New 2023 Honda CRV gets hybrid powertrain and Michelin tyres
Set to arrive in Europe later this summer, the latest CRV is bigger, more expensive and available exclusively with a partially electrified powertrain. But will this be enough to tempt buyers away from Toyota's Rav 4, VW's Tiguan and a myriad of alternatives?
The Honda CRV has never been the recipient of particularly glamorous accolades. Rather, it’s the beneficiary of titles like ‘most practical’, ‘most reliable’… you get the idea. But the CRV knows its brief and executes it to perfection. That’s why, since its inception in 1997, it has endured as Honda’s most popular SUV.
Now in its sixth generation, the CRV has been thoroughly revamped and there’s plenty to like.
Kicking things off with the design, much like Porsche with their 911, you can tell that Honda subscribes to an evolution rather than revolution philosophy. Clearly its customers like reserved, sensible styling, so why risk offending them with an outlandish design like that of the Hyundai Tucson? As such, the new CRV has a clean and unfussy look that modernises its predecessor without re-writing the rule book.
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Under the skin, Honda has made slightly more drastic changes, however the new powertrain options still cater to most people’s tastes. The new CRV is the first model in the line-up to completely scrap pure-internal combustion power options.
Buyers can now choose from either a PHEV or a full hybrid powertrain. Both utilising a familiar 2.0 four-cylinder petrol engine, the former is capable of 51 miles of electric-only driving. While Honda is yet to release official power or economy figures, between 180 and 200 bhp would be a realistic estimate — although not many potential buyers will place much importance on the latter metric.
To help keep occupants safer than ever, the sixth generation CRV will also benefit from a new suite of driver assistance systems that Honda calls Sensing 360. As the name suggests, this new set-up should help to eliminate blind spots and reduce the burden on the driver.
Designed solely for SUVs, the Latitude Sport 3 offers excellent traction in the wet, as well as superb longevity and fuel efficiency.
Perhaps most importantly of all, the new CRV promises to be more practical than ever. Thanks to an increase in external dimensions across the board, the boot capacity is expected to be an impressive (and class leading) 600+ litres. Handy for all of daily life’s little challenges.
Ultimately that’s where this new Honda will excel. Just like its forebears, the CRV does exactly what it says on the tin: offer safe, affordable, and practical family travel. But you can’t help but wonder if Honda has been just a little too conservative this time. Do you think the 2023 CRV is minimalist and mature, or bland and boring?