The all-new 2023 Honda HR-V has just debuted. The subcompact crossover loses much of the funkiness of past versions, but Honda says the shape is meant to look more athletic and youthful. Whatever you think of the design, the HR-V will be bigger than before and is set to go on sale this summer.
When it arrived in Canada in 2015, the HR-V became Honda's smallest crossover. Though the model got a facelift in 2018, it was the same crossover, based on the since-departed Honda Fit subcompact hatchback.
The new 2023 Honda HR-V will be based on the same platform as the 11th-generation Honda Civic introduced last year. Honda is holding exact dimensions until closer to launch, but said that the new HR-V will have "a longer wheelbase and wider stance." The outgoing HR-V had a wheelbase of 2,610 mm and a width of 1,770 mm. For reference, the 2022 Civic has a 2,736-mm wheelbase and is 1,801 mm wide.
The new HR-V's shape is clearly much more inspired by the current generation of Civic rather than the funky designs of the past HR-V and larger sibling CR-V crossovers. Smooth lines and a very tall-looking greenhouse mark a crossover that has grown up as it has grown larger. A very long hood leads to a blunt nose with a gaping grille that gives the HR-V a touch of "angry nose" aggression.
Laser-brazing eliminates traditional mouldings on the roof of the HR-V, while the windshield wipers stay hidden when parked. Both techniques subtly add more refinement to the design and help set them apart from competitors.
Behind the gaping grille, there will be a new engine. Honda says just that it will be "a more responsive engine." The current HR-V uses a 139-hp 1.8L four-cylinder. Honda's 158-hp 2.0L four-cylinder from the Civic is a possibility to replace it.
“The all-new, sub-compact HR-V will attract a new generation of customers with its upgraded and enhanced features, the perfect introduction to our “Year of the Honda SUV” with the all-new CR-V and Pilot still to come,” says Steve Hui, Assistant Vice President Honda Canada. “The HR-V has gained qualities beyond its segment while retaining the reliability, durability and versatility it is known for. Making it a leader with young, diverse buyers looking for a SUV that can hit city streets and rural roads with ease.”
Honda says that it will reveal the rest of the details about the new HR-V, including powertrain and interior reveals, over the next few months. The model is set to launch this summer, meaning it's not far away from dealer lots now.