Honda’s facelifted sixth generation CR-V SUV arrives for 2023 with a new “rugged and sophisticated design,” revised underpinnings and a new hybrid powertrain powering the top of the line models.
Launching this summer in North America, and set to make its Canadian debut at this weekend’s IndyCar race in Toronto, the 2023 CR-V is stated to be “a key step in Honda’s electrification strategy.” Around 50 per cent of model sales are “eventually” expected to come from the fourth-generation hybrid-electric system that powers the top of the range ‘Touring’ model in Canada.
“We are very excited to welcome the new CR-V and CR-V Hybrid to Canada,” Assistant VP of Honda Canada Steve Hui explains. “CR-V has always played a pivotal role in our lineup, now more than ever, this latest 6th generation CR-V is tougher and more rugged, comes with upscale styling, advanced tech and as always, is fun-to-drive. We are also proud that the CR-V will continue to be built in Canada, at Honda of Canada Mfg. which has been designated lead manufacturing plant for CR-V in North America.”
While the lower spec ‘LX,’ ‘Sport,’ and ‘EX-L’ trim levels are powered purely by a 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, Canada’s ‘Touring’ model boasts a 2.0-litre inline-four cylinder that works in tandem with two electric motors. A combined 204 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque – the highest output yet for any CR-V – is sent to all four wheels via a CVT gearbox.
As well as being “more refined at highway speeds,” the hybrid four-cylinder also increases top speed from 140 km/h to 185 km/h, and provides up to 453.6 kg (1,000 lbs) of towing capacity.
In the US, the hybridized 1,993cc four-cylinder features on the higher spec ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport Touring,’ while the entry level ‘EX’ and ‘EX-L’ are purely ICE driven.
Built on a newer, stiffer chassis, the revised CR-V sits on a wheelbase 40.6 mm longer than its predecessor, and also stands 68.6 mm longer and 10.1 mm wider than before, a decision designed to create a more spacious cabin and a larger cargo hold. Among the more notable elements of the exterior redesign are the larger and more upright front grille, a longer hood, and the repositioned A-pillars, which now sit 119.4 mm further back, 71.1 mm further out, and 35.5 mm lower. This simultaneously creates “sportier proportions” and improves forward visibility.
Bespoke additions to the mid-range, non-hybrid ‘Sport’ model and the top of the range, hybridized ‘Touring’ include “more aggressive” front and rear fascias, a unique lower bumper design finished in black, and rectangular exhausts. The latter also boasts 19-inch, five-spoke machine-finish alloys.
Inspiration for the cabin meanwhile has been drawn from the new Honda Civic, the CR-V thus including “more upscale” elements like the more sweeping dashboard (designed to reduce reflection from the windscreen) and honeycomb accenting along the dash and doors. Said to be the most spacious example of the model yet, leg space between the first and second rows has increased by 15.2 mm, while rear cargo volume goes up to 2,166.2 litres in the LX, EX-L and Sport with the rear seats folded flat.
Though Honda has yet to announce starting prices for either the US or Canadian markets, the sixth generation CR-V will be built at four North American plants, including the Honda of Canada Mfg. plant in Alliston, Ontario.