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A 2023 Honda CR-V Buyer’s Guide

A grey 2023 Honda CR-V is shown driving on a dusty desert road.

It’s no secret that the SUV has been riding an unsurpassed wave of popularity for the past few years. While it reached a great deal of popularity in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the thought process with many domestic manufacturers was to make the vehicles bigger and more powerful. In 1997, the Honda CR-V hit North American markets after debuting in Japan two years earlier. Going against the grain of popular design, Honda’s SUV has become one of the standout subcompact SUVs currently on the market.

For the 2023 model year, the vehicle has undergone some significant changes, which we're excited to share with you. If you’re in the market for a reliable SUV and are looking for a Honda CR-V dealer with an extensive selection of models, we here at Classic Honda of Midland invite you to come into our dealership and allow us to show you our impressive inventory of SUVs, which include the amazing CR-V.

A Fresh New Design Along With a Variety of Engine Options

As we previously mentioned, the 2023 Honda CR-V has been given a complete makeover inside and out. Currently, in its sixth generation, the CR-V is a long way from the boxier styles commonly found in the early 2000s. The new exterior of the vehicle boasts some sensuous curves that rival the designs offered by Mazda. Powered by a four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) options, and a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission), it's clear that Honda has taken notice of the competition and stepped up to the plate to deliver the goods. As we break down the four trims, you'll see exactly what the refined and restyled SUV has to offer.

EX by Name, Exemplary by Nature

We'll start our buying guide by looking at the EX trim level. The performance aspect of the vehicle is what many have come to expect from Honda over the years, diminutive in size but big in capability. The standard engine for the EX and the other gas-powered trim, the EX-L, is a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine. Its ability to generate 190 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque are both impressive for an engine of its size, and the implementation of the CVT allows for low fuel consumption. The 2023 model gets an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 28 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway.[a]

With comfortable seating for five, it's more than ideal for the family-oriented consumer. Over 76 cu.ft. of available storage space means the cargo room will be the least of your worries. The EX trim starts at an MSRP of $31,110, making it an excellent bargain for those looking to get a safe and reliable SUV at an affordable price.[b]

A close up of the grille on a blue 2023 Honda CR-V is shown at a Honda CR-V dealer.

Standard Safety Across All Trims

You'll be pleased to know that there are relatively few differences between the EX and EX-L models, and while we'll be exploring those, later on, we wanted to shine a light on the standard safety features present on all trim levels. These days, the name of the game isn't so much what different manufacturers are offering but what they're willing to make standard. Safety is important for every consumer and shouldn't come with a hefty price tag.

All trims are equipped with Honda Sensing technology. This complex and comprehensive suite of safety and assistance features is designed to give you and your passengers the comfort and protection you're looking for on the road. Aside from making several standard items such as a forward collision warning, a lane keeping assist system, and collision mitigation braking, you'll also benefit from standard adaptive cruise control and a traffic sign recognition system. Adaptive cruise control is one of the most advanced features to emerge in quite some time, ideal for those longer-than-average trips. This feature monitors traffic patterns and makes the appropriate adjustments to allow for maximum reaction time by adjusting the speed of your vehicle.

Advantages of the EX-L Trim

With so much that Honda is making standard, you may be wondering what the major differences are between the EX and EX-L trim, aside from the name. It's true; Honda makes a wide variety of safety and powertrain features standard, but the noticeable differences between the two gasoline-powered versions of the CR-V can be found in the luxury features in the vehicle's interior.

For example, the EX trim comes with a 240-watt stereo system with six speakers, a seven-inch infotainment screen, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. By comparison, the EX-L trim has some notable advantages when it comes to accessories. The infotainment screen is expanded to nine inches, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not only compatible but wireless, and Sirius XM, HD Radio, and a high-end 320-watt stereo system with eight speakers are also included.

Make Fewer Stops at the Pump With These CR-V Hybrid Options

The 2023 Honda CR-V comes with two hybrid trims equipped with a 2.0L gasoline-powered engine but also benefits from additional hybrid powertrains that increase the horsepower rating to 204. These trims, the Sport Hybrid, which sits in between the EX and EX-L, and the Sport Touring Hybrid, which is above the EX-L, have advantages for the consumer who has an eye on fuel economy. The Hybrid Sport trim gets an impressive EPA-estimated fuel economy of 43 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway, making it a perfect SUV option for those looking to save money at the pump.[c]

Both hybrid trims have all the benefits of the Honda sensing safety packages that their gasoline-powered counterparts possess. While the Hybrid Sport has the smaller seven-inch screen that the EX trim has, the Sport Touring has the larger and slightly more impressive nine-inch one. This setup also has built-in navigation to help you reach your destination with relative ease. The one feature that the Sport Touring Hybrid possesses that places it on a level far above the other three is its Bose Premium Sound System with twelve speakers, making it a great feature for audiophiles looking to save money on gas.

A white 2023 Honda CR-V is shown from the side driving on a desert highway.

The Perfect Combination of Power, Safety, and Fuel Efficiency

Choosing the ideal vehicle normally presents itself with a certain level of difficulty. Luckily, the 2023 Honda CR-V comes in a four-tiered trim level that lets you choose the best vehicle with complete transparency. The EX and Hybrid Sport trims are excellent choices for drivers on a budget but still require a safe and reliable vehicle that is conservative with fuel consumption and provides the oversight of a comprehensive safety suite to look after their best interests when on the road. The EX-L and Touring trims have all the safety and fuel economy of their siblings but offer drivers the extra perks of higher-end stereo systems, larger infotainment screens, and an added emphasis on comfort.

Knowing exactly what to shop for is an invaluable service to consumers, especially in an age where less comes standard and features we need to obtain peace of mind come with over-inflated price tags. Honda makes the choices easier, and after all, making vehicle shopping easier is a welcomed change of pace. And if you're still unsure about which CR-V trim best fits your needs, we welcome you to come into Classic Honda of Midland, and we'd be more than happy to help you get behind the wheel of a great 2023 CR-V model you'll love!

[a]28 city/34 highway/30 combined mpg rating for 2WD EX and EX-L. 27 city/32 highway/29 combined mpg rating for AWD EX and EX-L. 43 city/36 highway/40 combined mpg rating for 2WD Sport. 40 city/34 highway/37 combined mpg rating for AWD Sport and Sport Touring. Based on 2023 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-pack age/condition (hybrid trims), and other factors.
[b]MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $1,245 destination charge and accessories. Dealer prices may vary. MSRP does not include $395 charge for premium colors.
[c]43 city/36 highway/40 combined mpg rating for 2WD Sport. 40 city/34 highway/37 combined mpg rating for AWD Sport and Sport Touring. Based on 2023 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-pack age/condition (hybrid trims), and other factors.