Much Needed Redesign. After seven long years, Honda has finally introduced a fully redesigned HR-V for the 2023 model year. Unlike the outgoing model, the fully redesigned HR-V utilizes the platform from the new Civic. This has allowed the subcompact SUV to grow dramatically in size. The 2023 HR-V is 9.4 inches longer and 2.6 inches wider. The result of moving to the Civic’s platform results in an HR-V that’s more spacious for passengers than before and is more enjoyable to drive.

Honda has also updated the HR-V’s powertrain, borrowing the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine from the Civic, as well as the compact’s infotainment system. The 2023 HR-V also comes with Honda’s latest version of its Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety features.

All of the changes result in an HR-V that’s better in nearly every single way than before. While some find the design of the SUV odd, we think it looks far better than the outgoing model, so it’s a win in our book. Toyota has smartly taken to calling its SUV version of the Corolla, the Corolla Cross. If Honda were to follow the same playbook, it would call the new HR-V the Civic Cross.

Still Roomy For Passengers. The HR-V’s larger body results in more space for passengers. Compared to last year, the 2023 HR-V has more front legroom, front hip room, and rear shoulder room. These come at the expense of front and rear headroom, as well as rear legroom. The good news is that the areas where the HR-V is smaller than before have only seen marginal drops in space. So, the HR-V actually feels roomier on the inside than before, though we suspect that the new design might have something to do with it.

The more upscale interior design also creates a nicer place for passengers. The overall design is nearly identical to the Civic’s with a stylish dashboard and straightforward controls. Passengers will find the HR-V’s seats to be both comfortable and supportive with plenty of padding for long drives.

The 2023 HR-V is no longer available with Honda’s Magic Seat, which gave the subcompact SUV the ability to hold large cargo and expanded the SUV’s cargo area. The change means the HR-V is down on cargo space compared to the previous model. The 2023 HR-V offers 24.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats in place and a total of 55.1 cubic feet of cargo space. The old HR-V had up to 58.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

Massive Tech Upgrade. Dipping into the Civic’s available parts bin has done wonders for the HR-V on the tech front for 2023. Every model now comes with a 7-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a partially digital instrument cluster with a 7-inch screen, and an up-to-date infotainment system. The new infotainment system features large physical controls. Higher trims benefit from a 9-inch touchscreen that’s available with wireless smartphone compatibility, an eight-speaker audio system, and a wireless charging pad.

Compared to last year, this is a huge tech upgrade. But it doesn’t stop there. For 2023, every HR-V now comes with Honda’s newest Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety features. That means forward collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, a driver attention monitor, and traffic sign recognition are all standard. The main safety feature that’s optional is blind-spot monitoring.

While some of the HR-V’s competitors offer more high-tech features, these represent a large upgrade over last year’s HR-V. Additionally, it’s nice to see that every trim in the lineup now comes with Honda Sensing as standard equipment.

2023 Honda HR-V Interior

Improved Handling, Dull Engine. Under the hood, the 2023 HR-V now comes with a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque. This new engine, which is borrowed from the Civic, is a large upgrade over the previous engine which was rated at 141 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque.

While the engine has more power than before, the HR-V still has slow acceleration in a straight line. The HR-V has added a few pounds for the new model year and the extra power just isn’t enough to result in a meaningful change in a straight line. This could be an issue with the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), though, which doesn’t behave nearly as well as a traditional gearbox.

For consumers that enjoy good-handling vehicles, the HR-V surprises with its newfound athleticism. The Civic platform does wonders for the vehicle, making the SUV enjoyable to drive around corners. The HR-V’s ride has also been improved, as the SUV is comfortable on a variety of different roads.

Final Thoughts. With the full redesign for the 2023 Honda HR-V, the Japanese automaker hasn’t completely changed the subcompact SUV’s purpose or functionality but has created a more well-rounded SUV that fixes a lot of the old model’s flaws. The SUV still lags behind the competition on the performance front but retains a roomy interior, and gains modern tech features and a more capable chassis. The changes result in a subcompact SUV that’s far better than before.

The Mazda CX-30 is still the star of the segment. It offers athletic performance, a luxurious cabin, a generous list of standard features, and an available turbocharged engine that makes 250 hp. It’s not as spacious as the HR-V, but the CX-30 more than makes up for it.

The Hyundai Kona has a far more aggressive design than the HR-V, an optional 10.3-inch touchscreen, a long list of standard features, and a standard engine that makes 147 hp. The Kona is available in a wide range of trims that include the sporty Kona N that’s a track-oriented monster with 276 hp.

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