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

Honda-HR-V-Teaser-2023-001-dynamic-front-angle-silver-suv 2023 Honda HR-V | Manufacturer image

The field of small SUVs has exploded in recent years with new entrants including the Kia Seltos and Mazda CX-30 squeezing their way into contention. A more seasoned player that first arrived for the 2016 model year, the Honda HR-V is getting redesigned for 2023 to stay competitive with the newbies.

Honda-HR-V-Teaser-2023-002-dynamic-exterior-rear-angle-silver-suv 2023 Honda HR-V | Manufacturer image

While Honda is tight-lipped on most details, the automaker teased two images of the upcoming HR-V, which got us mulling over what we’d want to see for the 2023 model. Before the wraps are officially taken off, the Editorial team compiled our biggest asks of Honda’s smallest SUV.

Related: Here Are the 10 Cheapest New SUVs You Can Buy Right Now

Shop the 2022 Honda HR-V near you

2022 Honda HR-V LX
29,641 mi.
$22,500 $299 price drop
Fair Deal
Hot Car
2022 Honda HR-V EX
26,972 mi.
Good Deal

Even as age catches up to it, the current-generation HR-V brings a host of benefits, especially for city dwellers who have a lot of stuff to lug around. That’s thanks to the surprisingly generous cargo and occupant space squeezed into the small SUV. As an owner of a 2018 HR-V, its cargo space has surprised me on many occasions, from fitting a week’s worth of road-trip luggage and a 50-pound Blue Heeler in the back to transporting a tall coffee bar. Not only is the cargo space generous when the rear seats are folded horizontally, it’s also versatile thanks to Honda’s vertically folding Magic Seat.

01-honda-hr-v-awd-2019-angle--exterior--front--orange.jpg 2019 Honda HR-V | photo by Christian Lantry

Not everything about the HR-V is magical, however. Its acceleration can be sluggish at highway speeds, the multimedia system is showing its age, and the user interface lacks the user-friendliness of physical controls. These complaints, along with the absence of standard safety tech on all trims, inspired our team’s wish list for the 2023 HR-V.

The Civic and Accord’s Turbo Engine

honda-civic-2022-13-engine.jpg 2022 Honda Civic | photo by Steven Pham

The HR-V’s power currently comes from a 141-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission. While power is sufficient to get the HR-V off the line in a timely manner (as we noted in our 2019 quick spin), the SUV is less eager to accelerate at highway speeds. Honda could go back to the drawing board for the HR-V’s powertrain … or it could put either the existing 180-hp, turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine from the Civic or 192-hp version from the Accord into the HR-V to give it the power it rightfully deserves.

“Honda has launched some new turbo four-cylinder engines since the HR-V’s debut, and I kept wondering what the SUV would have been like had Honda put its turbo 1.5-liter four-cylinder from the Civic under the [2019] HR-V’s hood,” said Senior Research Editor, Mike Hanley.

Tech Overhaul

2019 Honda HR-V 3 OEM.jpg 2019 Honda HR-V | Manufacturer image

Improved multimedia and user interface would iron out some of the HR-V’s most frustrating wrinkles, according to our editors. Our biggest pet peeves are the system’s lack of physical controls (in all but the base LX trim) and no standard Android Auto or Apple CarPlay on the base LX trim. My 2018 HR-V did not offer Android Auto and Apple CarPlay — both features only became available for the following model year. The 2019 HR-V also saw the return of a physical volume knob for the stereo. I jumped the gun and missed out on both “luxuries.”

According to Assistant Managing Editor Kelsey Mays, the outgoing HR-V is a strong contender in the class, but its user interface holds it back from its full potential.

“Courtesy of a 2019 refresh, improved safety and multimedia features distinguish the outgoing HR-V from the runabout that finished third in our 2015 comparison of seven subcompact SUVs,” says Mays. “The first-generation HR-V gets a lot of things right, from improbably good cabin materials to spacious passenger and cargo room. Honda would do well to keep those, though it seems inevitable that the redesign will get some cost-cutting to align with the inconsistent quality elsewhere in the class.

“One area where I’d like to see more investment is HR-V’s user interface. Honda needs to ditch the touch-sensitive stereo and climate controls afflicting upper trim levels of the old HR-V. Physical buttons and knobs: Consumers want them, and so do we.”

Managing Editor Joe Bruzek concurs. “I’m looking closely for improvements in the user interface, multimedia system and powertrain.  The HR-V’s no-knob, then in later years single-knob, user interface and acceleration-challenged powertrain have been areas of needed improvement, and it’s overdue for Honda’s latest multimedia system to replace the relic Honda Display Audio currently offered in the HR-V.” A faster and easier-to-use multimedia system with more physical controls could work wonders for the HR-V just as it did for the Accord in 2018. Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto would also help considerably.

Standard Safety Across the Board

16Honda_HR-V_SO_ES_46.jpg 2016 Honda HR-V; | photo by Evan Sears

The HR-V offers a suite of advanced safety features including forward collision warning, lane departure warning and collision and road departure mitigation systems. The Honda Sensing suite adds driver assist features like lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control; the catch is that these features are standard on the higher EX and EX-L models and not available on lower trims.

Hanley would like to see these safety features stretched across all HR-V models for 2023. There’s a high probability Honda will fulfill Hanley’s request: A group of automakers, which includes Honda, voluntarily agreed to make crash avoidance systems standard by 2022.

A Hybrid Powertrain (Conditions Apply)

honda-hr-v-e-hev-2021-346738-blue-exterior-front-angle-suv 2021 Honda HR-V HEV | Manufacturer image

Our fourth and final wish is to see a hybrid version of the HR-V (currently only available overseas) come to the U.S. The stipulation is that it would need to bring more power than the 129 horses it offers internationally in order to improve the SUV’s performance.

“There’s an updated HR-V with a standard hybrid powertrain available elsewhere in the world, but the U.S. teaser’s styling appears very different,” says Bruzek. “A hybrid powertrain would be interesting, especially knowing how much it improves the Honda CR-V’s low-speed responsiveness — though for that, a domestic HR-V hybrid would likely need gutsier power figures than the one available overseas.”

Price and Release Date

Honda will reveal more details and pricing closer to the 2023 HR-V’s arrival, which is expected sometime in 2022. The 2022 HR-V is available in LX, Sport, EX and EX-L trims, each with standard front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive; its prices range from $23,095 to $27,895 (including a $1,225 destination fee).

More From

Related Video:’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Jane Ulitskaya
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

Latest expert reviews