Based on the new for 2022 Honda Civic, the HR-V sits on a longer wheelbase and wider track, as well as receiving a makeover to match the Japanese brand’s latest styling language.
Honda’s littlest crossover, the HR-V, debuted in the U.S. as a 2016 model and happily chugged along for the last six-years without any major changes. That ends this summer when a new, second generation (for the U.S.) 2023 model comes along with a larger footprint, different look, and, I suspect, a completely different powertrain.
The Japanese brand has yet to release many details but shared that the new HR-V will be built from the new-for-2022, 11th-generation Honda Civic platform. The 2016 HR-V sprouted from the Honda Fit, which certainly suggests we’ll see a bigger-in-all-dimensions crossover for 2023 and not just wheelbase and width as Honda stated.
As for styling, Honda says to expect a new grille, longer hood, and low-beltline, which is very similar to what the company said about the new Civic last year. Essentially, expect it to closely follow the brand’s latest design language, hardly a bad thing.
Beyond saying, “a more responsive engine,” Honda kept quiet about any details of the powertrain. But expect a downsizing of the current 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. Most likely, a version of the turbocharged 1.5-liter-four paired with a CVT transmission that we see in the Civic and Accord and other models will get bolted up here as well. And with it, we’ll likely see a healthy bump up in power from the current 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque in the 2022 HR-V.
Finally, one bit of very good news for the vehicle dynamics nerds among us. Gone is the rigid rear axle. The 2023 HR-V will get a four-wheel-independent suspension, which will markedly improve performance on the road. If it behaves anything like its platform partner Civic, we’re in for a treat.
SUVs continue to dominate the North American market, with even the smallest versions getting more and more attention from consumers. For example, last year Toyota took a big turn toward the serious with its Corolla Cross. Now its Honda’s turn. I’ll share more details as soon as I learn them and cannot wait to tell you how it drives.