The 2023 Honda HR-V: One of the best compact SUVs is updated, with more power and increased safety

The 2023 Honda HR-V marks a new generation of this subcompact SUV, and it’s poised to continue the impressive ways of its predecessor. Prices start at $23,650.

One of the best subcompact SUVs is updated. The 2023 Honda HR-V becomes even more compelling and refined. HMC Honda,
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builds this second-generation model on the same platform as the current Civic, which only launched last year (the original HR-V was based on the small Fit sedan).

That means a more sophisticated suspension for better ride quality, as well as a livelier engine. The new HR-V is also completely contemporary inside and out. The safety tech starts off generously enough, but spending a bit more on blind-spot monitoring and a few extra features is a good idea.

The previous Honda HR-V was never accused of being too powerful. The new 2023 HR-V comes with 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque – a noticeable improvement from 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of thrust. While there’s a slight decrease in fuel efficiency over the old model, this new HR-V averages 28 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, so it’s a bearable trade-off for the extra power.

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Active noise cancellation is standard and the old torsion beam rear suspension has been replaced with a multi-link setup offering more comfort and control. All-wheel drive is available and hill descent control is standard in every new HR-V. Just like its predecessor, however, this subcompact SUV has no serious off-road talent. Those who live in colder regions will nevertheless appreciate the convenience of having four-wheel drive

The 2023 Honda HR-V. Pictured is the EX-L.

Honda

2023 Honda HR-V Price

The new Honda HR-V subcompact SUV starts with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $23,650 for the front-drive LX model, plus a destination charge.

The sport version costs almost $25,650 and the top EX-L version costs almost $27.5,000. Adding all-wheel drive to any trim costs an extra $1,500; premium paint is $395.

For comparison, the Mazda MZDAY,
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CX-30 and Subaru FUJHF,
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Crosstrek (both with standard all-wheel drive) starts in the region of $24,000. The Toyota MC,
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C-HR, Kia 000270,
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Seltos and Hyundai HYMTF,
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Kona all start in the low $20,000 range.

Before you buy a new HR-V SUV, check KBB.com’s fair buy price to see what others in your area have paid for theirs. The previous generation HR-V held its value well. This second generation should do the same.

Driving the 2023 Honda HR-V

KBB’s Micah Muzio recently drove a new HR-V in Oregon. Micah reports:

The HR-V drives with more sophistication than its price suggests, lending itself to enjoyable commutes. But is there any fun to be extracted along the way? Yes. The HR-V corners confidently, and there’s just a hint of sportiness, aided by steering that has satisfying weight and predictability.

At full throttle, the HR-V packs a punch. And truth be told, the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) works just fine. While CVTs are regularly criticized for creating a springy acceleration curve accompanied by a racing engine, Honda’s CVT feels a lot like a conventional automatic. Most people will have no idea it’s a CVT.

Other Random Observations: The view out from the driver’s seat of the HR-V is good, cabin noise at highway speeds is more than tolerable and, unfortunately, there are no air vents. ventilation for the rear seat. And while I miss the smartly collapsible Magic Seat from the old HR-V, I love how the new little key fob minimizes clutter in your pockets. Also, the HR-V’s lane-keep assist feature does an exceptional job of keeping the HR-V in its lane, but I found the adaptive cruise control to be a bit slow to adapt to the changing speed of the vehicle ahead.

All told, the new HR-V feels more substantial than the vehicle it replaces, and I like how each trim has its own flavor. In fact, the high aura of the new Honda HR-V 2023 is directly related to its upgraded interiors.

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2023 Honda HR-V

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Interior comfort

The magic is gone – in a way. The previous HR-V had a magic seat behind the front row where the lower cushions could flip up and help with cargo hauling versatility. Honda incorporates a set of typical 60/40 split-folding rear seats in the 2023 HR-V. They can still fold flat to create an extremely useful cargo area, but who doesn’t want a Magic Seat?

Elsewhere in the cabin of the new HR-V, the magic happens. There’s the usual Honda fit and finish, and an increasingly common minimalist approach to the dash – with controls migrating to the touchscreen and/or steering wheel.

A more maximalist approach applies to rear legroom: 37.7 inches. It’s one of the best in this class of subcompact SUVs, although a little less than the old HR-V. Luggage space behind the rear seats measures 24.4 cubic feet. The maximum cargo area with the rear seats folded down is 55.1 cubic feet. The Kia Seltos has more, but the HR-V is another standout in the class.

Exterior Styling

New generation, new look. The 2023 HR-V loses the committee-designed vibe and puts forward a more distinct appearance.

Due to its Civic foundation, the new not-so-subcompact HR-V SUV is bigger than before. Its wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear axles) increases by almost 2 inches. Width increases by approximately 2.5 inches. And the overall length is almost 9.5 inches longer.

The LX’s alloy wheels are painted silver, the Sport’s wheels are gloss black (combined with a gloss black grille, side mirror housings and rear spoiler), and the EX-L’s alloys are machine finished with Gloss Shark Gray inserts. Premium paint choices are Nordic Forest Pearl, Platinum White Pearl, and Urban Gray Pearl.

Favorite features

HondaLink
Download the HondaLink app to a smartphone and a range of services become available, such as Stolen Vehicle Location, Geofencing, Automatic Collision Notification and Service Appointments. This is standard with every new HR-V SUV.

Smart entry with automatic locking
“Did I lock the car? This question invariably comes to mind the moment your plane takes off and you see all the long-term parking lots shrinking. With this feature, standard in the top two trims, such angst is a thing of the past.

Standard Features

The introductory LX version of the new HR-V subcompact SUV isn’t exactly brimming with standard features, but it does have a decent amount of driver aids – forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, warning Lane Departure/Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed ​​Follow, Traffic Jam Assist and Auto High Beam.

The rest of the inventory includes 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights/daytime running lights/brake lights, single-zone automatic climate control and cloth upholstery. The infotainment system features a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple AAPL,
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CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, three USB ports, Bluetooth and four speakers.

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Factory Options

With the exception of all-wheel drive, the way to get more gear in a 2023 HR-V is to select a higher trim, rather than choosing from a list of options. The sporty trim is a little more than the LX, adding 18-inch alloy wheels, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, keyless entry/start with Walk Away auto-lock, leather-wrapped steering wheel and heated front seats.

The EX-L reverts to 17-inch alloy wheels and offers low-speed brake control, power sunroof, front/rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable driver’s seat in 8-way, leather seating surfaces, auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient LED cabin lighting, turn-by-turn directions, 9-inch touchscreen, wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, wireless charging, satellite radio and 8-speaker/180-watt audio system.

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Engine and transmission

One engine covers all three new HR-V trim levels. It is a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder without any turbocharger.

Output is 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. This connects to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Front wheel drive (FWD) is standard. All-Wheel Drive (AWD) is optional across the range. Regular gasoline is perfectly acceptable.

2.0-litre inline-4
158 horsepower at 6,500 rpm
138 lb-ft of torque at 4,200 rpm
EPA City/Highway Fuel Economy: 26/32 mpg (FWD), 25/30 mpg (AWD)

This story originally took place on KBB.com.

About Wanda Dufresne

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