2023 Honda Crv Sport Hybrid Review – The Honda CR-V has come a long way since its debut in 1997, and the latest sixth-generation Sport Touring trim is the most grown-up and luxurious version yet.
It’s hard to believe, but the Honda CR-V crossover has been circulating since 1997 and has seen five generations. It’s one of the original mass-appeal crossovers, which initially seemed like a healthy mix of active lifestyle enthusiasts and college professors. The model has already established itself as the brand’s best-selling car for the past five years.
2023 Honda Crv Sport Hybrid Review
This new 2023 version marks the sixth generation of the CR-V, which has grown a lot in terms of luxury amenities, styling and new technology, especially its powertrain – making it Honda’s most advanced CR-V hybrid yet. I recently drove the 2023 Honda CR-V Sport Touring, the top-of-the-line trim with a hybrid engine and all-wheel drive. A good mix of light city, freeway and mountain slopes made me very familiar with this five-passenger eco-crossover, and although I don’t have much experience driving hybrids, I can confidently say that the future is bright for them. One on the market.
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Victoria Scott wrote a brilliant and comprehensive review of the gas-only 2023 CR-V, so be sure to read it before or after my review.
The 2023 Honda CR-V Sport Touring isn’t a plug-in hybrid, but it does have all the benefits of EV battery management if you keep a conservative head. Cruising around town, it’s great to hear and feel Honda’s fourth-generation twin-motor hybrid system whispering and providing plenty of gear. Depending on the volume of the load—such as easy rollovers or more urgent takeoff—the CR-V will either retain all-electric steering or engage the gas engine for assistance.
This internal combustion component delivers 145 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque, and the transition from electric-only to gas-burning mode is seamless. It’s never annoying to be late. Depending on how fast and where you’re driving, sometimes you actually can’t tell if it’s on unless you look at your dashboard and see the little green “EV” light is off. It even went full EV at times when I was traveling on the US-101 freeway in California, depending on how fast I was going and what the grade was like.
At full throttle, the CR-V Sport Touring sprints from a standstill to 60 km/h in about 7.5 seconds. Its total capacity is 204 hp. and 247 pound-feet of torque with the gas and electric systems working in unison, and it always felt quick enough on the highway, even on steep mountain climbs. Thanks to the electric motors, the off-line torque felt stronger than it actually was.
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Honda has done a lot to increase the appeal of how electric the car is. One new feature I really liked is the switch below the D-B mode. This increases the intensity of the regenerative braking system, making it useful for single-pedal driving. Also, by keeping it in D, the paddles on the steering wheel are not used to change gears (rather, to increase the resistance of the CVT), but to adjust the level of pedal action. 1 is the default, 2 mimics downforce, and 3-4 increases it even more to help the car come to a complete stop. If that sounds a bit complicated, it is. I preferred to just keep it in b.
The B has broad appeal to anyone who likes to avoid using the brake pedal during any deceleration, including those who prefer a manual transmission. It doesn’t offer as much resistance as I’ve heard my colleagues report on electric cars, but it’s enough to quickly realize it’s there. Also, if you’re like me, where you’re quickly annoyed by drivers who over-step on the brake pedal and are happy to practice what you preach, the B is where it’s at.
It’s also a solid preview of what the EV driving experience is like for customers considering garage parking, which is Honda’s intent behind the CR-V Hybrid. Show them the benefits of EVs, build interest, then prepare reasonably priced EVs for them to buy when the time comes.
The 2023 CR-V Hybrid has a 15% increase in structural rigidity, especially in the floor joint and lower rear sections. That’s to accommodate the extra weight in those areas of the hybrid system, but when a stiffer subframe is added, as well as a MacPherson strut front suspension and fully independent rear suspension, it makes for a surprisingly fun crossover.
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Part of the test route was a winding road through the vineyards on the north slopes of Santa Barbara, and the CR-V felt quite confident navigating it. The CR-V has a Sport mode, but all it does is grunt a bit more enthusiastically and make some minor adjustments – both Sport and Normal are suitable for the occasion. Body roll was well controlled, steering action and feel was surprisingly good, and the brake pedal was very firm. In fact, the chassis tested at times that the 235/55/19 all-season tires had a hard time cashing in, a clear indication that the chassis engineers were really at work.
If Honda wanted to make a more enthusiast-oriented CR-V hybrid, it wouldn’t need to do much more than set up the tires a little stickier, squeeze more juice out of both drives, and add a little more fun to your damping. Based on what the brand has achieved with the recent Civic Si, that’s something to consider. Even with the CVT fitted, which I never thought to say.
The CR-V Sport Touring’s price tag of $39,845 isn’t cheap. However, where it starts to make a lot of financial sense is in its luxury.
Some of the Sport Touring’s weight gain comes in the form of added soundproofing on either side of the hood, under the hood, under the dash, a thicker windshield, thicker front side windows, more sound-absorbing foam, thicker carpet, as well. Like bumper and tailgate liners. So Honda rolled out an active noise control system just in case.
Review: 2023 Honda Cr V Sport
What it all adds up to is a smooth, quiet driving experience that rivals much more focused luxury options I’ve driven this year, such as the facelifted Mercedes-Benz C300. If Honda is going to drive more buyers to EVs in the coming years, this is another great way to attract them—give them the quiet, isolated driving experience that EVs are known for.
After not knowing what to make of the 2023 Honda CR-V Sport Touring when I went to test drive it, a fun day of driving later revealed that it hit all the marks.
The CR-V is smooth, comfortable, reasonably powerful, has a great ride and handling, and is a healthy entertainment option for those thinking about owning an EV in the future. It’s roomy, too—my lanky six-foot frame had no trouble climbing in and navigating comfortably, or seeing out. The styling of this new sixth generation is also quite nice. It looks sporty and modern and has some stylish touches that pay homage to its predecessors – check out the D-pillar taillights.
In 2024, Honda plans to introduce new Accord and Civic hybrids, as well as a bulky EV model, the Prologue. The brand also says its goal is to sell 2 million electric vehicles per year globally by 2030. Considering how solid the springboard is for the 2023 CR-V Hybrid, that’s certainly a great start. The base Sport Hybrid is only $1,340 more than the base EX, and it’s well worth it at the pump.
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Loaded with standard features, the redesigned 2023 Honda CR-V also expands with more interior space than ever before.
The 2023 Honda CR-V is a five-seat compact crossover about the size and style of the Volkswagen Tiguan. But with the hybrid option, it also compares to the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape and Hyundai Tucson.
Yes. Juicy: Satisfying when you want it, even better when you need it. Loaded with more standard safety and convenience features and an even more spacious cabin, the facelifted CR-V earns a TCC rating of 6.8 out of 10, which could improve upon completion of the crash test. (Learn more about how we rate cars.)
The CR-V gets a complete redesign for the 2023 model year, dropping the base LX trim for the better-equipped EX grade. The powertrain remains the same, but the CR-V Hybrid has more power.
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It’s slightly less efficient due to the CR-V’s larger footprint. Wider, longer and with a longer wheelbase, the new CR-V is stretched to passport proportions, with a large cargo area and seats wide enough to accommodate five adults.
Exterior styling reflects the growth of the CR-V, and the EX and EX-L trims could easily be mistaken for the Volkswagen Tiguan with its high-shouldered hood and simple body panels. A