The 2023 Honda HR-V Delivers on the Promise of a Go-Everywhere Vehicle

2023 Honda Hr-V Featured Image
2023 Honda HR-V Featured Image


2023 Honda Hr-V. Credit: Teia Collier

The 2023 Honda HR-V looks sharp. Photo: Teia Collier

The 2023 Honda HR-V suits the needs of urban life and life off the beaten path.

Long beloved by buyers, the 2023 Honda HR-V falls happily into the sweet space between sedan and compact SUV. Honda buyers will be the first to tell you that they are loyal. Loyalty like that cannot be bought, but rather earned through years of mutual respect and the memories made with a consistent product.

The Honda HR-V that launched here in the U.S. in 2015 has been known for its reliability, quality and value-based utility. Bridging the gap between the sportier cars of the Honda line-up and the larger, outdoor focused vehicles like the Ridgeline and Passport, the HR-V provides an excellent, flexible option for city and well, non-city driving. It also helps that the HR-V is priced nicely: Honda’s go-anywhere car can be had at less than $30,000 fully loaded with all the bells and whistles.

Related: 2019 Honda HR-V Sport: Choosing a Compact SUV for Some Mother Daughter Fun

A Leaner Profile And Cleaner Look Refresh The 2023 Honda Hr-V. Photo: Teia Collier

A leaner profile and cleaner look refresh the 2023 Honda HR-V. Photo: Teia Collier

The 2023 HR-v is Bringing the Good Looks

Shedding the value-driven looks of previous HR-V models, the 2023 Honda HR-V adopts a rugged appeal that past models could only dream of. Even though the appearance is upscale, the HR-V starts at a surprising MSRP of $23,650.

The 2023 HR-V itself has a longer nose, leaner roof line and a wider body that is anchored with a pronounced fender, sculpted hatch and horizontal divot that runs the length of the vehicle. The exterior shape echoes the curves found in nature and brings to mind long standing competitors in a next price tier of vehicles. The HR-V’s details and lines are clean, polished and connected. They provide a sportier appearance with a little bit of oomph and gravitas.

Related: 2021 Honda Ridgeline: The City Truck that Stole My Heart

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What a difference a new front end makes. Credit: Teia Collier

From the updated, wide-set LED lighting structure designed to illuminate your way, to the refined placement of the sideview mirrors for unimpeded views and easy, adjustable access through flush-set doors, 60-40 flat-folding seats and unintrusive trim, it is clear that the team at Honda went back to the drawing board and delivered a vehicle that is more than just ‘nice’ but capable and fun to drive too.

Related: Finally! The 2020 Honda CR-V Hybrid is Here and We Couldn’t Be Happier

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Elevated materials bring this refresh to life. Credit: Teia Collier

The 2023 Honda HR-V is Better on the Inside

Updated and elevated textures run throughout the HR-V and are especially prominent on touchpoints accented with vehicle-wide, neat contrast topstitching that hints at the trim level that you have chosen.  The wide instrument panel and 9-inch touchscreen navigation system are slightly angled toward the driver and anchor the smooth dash line, while a rather sharp metal mesh honeycomb covers the air vents and brings a sporty freshness to the interior.  The moderately sized sunroof adds openness to the cabin and brings in the beauty of natural light.

The Sunroof In The 2023 Honda Hr-V. Photo: Teia Collier

The sunroof in the 2023 Honda HR-V. Photo: Teia Collier

With seating for 5 or 4 with two in full-size child safety seats, the 2023 HR-V is designed for a modern life that is on-the-go and occasionally off-the-beaten path. The body stabilizing seats in the front row cradle the body to minimize driver fatigue while the 60-40 flat folding rear seats allow for flexibility of use and increase the interior cargo space. Cupholders and discreet cargo holds abound in the door panels, center console and in the folding panel between the bench seat in the rear.

Usb Ports Are Easily Accessible In The Front And Rear With A Wireless Charging Pad In The Front For Convenience'S Sake.

Rear seats in the 2023 Honda HR-V. Photo: Teia Collier

The Confidence of the HR-V equals Confidence with the Driver

In addition to its more upscale looks, this incarnation is more capable, more versatile and simply a better machine all around. The new HR-V has improved handling and increased responsive functionality through its connectedness with the road and positioning above the ground.

Built on the same platform as the 11th generation Civic, the HR-V echoes the upscale simple with a hint of sport approach that buyers saw in the much-loved refresh of the sedan. This edition of the HR-V is over 8 inches longer and 2 inches wider than the previous generation; it also swaps the 1.8L engine for the increased capacity of a 2.0L and a retuned CVT for a more responsive, less laggy driver experience.

For my first drive, I tested the three drive modes-Normal (which includes a Sport application), Snow and Econ. I wondered how the new standard Hill Descent Control and the optional Real Time AWD system on the winding roads of upstate Washington would handle the variety of weather conditions from cool rain to humid fog.

To my delight, the HR-V did what I expected it to do and delivered an uncomplicated, smooth ride that responded quickly to my input. These systems gave me more control, and I found that the system anticipated changing road conditions and hurdles with ease. I was happy the HR-V created a confident experience that I would repeat again and again.

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The tools of the trade for the driver. Credit: Teia Collier

Technology Blends Seamlessly with Life

To start, the 2023 Honda HR-V’s USB ports are easily accessible in the front and rear with a wireless charging pad in the front for convenience’s sake. What’s more, I loved that tech connectivity was not an afterthought in this vehicle and that it easily connects to Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Early adopters will adore the HondaLink app which allows users to connect to the services and programs that integrate their vehicle into everyday life.

Using the app, drivers can tap into the powers of the Amazon Alexa, learn more about their driving habits, control some of the comfort features like temperature inside the vehicle, check maintenance, tire pressure and enhance wi-fi connectivity.

Related: Apple CarPlay: Why I Love It and Why You Need It

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A Little Something More

Ideal for a small family or an urban professional with a wilderness streak, the HR-V hits all the right notes with this refresh. This model is available in 3 trim levels – the LX, Sport or EX-L with the option of either 2WD or AWD.  Starting at just over $23,650 and topping out at $28,950 fully loaded, the HR-V is a great value.

Note that for each trim, AWD costs about $2,000 more, but for our experience, it was definitely worth every penny.  The HR-V comes standard with the 2.0L engine, Honda’s safety suite, tech connectivity and brilliant warranty and care plan to meet the needs of drivers entering the new landscape where they don’t want to have to choose been value-conscious option and a capable drive.

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Teia Collier and the 2023 Honda HR-V

Disclosure: I was Honda’s guest for the preview of the 2023 HR-V. All opinions are my own.

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Teia Collier is a mother of three, educator, social journalist, advocate for women’s and children’s issues and lover of... More about Teia Collier