2023 Honda HR-V Gets A Power And Tech Glow-Up

Honda's most affordable crossover, the 2023 HR-V, has been revealed, and it promises not only revamped styling and more space, but extra driving enthusiasm behind the wheel and fresh tech, too. Previewed in April 2022, the second-generation HR-V grows in both length and width over its predecessor, but more importantly, it borrows the same platform as the well-received 11th-generation Honda Civic.

That's an upgrade in many respects from the original HR-V, which tapped the Fit hatchback for its architecture when it debuted in 2015. Wheelbase and stance are enlarged, while the hood grows in length. Honda has paired that here with a lower horizontal belt line — helping not only with aesthetics but cabin visibility — plus a new grille.

It's more purposeful and less cutesy than the original HR-V, and Honda flanks the fresh fascia with functional air curtain inlets. They help guide air around the front wheels, improving aerodynamics. Also aiding that are the hidden windshield wipers, which now tuck under the hood line when inactive.

Wider, longer, and more grown-up looking

Base LX trim cars get 17-inch wheels and a matte-finish honeycomb grill. HR-V Sport have horizontal mesh for the grille, plus a gloss-black rear spoiler and chrome trim to the exhaust; 18-inch split 5-spoke wheels are also included, finished in gloss black.

Finally, third of the trims is the 2023 HR-V EX-L. That gets a gloss-black honeycomb grille, with matching front and rear bumper trim, and door pillars. 17-inch alloy wheels are standard, machined, and painted in Shark Gray. LED lighting front and rear is standard across all three trims, as is Honda Sensing with adaptive cruise control, low-speed follow and lane-keeping assist, and Traffic Jam Assist. Blind-spot warnings are also included, while EX-L trim adds more sensors for low-speed braking control.

A slicker, more tech-savvy cabin

Inside, visibility has improved courtesy of the repositioned side mirrors and a lower dashboard cowl. As on the latest Civic, there's striking honeycomb mesh across the dash, with hidden air vents behind it. New Body Stabilizing Seats promise more support, while there's extra space in the second row for adults.

Behind that bench, there's 24.4 cu-ft of space. Honda says the lift-over height of the trunk opening is just over 27-inches. Drop the 60/40 split rear seats, meanwhile, and you get a flat floor and 55.1 cu-ft of cargo space.

On the tech front, a 7-inch digital instrument cluster is paired with a physical speedometer. LX and Sport trims get a 7-inch infotainment touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support; the EX-L switches to a 9-inch version, with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a wireless charging pad for phones. It also has an upgraded 8-speaker audio system.

More power and more driver-assistance

Under the hood, there's a 2.0-liter inline-4 gas engine with 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. It's more powerful than the old HR-V and is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) with faux-gear mapping. All-wheel drive is optional — and costs $1,500 on each trim — and has also been tweaked, capable of pushing more torque to the rear wheels at times when extra traction is required.

Hill Descent Control is also offered, effectively low-speed cruise control for use on steep declines. It can hold the HR-V at speeds between 2 and 12 mph, leaving the driver to focus on steering. Three drive modes — Normal, Eco, and Snow — are standard. The front-wheel-drive 2023 HR-V is rated for 28 mpg on the EPA's scale, while the all-wheel-drive version dips there to 27 mpg.

Pricing starts at $24,895 (including $1,254) destination for the 2023 HR-V LX FWD, or $26,395 for the LX AWD. Sport trim starts at $26,895, and EX-L trim at $28,695. You can expect to see the compact crossover arrive at Honda dealerships in the U.S. in June 2022.