2023 Honda CR-V

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HONDA has revealed its largest-ever CR-V this week, the sixth-generation SUV expected to make its local debut with petrol and hybrid drivelines sometime in the second half of 2023.

Sporting a design which combines styling cues familiar to the recently released Civic small car and newly launched HR-V SUV, the CR-V boasts a large, hexagonal-shaped grille with a slender satin chrome frame, slimline headlights, a prominent shoulder-line and door-mounted wing mirrors.

The tailgate is flanked by L-shaped tail-lights in a nod to the outgoing model.

Accompanying the US press information, Honda released images of its Sport and Sport Touring grade CR-V variants each with a dark-themed grille, body mouldings, vents, alloys and wing mirror caps.

Higher grade Sport Touring variants add lower grille intakes and a rear bumper valance.

The influence of the new Civic is likewise evident inside the CR-V’s cabin with a strong horizontal theme, floating infotainment screen (7.0- or 9.0-inch depending on model grade) and familial instrumentation visible.

Sport Touring models add a 12-speaker Bose premium audio package.

The updated console borrows its split design from previous CR-V models and appears to offer generous oddment storage (with 15W inductive charging pad), large cupholders and a good-sized lidded bin.

Infotainment technology is expected to mirror that offered in the Civic and HR-V with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity offered on higher grade models and wired CarPlay connectivity on entry grades.

But it’s the higher specification model that is likely to reflect what will be sold in Australia. The brand’s approach to recent model launches has showed a clear preference towards offering only higher-trim grades with more premium content, and with petrol and hybrid engine offerings available.

Under the bonnet we expect the CR-V to offer drivelines familiar to those offered elsewhere in the range.

Honda’s US release details a base turbocharged petrol engine displacing 1.5-litres with 142kW of power at 6000rpm and 243Nm from 1750-5000rpm paired to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and offered in front- or all-wheel drive configurations.

A direct injection Atkinson cycle 2.0-litre petrol assisted by two electric motors is also available with 152kW of power and 335Nm of torque, again with the availability of all-wheel drive. The figures make it the most powerful production CR-V ever.

The CR-V will utilise the same modular Honda Architecture (HA) platform that underpins the eleventh-generation Civic and as such rides on a MacPherson strut (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension arrangement.

Braking is by discs all round with alloy wheel sizes of 18 to 19 inches in diameter that are shod respectively with 235/60 and 235/55 profile tyres.

Body torsional rigidity has improved by 15 per cent over the outgoing model while a new variable ratio steering rack is said to provide greater feedback and more accuracy than before.

Safety technology will include the full suite of Honda Sensing safety and driver assistance technologies, front- and rear-facing cameras, as well as knee and side-impact airbags. 

Adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, driver attention monitoring, lane keep assist, traffic jam assist, rear seat reminder and traffic sign recognition are all included as standard on US-spec’ CR-V.

Both CR-V Sport and Sport Touring grades include hill descent control as standard for the first time.

Honda says its new CR-V “debuts a rugged and sophisticated design” and a more “sporty and more capable driving experience.” It is understood the model will be offered in both five- and seven-seat format in the Australian market.

The new CR-V is some 69mm longer than before (now 4694mm), 10mm wider (1864mm), 2mm taller (1692mm) and has a 41mm longer wheelbase than the outgoing range (2700mm).

Cargo capacity grows to 1028 litres in both variants, the petrol offering boasting an additional 85 litres beneath the load floor. The 60:40 split second row of seats allows the CR-V to accommodate as much as 2166 litres of cargo space all told.

Honda says both the passenger and cargo compartments are the roomiest in the history of the CR-V.

As reported by GoAuto previously, the increased size of the new CR-V will allow Honda not only to offer a more spacious mid-size model to its loyal customer base, but to also make way for the arrival of the new ZR-V, which will slot between the HR-V and CR-V in the brand’s SUV portfolio.

Honda Australia told GoAuto News that the new CR-V is still too far away for it to confirm local specification and launch timing but says the model should be on its radar by this time next year.

“Although the next-generation CR-V will initially launch this summer for the left-hand drive domestic North American market, launch timing for Australia is yet to be confirmed as it is more than 12 months away,” said a Honda Australia spokesperson.

Despite its age, the current Honda CR-V continues to rate as one of the best-selling SUVs in its class.

Year to date sales figures place the CR-V in eighth place within the Medium SUV under $60K segment with 4022 sales to the end of June 2022.

The market category is currently topped by the Toyota RAV4 with 20,373 unit sales ahead of the Mazda CX-5 (14,014), Mitsubishi Outlander (9243), Kia Sportage (8771), Hyundai Tucson (7355), Subaru Forester (5714), and MG HS (5540).

The top 10 is rounded out by the Nissan X-Trail (3955) and GWM Haval H6 (2619).

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