revealed: price, specs and release date

All-new Honda CR-V to offer hybrid power, lots of kit and a bigger boot at a competitive price...

Honda CR-V 2023 front tracking on dirt road

On sale 2023 | Price from £35,000 (est)

Moore’s Law states that computer chips become twice as advanced every two years, and the same seems to apply to the Honda CR-V. You see, the current version ditched pure petrol power in 2021 in favour of a hybrid set-up. And now we’re getting an all-new version of the car for 2023, which is still a hybrid, but one with more power, improved interior tech and extra space for passengers.

There’s still a 2.0-litre petrol engine under the bonnet, but this now works with the electric motor to produce 201bhp. That’s 20bhp more than you got in the outgoing car, which was already quicker from 0-60mph in our tests than the hybrid Kia Sorento.

Power is fed to the wheels through a CVT automatic gearbox, which helps to save fuel by minimising how hard the engine works when you’re driving gently. But beware, CVT-equipped cars tend to produce lots of noise when you accelerate hard.

Honda CR-V 2023 rear end view, parked

Cheaper versions of the new CR-V get front-wheel drive as standard, but four-wheel drive is included with the range-topping Sport Touring version and is an option lower down the range.

It’s also worth noting that the CR-V is a hybrid that you don’t have to plug in. This is great for convenience, but means it can’t go very far (or fast) on electric power, and attracts a much higher benefit-in-kind (BIK) company car tax rating than a plug-in hybrid (PHEV).

Standard safety kit includes lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring and traffic-sign recognition. Meanwhile, inside the car you’ll find a 7.0in digital instrument display and either a 7.0in or 9.0in infotainment touchscreen, depending on trim level.

We’ve already experienced the 9.0in screen in the new Honda Civic, where we found it features clear graphics and easily-identifiable icons, but is rather slow to respond to inputs. The 9.0in system features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but you’ll need a USB cable to mirror your smartphone on the screen in CR-Vs with the 7.0in unit.

Honda CR-V 2023 interior left-hand drive

The extra space in the new CR-V comes from the fact it's slightly longer and wider than the outgoing model. Honda says it has more cargo room than any past CR-V, meaning it should have more boot space than the outgoing car. The rear seats now recline to eight different angles in an effort to further improve passenger comfort. Those seats are split 60/40, though, whereas the Peugeot 5008 has a more versatile 40/20/40 configuration.  

Regardless of whether you’re inside the CR-V or not, it’s easy to distinguish from the previous version. The new interior borrows the dashboard-spanning honeycomb motif from the latest Civic, with a plain or piano-black surround depending on trim level. The exterior has sharper lines than the outgoing CR-V, along with narrower LED headlights and a large front grille that’s painted black regardless of which body colour you choose.

Expect to pay around £35,000 for a new CR-V in the Sport trim that’s likely to be the entry point to the range in the UK. That would allow it to go head-to-head with similarly equipped versions of the 5008 and Toyota RAV4, and undercut the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and the Sorento.

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