Honda CR-V AWD Sport Touring 2023 review | WOM 89.7 FM

Honda CR-V AWD Sport Touring 2023 review |  WOM 89.7 FM

Adding a little length along with hybrid power to the best-selling compact crossover is likely to boost its already strong sales, or so Honda suspects. Maybe they are right.

The Honda CR-V is already the segment’s sales leader, and the latest update doesn’t hurt the common sense that goes into purchasing a CR-V. Modest price, roomy for a family of four, good power, good ride, and good handling, it all stays.

Styling is always subjective, but the new CR-V looks only slightly beefed up over its predecessor. And if you see a new one on the road, you’ll immediately know it’s a Honda. Meanwhile, rivals like the Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage offer more interesting styling as a way to attract attention in this tough market.

So, for 2023, the CR-V will grow a few inches longer in wheelbase and body length while touting Honda’s efficient hybrid system that works in tandem with the 2.0-liter I4 engine. Therefore, the hybrid car’s batteries and electric motor help in delivering good mileage during city driving as well as extending the driving range to about 500 miles. Of course, being a hybrid car, one only needs to worry about finding a gas station on any trip, without having to plug in a plug-in.

Fortunately, the EPA rates the CR-V at 40 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, which seems quite realistic as I managed 36.3 mpg in a combination of the two over the course of 300 hours of testing. Mile. I previously got 29 mpg with a gas-only model. However, I must add that I managed over 40 mpg with the previous CR-V hybrid that was slightly smaller and weighed about 200 pounds less.

The hybrid works seamlessly to switch between gas and electric power, which is generated via a regenerative braking system. You’ll see the EV symbol light up green on the dashboard as the vehicle accelerates up to about 15 mph, and again when the crossover is traveling at a set speed, up to 40 mph or more. Hills or hard acceleration result in the gas being forced immediately.

That power is also good for the I4 and hybrid, with 204 horsepower, more than the gas-only CR-V. Power is smooth and so are the shifts from the CVT here, with moderate acceleration. But use the drive mode toggle switch on the console to select Sport mode and acceleration becomes even more spirited. Normal mode, though, is where you’ll likely leave the Honda most of the time, but Eco mode is available to extend gas mileage and there’s a snow setting that helps the all-wheel drive system control wheel spin via the throttle and the transmission in synch.

The ride is well-controlled and enjoyable, certainly better than many large crossovers and SUVs. Therefore, the family can ride in comfort, even on rickety roads.

Handling is good for a family car, but not as crisp as in some crossovers. Mazda and VW certainly excel in this area. No, this feels a bit numb and heavier than some drivers might like, in normal driving mode. Go into sports and you will feel heavier, but not smarter.

Outside the test vehicle was a dark Canyon River Blue color that certainly appeared blacker on overcast days. A brighter color may help the top-trim Sport Touring model appear less chunky, as well as eliminating some of its black trim, including the mirrors, grille, roof rails and 19-inch wheels. Many automakers are taking this dark road and it is working on some models. Not much here.

The interior is also dark, with black leather seats and all black trim. This includes a flat black console (non-reflective, which is a good thing), as well as black honeycomb metal trim across the dash and black trim on the dash and doors. If the interior was grey, I think all that black would look more pop, like an accent, and not so overwhelming.

Honda adds orange stitching on the seats, armrest and steering wheel. But that’s not enough to beat the deep midnight treat.

Functionally, the dashboard and interior are good.

The seats are well designed with good hip support, and the back seats are particularly roomy, thanks to the CR-V’s growth in length. The front seats also feature 3-level heating and the driver’s seat is electrically operated and includes two memory buttons. The steering wheel is also heated via a button on its hub.

The dashboard is easy to see and understand with a 9-inch information display that’s easy to adjust and use. Honda includes a 12-speaker Bose stereo in this model, so sound quality is good, too.

At the top is a small sunroof and below the screen and center stack is a wireless charger in a large tray. Climate controls are simple with three knobs on the dash, a dual system to avoid marital squabbles over the right air temperature.

In the back there is a power hatch and a very spacious cargo area that grows significantly when the rear seats are folded. Be aware that it doesn’t create a completely flat floor, although there is a little lift where the seats fold.

I rarely mention transmissions, but many cars will use rotary discs, which makes it nice to see the tall, easy-to-grasp standard shifter on Honda. Some things don’t need to be reinvented.

Safety features are another strong selling point. The CR-V includes Intelligent Cruise Control, Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, and Traffic Jam Assist that essentially automatically steers the car in traffic at speeds up to 45 mph as long as the hand remains on the wheel Leadership.

Hill descent control is also standard, which helps if the car goes off the road by controlling downhill speed while the driver simply steers to maintain control. A great feature, if you intend to go off-road with your family hauler.

Also note that Honda includes an 8-year, 100,000-mile warranty on the hybrid system’s batteries, a 5-year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 3-year, 36,000-mile basic warranty. It’s also great that the first two years of routine maintenance are free at the dealership.

Pricing remains attractive for the CR-V with the base Sport Hybrid model with front-wheel drive listing at $34,645. All-wheel drive costs an additional $1,500. The Sport also comes with smaller wheels and a 7-inch information screen.

Move up to Sport L for 2024 models and get a 9-inch information screen, wireless phone charger, leather seats, and a driver’s seat memory feature. It costs $37,695, again with additional all-wheel drive.

The Sport Touring we tested included all-wheel drive, the larger screen, and all the other goodies mentioned above for $39,845. There are no options on this model, so the outside price is well below the average going price of $45,000 these days.

Honda still leads the pack of hybrid compact crossovers, but others aren’t far behind and offer a different design. Consider the Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson, Volkswagen Tiguan, and Ford Escape. If you prefer a gas-only car, add Subaru’s Forester or Crosstrek and Mazda’s CX-5 or CX-50 to your shopping list.

A gas-only CR-V is also still available, getting 190 horsepower from its turbo I4. The base front-wheel-drive LX starts at $29,705, the EX at $32,355, and the top-end EX-L at $35,005. Gas models are rated at 28-34 mpg for front-wheel drive and 27-32 mpg for all-wheel drive models.

Quick Stats: 2023 Honda CR-V AWD Sport Touring

Visits: Comfortable driving, good power especially in sport mode, in addition to four-wheel drive. Great hybrid MPG, roomy interior, mini sunroof, power sunroof, wireless phone charger, plus 9-inch touchscreen infotainment, dual climate controls, Bose stereo, power driver’s seat, well-contoured seats, and heated front seats And a regular transmission. A full suite of standard safety features along with hill descent control.

make mistake: The ride is a bit heavy and numb, and the appearance is a bit dull for a dark blue car.

Made in: Alliston, Ontario, Canada

engine: The 2.0-liter I4 with a hybrid system makes 204 horsepower

moving in: CVT automatic transmission

Weight: 3,926 lbs.

Length: 184.8 inches

Wheelbase: 106.3 inches

the goods: 39.5-76.5 cubic feet

mpg: 40/34

mpg: 36.3 (tested)

Base price: $39,845 (including delivery)

invoice: unavailable

Main option: no one

Test vehicle: $39,845

sources: Honda, kbb.com

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