The all-new sixth-generation of the Honda CR-V has surfaced thanks to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, fully revealing its design before its imminent debut this year. In all likelihood, this is what the 2023 CR-V will look like in the rest of the world too, as you can see from our spy shots of North America’s prototype models.
The photos of the SUV confirm what we saw a few months ago in an alleged patent filing, and in our own spy shots from last year. The front end is where most changes occur, with a longer bonnet, slim LED headlights, a larger grille, and a cleaner design for the bumper. The profile inherits a horizontal character line and surfacing similar to the smaller HR-V, with an evolutionary shape for the windowline.
At the back, the CR-V retains the model’s signature L-shaped taillights which extend towards the sides of the rear windscreen. In the new generation vehicle, they are slightly reshaped, resembling those of the Volvo XC60 while losing the chrome trim element between them. The license plate holder has moved higher, but the large tailgate is retained offering a low loading area. Finally, the rear bumper of the pictured Turbo-badged variant features dual tailpipes, although this could be different in the electrified model.
Speaking of powertrains, Chinese buyers will get an ICE-only version of the CR-V with the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 190 hp (142 kW / 193 PS). Power is transferred to the front (FWD) or all four wheels (AWD) through a CVT gearbox. We also expect a couple of hybrid variants with the e:HEV badge. One of them will certainly combine a 2.0-litre engine with dual electric motors – as in the current CR-V e:HEV – while a new plug-in hybrid variant is also rumored to be in the works. The CR-V e:HEV will be the only powertrain option in Europe, where Honda has electrified its entire range. North America will get both ICE-powered and hybrid variants, with Honda gunning for a 50/50 sales mix.
According to the spec sheet we have, the Chinese-spec CR-V measures 4,703 mm (185.1 inches) long, 1,866 mm (73.4 inches) wide, and 1,680 mm (inches) or 1,690 mm (66.5 inches) tall, depending on the trim. This makes it 80 mm (3.1 inches) longer and 11 mm (0.4 inches) wider compared to its predecessor, with exactly the same height. The wheelbase has also grown by 41 mm (1.6 inches) to 2,701 mm (106.3 inches), which should translate to a slightly roomier cabin, with five-seater and potentially, seven-seater variants.
While we don’t get to see pictures of the interior yet, the CR-V will likely get a new digital instrument cluster and a larger infotainment touchscreen, making it more attractive to buyers compared to its predecessor which was introduced back in 2016. As with the new Civic, the design of the dashboard is expected to be minimal with horizontal lines. Finally, an array of ADAS systems from the latest Honda Sensing suite will bring the SUV on par with the competition.
The debut of the new Honda CR-V is expected sometime in the coming months, with a market launch next year. Besides China, which will get the CR-V by Dongfeng Honda and the closely-related Breeze by Guangqi Honda, the SUV will roll out in Europe, Australia, and North America. We don’t know if Honda is planning on offering a different design for each market, but we suspect that any changes will be extremely minor likely being limited to trimmings.