New 2023 Honda CR-V unveiled; UK model to get plug-in hybrid power

Honda's sixth-generation CR-V family SUV has grown in size and will offer plug-in hybrid power in Europe

New 2023 Honda CR-V

Honda has unveiled the North American version of the new CR-V family SUV, providing us with our best look yet at the next-generation of this Hyundai Tucson, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Qashqai rival. It’s set to go on sale in the UK and Europe sometime in 2023 and will be available here with plug-in hybrid power.

The new CR-V takes many of its styling cues from the current HR-V, especially at the front, which features a flat nose design and large Honda badge in the centre of the grille. The design is clean and simple, doing away with the fussier elements of the previous CR-V. The 2023 model has also grown in size slightly, which, combined with the more squared-off body shape, should result in more boot space than the existing car’s 497 litres. 

Inside, the new CR-V has followed in the footsteps of the latest HR-V and Civic, with a more minimalist cabin than before. There are only a few buttons for the climate control, alongside a ‘floating’ seven or nine-inch infotainment touchscreen. That’s paired with a seven-inch screen behind the wheel in the car you see here.

Under its reprofiled exterior, the CR-V uses the same platform as the latest Civic, with the full-hybrid version of the family SUV also featuring the same powertrain as the hybrid-only hatchback. In North America, this combination of two electric motors paired with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine produces a combined 201bhp and 335Nm of torque. However, those figures could change for the European version.

In Europe, unlike the US, the CR-V will be offered with plug-in hybrid power. We still don’t know much about this powertrain option, beyond the fact that it’ll be the Japanese brand’s first plug-in hybrid for European markets. The brand did briefly sell a plug-in hybrid version of its Clarity saloon in the US, but that’s as far as it has gone to date.

Key rivals for the plug-in CR-V, such as the Kia Sportage PHEV, Hyundai Tucson Plug-In, Toyota RAV4 Plug-In Hybrid, Vauxhall Grandland Hybrid-e and Mazda CX-60 PHEV, can cover around 40 miles on electric power and claim fuel economy of up to 250mpg, so the Honda will have to match or beat these numbers to be competitive.

Honda now has a completely electrified European line-up, following the eighth-generation Civic going on sale alongside the Jazz and HR-V hybrids, plus the Honda e electric city car. As well as the new CR-V’s arrival, 2023 will see Honda launch both a Civic-sized hybrid SUV called the ZR-V and a compact fully electric SUV.

Additionally, Honda is partnering with technology giant Sony to develop and sell electric cars. The pair have established a joint-venture company with the aim of launching their first co-developed EV by 2025.

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