Honda’s CR-V has been the top-selling compact SUV in America for over a quarter century. And their hybrid variant represents over 53 percent of total model sales. To say CR-V is a popular SUV, is an understatement. It’s been around and proven. And you see lots of them on the roads.
CR-V for 2023 is offered in FWD and AWD and in LX, EX, Sport Hybrid, EX-L, Sport-L Hybrid and Sport Touring Hybrid. We had the privilege of testing the completely redesigned 2023 AWD CR-V Sport Touring Hybrid with a bit larger dimensions for added interior space and comfort, new bold, attractive styling and a new hybrid system that features a more advanced two-motor hybrid-electric powertrain for added spunk and quiet operation.
Aside from its bold new exterior look, CR-V’s interior is equally new with nicely supportive, perforated leather seating that’s adorned with contrasting trim, a vivid 9-inch touchscreen with voice recognition, digital gauge cluster, paddle shifters, large HVAC controls that can be operated with gloved hands and many more.
The touchscreen offers several apps including HondaLink connectivity, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi Hotspot, navigation, a rearview camera with three different views plus satellite radio and Bose audio.
The console houses a robust gear selector plus a mode switch for Eco, Snow, and Normal modes. Residing there as well is a wireless phone charger pad along with receptacles for wired charging.
With a low 18.5-inch step-in, the back seats are sumptuously padded and can accommodate three tweens with good legroom (up to 41 inches) because the transaxle hump is very low and almost flat.
The cargo area is especially spacious for a compact SUV. With the rear seatbacks upright, it offers a generous 39.3 cubic feet of space that measures 36 inches deep, 41.5 wide and 32.25 high. Flip the seatbacks and space expands to 76.5 cubic feet for 70 inches of cargo loading depth. Beneath the cargo floor is a deep and large bin to stow items out of sight.
The 2023 CR-V AWD Hybrid gets its grunt from a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder in conjunction with the dual motors that produces a combined 204-hp and 247 lb/ft of torque. Coupled to a CVT transmission, the CR-V Hybrid received EPA fuel economy ratings of an impressive 40 city, 34-highway mpg. Performance wise, it’s exhilarating, more so in Sport mode.
CR-V parks easily with electric power steering and a tight 37.3 foot turning radius. It rides smoothly and quietly on Continental 19-inch tires that are 8 inches wide for good traction in snow and on wet roadways. Actually, the CR-V rides more like a midsize SUV. And with an 8.2-inch ground clearance, it can handle modest snow depths and semi-rugged off-roads. And the Sport Touring came with Hill Descent Control that operates at speeds from 2-12 mph which saves the brakes from wear and overheating instead of having to ride them down a steep decline.
Safety-wise, CR-V Hybrid came standard with vehicle stability assist, rear cross traffic alert, driver attention monitor, blind spot monitor and a nifty feature is the walk-away auto lock feature. Along with standard sunroof, heated front seats and steering wheel, the only extra cost was for delivery of $1,245 that took the base price of $38,600 to $39,845.
The CR-V Hybrid offers a lot of content at a competitive price. And of course, it comes with Honda’s proven quality build and reliability.
CR-V Hybrid carries a basic new car warranty of 3 years or 30,000 miles while the powertrain is covered by a 5/60K warranty. The hybrid battery itself offers an 8/100K warranty.
All in all, the CR-V Hybrid is the perfect alternative to a fully all-electric SUV if you’re not sold on the concept. It offers impressive utility features, has miserly fuel economy, is family friendly and is simply enjoyable to drive.