We all have that friend, family member, or colleague who owns a Honda CR-V. In fact, my mother-in-law owns the 5th generation. The unmistakable sight of these compact SUVs on the road has become a testament to their efficiency and affordability. Recently, I had the chance to get behind the wheel of the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD Sport Touring in the eye-catching Canyon River Blue exterior, and I’m impressed by the upgrades.

Discover the 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD Sport Touring in the Canyon River Blue metallic exterior. From sleek design to family-friendly features, explore the ultimate compact SUV experience.
The Canyon River Blue metallic exterior compliments the redesign well.
Photo: Kim S.

Improved Looks

The 2023 CR-V Hybrid sports a sleek and rugged appearance, breaking away from the stereotype of a typical mom car. As a millennial in my late 30s, the black leather seats with contrasting orange stitching, the boxy design, and the eye-catching 19-inch black wheels appealed to my sense of style. Honda has truly nailed the art of making the CR-V more attractive to the younger generation.

Comfortable and Spacious Cabin

Stepping into the CR-V Hybrid, the first thing that caught my attention was the interior. Black leather seats with orange contrast stitching added sleek appeal. The 10-way power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with a convenient heating button added to the overall coziness. The spacious cabin, 2.7 inches longer than its predecessor, offers enhanced headroom, legroom, shoulder room, and hip room for all passengers.

The rear seats, with eight recline angles and a 60/40 split option, provide a flexible and practical solution for families. With the rear seats folded down, the cargo space expands to an impressive 76.5 cu-ft, making it easy to haul gear for various adventures. Think strollers, glider bikes, groceries, luggage, and more.

2023 Honda CR-V Front Grille Redesign
Photo: Kim S.

Performance and Power

The 2023 CR-V Hybrid introduces a new 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder hybrid engine that delivers 204 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. The addition of a towing capacity of up to 1,000 pounds provides an extra layer of utility for families with outdoor hobbies. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) ensures a smooth driving experience, and the various drive modes, including Sport and ECON, cater to different driving preferences. While it does have a Sport mode, the CR-V is not a performance vehicle. However, I did find it to be swift in acceleration during drives.

During my real-world testing, the fuel efficiency figures, though slightly below the official ratings, remained impressive at 27.7 MPG in the city and 30.3 MPG on the highway.

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD Sport Touring 9 inch display
9″ touchscreen display.
Photo: Kim S.

Technology and Convenience

The CR-V Hybrid boasts a standard 7-inch digital instrument cluster and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. The Sport Touring model, which I had the pleasure of driving, features a larger 9-inch touchscreen with wireless connectivity.

Second row USB chargers in the 2023 Honda CR-V
Second-row USB chargers in the 2023 Honda CR-V.
Photo: Kim S,

Honda has paid attention to the tech-savvy needs of families, providing ample storage and charging options for smartphones. There is a 2.5A USB-A port in front of the gear selector, as well as a standard, illuminated 3.0A USB-C. For rear seat passengers, two illuminated 3.0A USB-C charging ports are standard on Sport and Sport Touring.

The storage tray ahead of the shifter in the 2023 Honda CR-V is generously sized, allowing for the convenient placement of two smartphones side-by-side. It leaves room to charge one via the wireless charger. Additionally, you’ll find a small tray nestled between the cupholder and the center armrest, providing even more storage options. With a total of eight drink holders scattered throughout the front and rear of the cabin, the CR-V ensures you and your passengers stay hydrated on the road.

The 12-speaker BOSE premium sound system, combined with wireless connectivity, ensures a thoroughly entertaining journey for everyone on board.

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD Sport Touring_Driver Cluster Seatbelt reminder
Visual seatbelt reminder in the driver’s cluster is a welcomed addition.
Photo: Kim S.

A Standard Suite of Safety Features

Safety is a top priority for any family vehicle, and the CR-V delivers on this front. The standard suite of safety features includes Honda Sensing, adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking, lane-keeping assist, and road departure mitigation. The addition of blind-spot monitoring and a multi-view rearview camera adds an extra layer of confidence while driving.

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD Sport Touring_Lots of space to store things for both driver and passenger
Lots of space to store things for both driver and passenger.
Photo: Kim S.

What I Loved

From walk-away door locks to reclinable rear seats, the CR-V Hybrid has thoughtful features that make daily life easier for families. The quiet cabin, redesigned seats for additional support, and easy-to-find LATCH anchors contribute to a stress-free driving experience. The hands-free access power tailgate and multiview rearview camera are additional perks that enhance convenience.

2023 Honda CR-V 10 way adjustable power seat

What You Should Know

While the CR-V Hybrid excels in many aspects, certain features, such as a panoramic sunroof and ventilated seats, are not available on any trim. I enjoy the openness panoramic sunroofs provide, especially in smaller vehicles. The hybrid option is limited to Sport and Sport Touring trims. Transitioning from my previous Acura RDX and current MDX, which featured a push-button gear shift and touchpad, adjusting to the touchscreen and traditional gear shift in the 2023 Honda CR-V took some time.

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD Sport Touring_Not Your Average mom car anymore

Who is the Honda CR-V for?

If you’re in the market for an efficient, reliable, and spacious compact SUV that won’t break the bank, the 2023 Honda CR-V is worth considering. Whether you’re a commuter seeking fuel efficiency or a family of 3-4 in need of a versatile and safe ride, the CR-V ticks all the boxes.

The 2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid offers a refreshing take on the compact SUV. It combines style, comfort, and performance in a way that resonates with the needs and preferences of today’s drivers. As someone who appreciates both functionality and aesthetics, the CR-V Hybrid is a worthy companion for navigating life’s adventures, be it daily commutes, road trips, or family outings. With its stylish exterior, comfortable interior, and advanced features, the CR-V proves that it’s not just a popular choice; it’s a smart one too.

Learn more about the 2023 Honda CR-V at Honda.com.