• Car Review

Driven: 2023 Honda HR-V Review

By Shawn Furman | August 26, 2022

Vehicle Type: The 2023 Honda HR-V is a subcompact crossover SUV capable of seating up to five passengers.

Price Range: The base model 2023 Honda HR-V has a total starting price of $24,895 before any extras or accessories are added. The middle-tier HR-V Sport comes with a starting price of $26,895. Top trim level HR-V EX-L models start at $28,695.

All Honda HR-V models have a $1,245 destination charge included in the prices listed above.

Powertrain: As with the previous generation Honda HR-V, there is only one engine option available for all three of its trim levels.

A 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine produces 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque.

A continuously variable automatic transmission is standard and is the only transmission available.

Each trim level comes standard with front-wheel-drive, but all-wheel-drive is available for an extra $1,500, regardless of which one you choose.

What’s New for 2022?

The Honda HR-V has been completely redesigned for the 2023 model year. A larger 2.0-liter engine has replaced the smaller one from the outgoing model. Horsepower is boosted from 141 to 158 for only a slight improvement in acceleration, but the slightly more refined drivetrain helps smooth things out a little more.

The new HR-V has much more refined styling both inside and out, following the recently designed Honda Civic and dialing back on all the edges and sharp lines. The interior has also become more refined but still continues the trend of overall comfort and great use of space that helped the 2022 HR-V stand out in the class.

More standard tech features and standard safety features also enter the picture. Despite being wider and having a significantly longer wheelbase than the outgoing model, cargo space drops by a few cubic feet, since Honda’s fold-flat Magic Seats are no longer available.

What’s Good?

  • Classy, more conventional styling helps push the HR-V into the “handsome” styling conversation
  • Even after its redesign, The HR-V continues to make great use of its small size with plentiful passenger and cargo space
  • More standard tech features, standard safety features, and lower-than-average top trim level pricing make it an enticing option for buyers in a hot segment

What’s Bad?

  • Despite the uptick in horsepower from the previous generation, the new HR-V’s driving experience remains uninspiring as the engine is noisy and feels underpowered at speed
  • The HR-V’s starting MSRP is higher than many competitors
  • Overall fuel economy drops from the outgoing model, giving it merely average estimates for the class regardless

Would we buy one? Yes. We are not thrilled with the driving experience or the fact that Magic Seats are gone, but the HR-V’s overall packaging and new styling are too good to pass up.

More Photos:

See more 2023 Honda HR-V Photos.



2023 marks the first year of the second generation of the Honda HR-V. The first-generation HR-V made a name for itself by being typically Honda: comfortable, affordable, and insanely practical without lighting your hair on fire. The new HR-V continues that trend, but it comes with a little more character from its styling update and a few more features to excite buyers.

It competes with other subcompact crossover SUVs like the Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Seltos, Hyundai Kona, Mazda CX-30, Jeep Renegade, Chevrolet Trailblazer, Nissan Kicks, Toyota Corolla Cross, Volkswagen Taos, Mini Cooper Countryman, and Kia Soul. In such a crowded segment, the HR-V’s much-needed redesign continues to help it stay fresh.

Although all of Honda’s improvements have certainly reinvigorated buyers’ interest in the HR-V, it remains true to its original goal of providing a comfortable ride and great space for its size at an affordable price. As with most others in the class, it is not designed to provide razor-sharp handling or lightning-quick acceleration, but it does just about everything else well.

Overall Score: 4/5 stars

Driving Experience: 2.5/5 stars


The HR-V’s driving experience is exactly what buyers would expect if they have driven other Hondas, but its engine and drivetrain combination is not going to tickle any enthusiasts’ itch for spirited driving. Even in everyday driving, the 158 horsepower is merely adequate. Its CVT transmission is also fine, but it struggles to get the HR-V’s near 3,000-pound curb weight going.

When we pushing the engine in passing situations on the freeway or on onramps, the CVT forced the engine to drone loudly and it felt underpowered all the while; the experience often made the HR-V feel cheap and uninspired. This is not uncommon for the class as few vehicles this small have what most would consider to be performance engines. Still, the Mazda CX-30 and Hyundai Kona offer more responsive acceleration and engaging driving experience.

The HR-V makes up a little for its shortcomings by offering a pleasant and comfortable ride with surefooted handling. This is what most buyers are looking for when buying an SUV like this, and the HR-V earns back some brownie points for its ability to ride like a larger vehicle.

Safety Features: 4/5 stars


As of the time of this writing, neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has given the new HR-V a safety rating. The outgoing model received a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA and a rating of good in every category but the side impact and headlight tests from the IIHS. With a different design and more standard safety equipment, we expect some improvements in these safety scores.

Standard safety equipment included on each HR-V includes the Honda Sensing suite of safety features: Automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. Additional standard equipment includes a driver drowsiness monitor, automatic high beam headlights, and a rear-seat reminder system.

Features found on higher trim levels include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and parking sensors. This features list is extensive for the class, but we have to wait and see if Honda has made enough improvements to raise the new model’s side impact and headlight safety scores to give it higher here.

Value: 4.5/5 stars


Despite having one of the highest starting MSRPs in the segment, the HR-V is still a great value compared to others in the segment. Like its larger sibling, the CR-V, the new HR-V does most things well by combining a comparatively large interior, excellent cargo space, plentiful standard features, a great suite of safety features, a comfortable ride, and attractive styling.

