Monsters like the brand new Cadillac Escalade-V might dominate SUV headlines (and revenue margins), however by far essentially the most prolific area of interest for SUV-ification is the newborn crossover section. Examples such because the first-generation HR-V, Hyundai Kona and Jeep Renegade have been born from subcompact sedan and hatchback platforms, however the newest spherical of child CUVs (equivalent to this 2023 Honda HR-V) approaches the section with a bit extra ambition — and corresponding worth will increase.
In contrast to its predecessor, which was primarily a Fit on stilts, the new 2023 HR-V is intently associated to the larger Civic (strange way to look at it, no?) with some bits and items from the last CR-V thrown in for good measure. Not solely does the HR-V carry over among the new Civic inside’s stylistic parts, it additionally obtained an improve in supplies high quality, match and end. Gone are the exhausting plastic door-toppers and ugly hodgepodge of air vents and pleather. Of their place, we get the soft-touch supplies and a variation of the Civic’s full-width eggcrate vent cowl. Yet one more variation of it’s present in the new CR-V.
The previous HR-V‘s inside was moderately good for the section when it debuted for the 2016 mannequin yr, and by way of supplies, represented a transparent step up from the common-or-garden Match. It will definitely obtained lengthy within the tooth, nonetheless, particularly as extra rivals confirmed up with extra fascinating designs and vastly higher infotainment techniques. The redesign improves upon all the things in nearly equal measure. The infotainment system is shared with the Civic, that means decrease trims get a 7-inch touchscreen supported by bodily menu shortcut buttons (and sure, a quantity knob), whereas the EX-L will get a much bigger 9-inch display that cancels out most of these bodily buttons and replaces them with menu icons that keep docked on the backside of the display. These buttons, actual and digital, together with different UI enhancements means there’s much less menu back-and-forth within the new HR-V. It appears much less susceptible to gradual responses and glitches, too. One potential drawback, although: the absence of a Touring trim (this EX-L is as loaded as the brand new HR-V will get) means there is not any longer an choice for built-in GPS navigation. You will want your smartphone and a useful cell sign.
There are some downsides to the Civic platform migration. One of many HR-V’s most beloved celebration items (round right here anyway) was the “magic seat” system it inherited from the Match. These allowed for a number of configurations and a low, really fold-flat rear cargo space. These have been misplaced within the transition, sadly, so the HR-V’s rear seatback folds solely to that slightly-inclined angle that’s common to small hatches and crossover SUVs (regardless of some intelligent engineering to ensure the seat backside folds down a bit to make approach for the seat again). The tip consequence just isn’t fairly flat, however it’s flat sufficient, we suppose. Two-wheel-drive fashions even achieve about 2 cubic toes of complete cargo quantity.
The change to a extra typical, Civic-related platform from the oddball Match additionally makes evaluating again seat house a little bit of a head scratcher. The specs say the outdated HR-V had extra rear legroom, however that is a bit misleading. That outdated “magic seat” sat greater off the bottom, making a extra chair-like seating place that supplied a shocking quantity of legroom even when your knees have been truly fairly near the seats forward. The brand new one has more room between rows however is decrease to the bottom. That is why the on-paper dimensions are a tiny bit worse, however there is a better feeling of spaciousness and extra precise room for rear-facing baby seats. The again seat is wider, too, though should you’re routinely placing three folks abreast, one thing fairly a bit bigger is so as — assume Passport or Pilot, not one thing ending in -V.
All in all, it is a good sequence of upgrades that manages to enhance the expertise whereas protecting the value from nudging too far previous the $30,000 barrier. Our tester, all-in, rang the until at $30,590, which simply undercuts the entry-level CR-V. Usually, we might anticipate some overlap between the 2, however maybe Honda determined it could moderately nudge these a well-equipped HR-V into its bigger (and extra worthwhile) sibling.