2023 Honda HR-V Grows in Size, Shrinks in Quirkiness

honda-hr-v-2023-001-exterior-rear-angle-red-suv 2023 Honda HR-V | Manufacturer image

The Honda HR-V’s competitor list is jam-packed with affordable subcompact SUVs like the Jeep Renegade, Mazda CX-30, Kia Seltos and Hyundai Kona, among others. To stay ahead of these rivals, Honda has redesigned the HR-V for 2023 with an all-new exterior and the promise of powertrain and performance improvements. While details for the second-generation HR-V’s powertrain, interior and technology remain under wraps, Honda has revealed the SUV’s new exterior and the timeframe for its arrival.

Related: Honda Teases the 2023 HR-V: Here’s What We Want

Honda’s Smallest SUV Grows Up

Based on the 11th-gen Honda Civic, the HR-V gets bigger and wider. Honda says the HR-V also rides on a longer wheelbase: The 2022 Civic has a 107.7-inch wheelbase, while the current HR-V’s measures 102.8 inches. The larger footprint should make the HR-V’s already roomy interior — with Honda’s signature Magic Seat and generous cargo space — even more user-friendly.

honda-hr-v-2023-004-exterior-grey-profile-suv 2023 Honda HR-V | Manufacturer image

Erasing the Quirks

After only a minor styling refresh for 2019, the 2023 HR-V’s makeover is more dramatic. A low horizontal beltline, longer hood, wide-set LED headlights and taillights, and a larger grille culminate in more conventional styling devoid of many of the traits that made the first-gen SUV recognizable. For the outgoing model, Honda focused on creating a coupelike design that integrated the rear door handles into the trim behind the rear windows; the 2023 model features standard door handles across all four doors. The SUV’s rear end gets a more sculpted hatch and a new functional tailgate spoiler.

The SUV’s new proportions mean it’s longer and wider compared to its taller, more rounded predecessor. According to Honda, the new model gets a larger greenhouse with door-mounted mirrors that will improve visibility and hidden windshield wipers.

A Powertrain Promise

The outgoing HR-V is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission for 141-horsepower. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. The current SUV’s powertrain is competent off the line, but quick acceleration and passing power at highway speeds are not its strong suits (as noted in our 2019 quick spin). We’re hoping the redesigned model offers a fix for these grievances.

Without revealing any specifics, Honda claims the new subcompact SUV will get a more responsive engine and a new independent rear suspension for 2023. It’s unclear if it will share the Civic and Accord’s turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder.

honda-hr-v-2023-002-exterior-front-angle-silver-suv 2023 Honda HR-V | Manufacturer image

Price and Release Date

Honda will unveil more details and pricing for the 2023 HR-V closer to its summer 2022 arrival. The current 2022 HR-V is available in LX, Sport, EX and EX-L trims. Starting prices range from $23,095 for the HR-V LX to $27,895 for the range-topping EX-L (including a $1,225 destination fee).

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Former News Editor Jane Ulitskaya joined the team in 2021, and her areas of focus included researching and reporting on vehicle pricing, inventory and auto finance trends. Email Jane Ulitskaya

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