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2023 Honda HR-V Grows Up, Starts at $24,895

Can new styling and an upgraded engine make the Honda HR-V more desirable?
2023 Honda HR-V Sport

The outgoing Honda HR-V was a spacious, practical, clever, and affordable people mover but withered due to its sloppy ride quality, econobox interior, and coarse engine. For the new 2023 Honda HR-V unveiled Tuesday, they’ve read our letters and dressed up the HR-V with a little style and more interest.

To do both, Honda drastically updated the HR-V’s exterior and interior styling. This new design borrows some of its looks from the new Honda Civic, especially inside, and it works—the new HR-V’s design is a big improvement over the outgoing car’s design. There’s even a whiff of Honda Crosstour in the new HR-V when you look at it from the rear three-quarters.

The most dramatic changes happen inside the car, though. Previously, the HR-V’s cabin was a place you spent time because you had to—if it was your mode of transportation—not because you wanted to. This new HR-V’s cabin looks like one you might actually want to spend some time in, thanks to its Civic-inspired dashboard, larger infotainment screen (7-inch touch screen as-standard, optional 9-inch touch screen), and a gauge cluster that doesn’t look like it’s from 2005. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard, even on the 7-inch display.

Honda also made improvements to how it rides and drives, addressing the outgoing car’s penalty-box driving experience. The 2023 Honda HR-V is built on a new platform—Honda’s global architecture, the same one the underpins the new Civic although they don’t share similar dimensions—that gives it a longer wheelbase to help stabilize its ride. New fully independent rear suspension, with MacPherson front struts, should improve ride comfort, too.

A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine replaces the outgoing 1.8-liter engine, and bumps power from 141 horsepower to 158 horsepower. Torque is up too, from 127 pound-feet to 138 pound-feet. That engine still gets paired to a CVT but it’s been revised for better power delivery and refinement. Front-wheel drive is standard but all-wheel drive is available on all models. All models also come with Honda Sensing advanced safety systems as-standard, which include a front wide-view camera, a traffic jam assist, and traffic sign recognition.

However, despite the meager power output and CVT, the new Honda HR-V isn’t particularly fuel efficient. Not a single model gets over 30 mpg combined, even though all models reach 30 mpg or more on the highway. Front-wheel-drive models get 26/32/28 mpg (city/highway/combined), while all-wheel-drive models get 25/30/27 mpg.

The entry-level HR-V LX FWD starts at $24,895, including mandatory destination fees, which bumps to $26,395 after adding all-wheel drive. The HR-V Sport FWD model starts at $26,895, with all-wheel drive bumping it up to $28,395. The top-of-the-line EX-L FWD starts at $28,695 and jumps to $30,195 with all-wheel drive.

Honda is positioning the HR-V’s new design and improved engine to compete with cars like the Mazda CX-30 and Toyota Corolla Cross. It looks much better than before but it still isn’t as efficient or as powerful as its two aforementioned competitors, while also being more expensive.

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