When fully equipped with all possible options (including AWD), the HR-V we tested neared $33,000. This is less than competitors like the Mazda CX-30, Hyundai Kona, and Jeep Renegade. For most buyers who will not opt for every single piece of extra equipment, average pricing will remain modest, only surpassing its smallest rivals in the class like the Hyundai Venue, Kia Soul, and Chevrolet Trax.

Additionally, resale values have proven to remain strong compared to others in the segment. The Kia Soul arguably represents the best value in the segment due to its sub-$20,000 starting MSRP, its vast amount of cargo space, and its warranty, though it does not offer the fit-and-finish, resale value, or all-wheel-drive that the HR-V does.

Tech Features: 4/5 stars


Tech offerings on the new HR-V are an improvement over the outgoing model but do not expect too much of the latest and greatest tech at this price point and size. Still, its standard features list is good compared to many others in the segment.

A 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, automatic climate control, push-button start, hill start assist, LED headlights, and LED taillights to round out the standard tech features list.

There is not much in the way of technology extras, but those found on the EX-L include a 9-inch infotainment touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, wireless device charging, wireless Android Auto connectivity, wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity, a power driver’s seat, heated side mirrors, heated front seats, and remote start.

Practicality: 4.5/5 stars


It is hard to get past the removal of Honda’s Magic Seats and fewer cubic feet of cargo space from the previous generation, but the HR-V remains one of the most spacious and practical vehicles in the segment. Buyers still get 24.4 cubic feet of cargo area with the back seats upright and 55.1 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Front legroom and headroom are great for a vehicle of this size, while second-row legroom is less accommodating, yet still generous for a subcompact SUV. Entry and exit are just as accommodating due to the HR-V’s upright stance, and overall seating comfort is good.

While buyers will most likely not be towing much, plenty of additional hauling accessories are available from the factory like roof rails and other adventure-oriented items. All-wheel-drive helps in poor weather conditions, and the LED headlights and taillights provide a highlight that is uncommon within the segment. Plenty of storage cubbies are scattered throughout the interior.

Styling & Design: 4/5 stars


Exterior styling is modern, yet reserved, much like the Civic on which the HR-V is based. It looks much more like a “normal” SUV than its hatchback-like predecessor, drawing many similarities to the Ford Escape and Toyota Corolla Cross. A small grille is a refreshing touch as many new vehicles have overly large grilles that detract from the rest of their design.

Interior styling is clean, simple, and upscale for a vehicle at this price point. Much like the CR-V and Pilot, the overall interior layout is simple and intuitive, with nice soft-touch points all over and a general lack of cheap-looking materials. The presence of physical knobs combined with the gauge cluster and infotainment screen give it a modern touch, but the honeycomb trim piece that spans from above the center console across to the passenger side is a little odd.

Fuel Efficiency: 3/5 stars


Perhaps surprisingly, the HR-V falls to around the middle of the class when it comes to fuel economy. Front-wheel drive models return EPA estimates of 26 MPG in the city and 32 MPG on the highway for a combined rating of 28 MPG. All-wheel-drive models only suffer slightly, returning estimates of 25 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway.

These estimates are slightly lower than those of the outgoing model, and competitors like the Kia Seltos, Toyota Corolla Cross, Kia Soul, and Hyundai Kona achieve better fuel economy estimates. Even the larger Honda CR-V has its smaller sibling beat by one or two miles per gallon depending on the selected drivetrain option.

Rivals like the Mini Cooper Countryman, Jeep Renegade, and Mazda CX-30 slip below the HR-V while the rest of the segment falls generally in line with the small SUV’s numbers.

What’s it Going to Cost Me?


Honda has kept the HR-V simple by offering three trim levels, one less than the outgoing model. There continues to be one standard engine regardless of which trim level buyers choose: A 158-horsepower 2.0-liter engine that produces 138 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with a CVT automatic transmission on each trim level.

All HR-V models come standard with front-wheel-drive. All-wheel-drive is a $1,500 option that can be equipped on any trim level. A $1,245 destination charge is applicable on all HR-V models.

Standard safety equipment included on each HR-V includes the Honda Sensing suite of safety features. This includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. A driver drowsiness monitor, automatic high beam headlights, and a rear-seat reminder system also come as standard.

The base model Honda HR-V LX starts at $24,895 for front-wheel drive models and $26,395 for all-wheel drive models.

Standard equipment includes a 7-inch touchscreen display, a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a four-speaker stereo system, push-button start, automatic climate control, LED headlights, LED taillights, manually-adjustable front seats, cloth upholstery, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Moving up to the Honda HR-V Sport will cost buyers $26,895 for front-wheel-drive models and $28,395 for all-wheel-drive models.

On top of the equipment from the LX, the HR-V Sport adds blind-spot monitoring with a rear cross-traffic alert to its list of safety features. It also adds heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote start, a six-stereo audio system, heated side mirrors, black 18-inch sport wheels, slightly wider tires, and a sport grille.

The top-of-the-line Honda HR-V EX-L trim starts at $28,695 for front-wheel drive models and $30,195 for all-wheel-drive models.

Standard equipment includes a larger 9-inch touchscreen display, wireless Apple CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, wireless device charging, an eight-speaker stereo system, dual-zone climate control, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and LED interior ambient lighting.

More Photos:

See more 2023 Honda HR-V Photos.