Ξ Comments are off

2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD Sport Touring Review & Test Drive

posted by  
Filed under Automotive, Honda, Hybrid, SUV, Test Drives

2023 honda cr-v sport touring hybrid awd

Compact SUVs have come a long way in terms of offering a more cohesive package and have grown to become more accommodating and versatile for growing families. One of the more popular SUVs in the compact-sized segment, the Honda CR-V, has received a full redesign for the 2023 model year, embarking on a journey to grow its base with subtle improvements that don’t offend anyone. With such a task, Honda retains most of what has worked with the CR-V, and now in its 6th generation, the CR-V takes on a more mature approach in its looks and an offering of an improved hybrid powertrain for the top trim level.

The overall look of the new 2023 CR-V is more sophisticated, with most of the change taking place up front for a look that signifies more presence on the road, while the rear is slightly reworked but remains recognizable. My top-trim test vehicle, the CR-V Hybrid AWD Sport Touring trim, adds larger dark 19-inch alloy wheels and darkened trim. Across the board, the new design of the Honda CR-V looks more premium, somewhat mimicking what you find in other new Honda vehicles, especially up front, and I like what I see.

Corwin Honda Fargo Cars

2023 honda cr-v sport touring hybrid

Performance and Driving Character

The 2023 Honda CR-V’s redesign brings back the 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4-cylinder engine touting 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque mated to an electronic continuous variable transmission (CVT), which is the powertrain found in the EX and EX-L trim levels. Opting for the Sport trim or my top-level Sport Touring trim test vehicle, you get the hybrid powertrain that uses a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and a single electric motor that performs the typical duties of propulsion, starter, and generator/brake regeneration. Together, working in harmony, the 4-cylinder engine (145 horsepower/138 lb-ft of torque) and electric motor (181 horsepower/247 lb-ft of torque) produce a combined 204 horsepower and as much as 247 lb-ft of torque. Honda attempted to simplify the drivetrain offerings by offering front-wheel-drive (FWD) or all-wheel-drive (AWD) for the first four trim levels, while my top-trimmed Sport Touring hybrid gets standard AWD.

2023 honda cr-v sport touring hybrid side

While both powertrains have an eCVT, the hybrid system seems to work well with the CVT for nearly seamless power management when switching from electric-motor power to having the engine fire up for most of the grunt work. In all, the CR-V’s hybrid powertrain is a thoughtless act that performs quite well and never hesitates when power is demanded, no matter if it needs to start up the gas engine in a hurry. Acceleration is decent on flat surfaces, but I found that going up steep inclines on some local bridges, the CR-V sport touring hybrid seemed to not feel up to the task where the eCVT-gearless setup seemed to linger in ratios with abrupt changes while it otherwise emulated a traditional automatic with virtual ratio kick-downs under moderate to heavy acceleration.

Zero to 60 mph takes place in about 7.9 seconds and does so without any unwanted wheelspin as the all-wheel-drive system works well under load. The CR-V Sport Touring Hybrid is on a level playing field with its competition, and with the redesign, the hybrid powertrain is somewhat improved where it feels like it has a more responsiveness to throttle inputs.

2023 honda cr-v sport touring hybrid rear

The overall handling and ride quality is good, as is the smoothness of the soft suspension system that isn’t overly soft to the point of having the vehicle float or unwanted and excessive body roll. The braking feel is good with the transitions from regenerative braking to the friction brakes. There’s a clever use of the steering shift paddles to temporarily add additional braking regen to charge up the battery when coming to a stop. Though, the system resets after coming to a complete stop. The steering effort, mostly void of feedback, is lively for its ratio, which is about expected for an electric-assisted rack for such an SUV.

Fuel Economy

Where the new Honda CR-V Sport Touring Hybrid really shines is matching its EPA fuel economy estimates in the real world. Those estimates of 40 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 37 mpg combined can easily be bested with careful use of the throttle in your daily commutes. The CR-V’s hybrid system comes without fault and tends to permit drivers to take advantage of how well it performs after a short learning curve of its operation. Basically, you shouldn’t be surprised to get mpg numbers better than the 40-mpg city figure as I did, getting as much as 46 mpg on occasions through 35-mile-plus stints just cruising through back roads with several slow-downs from the nearly endless Florida road construction.

2023 honda cr-v sport touring hybrid gauge cluster

Interior and Technology

The cabin of the new 2023 Honda CR-V, while slightly reworked, doesn’t get much treatment to attract attention. Fundamentally, the interior is mostly monotone even though it has an underlying premium feel with a decent amount of soft-touch surfaces and a page taken from other new Hondas with the mesh-style vent area that serves double duty as a trim component.

2023 honda cr-v sport touring hybrid dashboard

The dashboard comes together well for its ease of usability with close controls that combine a set of physical knobs and buttons for both the automatic dual-zone climate control and the audio system’s volume. The touchscreen interface fed through a 9-inch screen could use some polishing for the menus and settings, but it does the job just fine, even if it already seems a little outdated. There’s also wireless or USB-connected Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration that both work without issue. The driver’s gauge cluster is split into having a color LCD screen in two-thirds of the area on the left while the right one-third area is a fixed analog speedometer. There’s an abundance of driver information displayed through the digital part of the cluster, along with a digital speedometer readout.

2023 honda cr-v sport touring hybrid front seats

Visibility is good all around, and the seating areas are large for a compact SUV in the new 2023 CR-V. Having the top-trim Sport Touring Hybrid CR-V, the leather seats have accented stitching and a good amount of power-adjustability with a driver’s memory feature. The rear seats have a good amount of room as well and have 60/40-split backs that can be folded down for extra cargo room. The folding of the rear seats isn’t completely flat into the floor, leaving somewhat of a hump, and the floor of the hybrid CR-V, making room for the battery pack, doesn’t have an adjustable load floor like the gas-only CR-V models making a difference of about 3 cubic feet of space. The 36 cubic feet behind the rear seats is still a respectable amount of cargo volume in my CR-V Sport Touring Hybrid test vehicle.

2023 honda cr-v sport touring hybrid back seats


The new 2023 Honda CR-V bundles up a full array of active safety features across all trim levels, which includes the highlighted features of forward-collision warning, automated emergency braking, lane-keeping assist/lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and blind-spot monitors. The only feature that isn’t found on all trim levels is a low-speed automatic braking feature for collision avoidance at speeds of 6 mph and below, which is found on the EX-L and Sport Touring Hybrid trims. The camera system is a wide-angle rear-facing unit only with predictive guidelines.

2023 honda cr-v sport touring hybrid cargo


The Honda CR-V has always been a good value, and the sales figures prove such. For the redesigned 2023 CR-V, Honda has kept with tradition in the trim packages coming mostly preconfigured at a set price, where the new CR-V starts at just $28,410. Of course, opting for the hybrid trim will increase the pricing, but even with that, the new CR-V Sport Hybrid FWD starts at $32,950, while my loaded-up CR-V Sport Touring Hybrid test vehicle tests out at $40,395, which includes a $1,295 destination charge.


You May Also Like


Automotive Manufacturers & Categories