Having first shown sketches of the forthcoming 2023 HR-V in March, Honda revealed the second generation of the HR-V Monday, boasting a larger size and sleek new styling. The 2023 Honda HR-V reaches showrooms this summer, with some significant changes and a more upscale look.
“By gaining aspirational qualities beyond its segment, the all-new 2023 Honda HR-V will welcome a new generation of customers to Honda and grow in importance as a gateway to the Honda brand,” said Michael Kistemaker, assistant vice president of Automobile Sales of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., in a statement.
Now, even bigger
The 2023 Honda HR-V’s added dimension stems from the fact that the HR-V is now based of the newest, 11th-generation Civic platform, rather than the Honda Fit architecture employed for the first-generation HR-V. This provides for a longer wheelbase a wider stance and a new independent rear suspension.
It’s all cloaked in new styling that feels more refined and sophisticated than the outgoing model. Wearing clean rounded lines, the new HR-V lacks the previous model’s side sculpting leading up to the trailing edge of the rear side window. Instead, the rear fender bulges with authority and strength, accentuating its wider track. The HR-V’s hood is larger, as is its greenhouse, which is finished in the rear with functional tailgate spoiler.
Few details, but we can guess
Aside from that, Honda hasn’t released any further details about the new HR-V, except that it is designed and built for the American market. In other markets, Honda will continue with a smaller HR-V, dubbed the Vezel in Japan, still based on the Honda Fit. Honda’s decision to build an HR-V for the U.S. market isn’t surprising given that the automaker no longer sells the Fit in America. Basing it on the Civic is an obvious move.
Given its new architecture, don’t be surprised if the new HR-V sports the Civic’s 158-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder or the 174-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter 4. Those engines mate to a 6-speed manual or a CVT in the Civic, but don’t be surprised if a CVT is the sole driveline option. And we wouldn’t be surprised if a hybrid joined the line-up.
The current HR-V uses a 141-horsepower, 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine with a continuously variable transmission. Front-wheel is standard and all-wheel drive is optional, except on the top Touring trim level, where it’s standard. That’s something that most likely won’t change.
A popular Honda
Honda’s smallest crossover utility vehicle has been on a sales tear, selling 137,090 units in 2021, up from 84,027 the year before and 99,104 in 2019. That’s an increase of nearly 39% year over year. While most Hondas recorded volume increases from 2020’s lower manufacturing volumes, this year’s jump is unusually large for a model that’s been around for several years. One reason might be its low $23,095 starting price, which is lower than most other CUVs.
The original Honda HR-V debuted in the U.S. in 2015 and was among the first entries into what is now an expanding field of subcompact crossovers. It quickly built a loyal following based on its unexpectedly roomy interior that can accommodate significantly more cargo than its exterior size might suggest. But one big question about the 2023 HR-V is whether Honda is retaining its extremely flexible seating layout.
Honda isn’t saying. Nor has it released pricing. But expect its cost to be near its current level.