New 2023 Honda CR-V will get plug-in hybrid power

Honda's sixth-generation CR-V family SUV is set to grow in size and get the option of plug-in hybrid power

New 2023 Honda CR-V

Honda has confirmed the next-generation CR-V family SUV will be offered with plug-in hybrid power, making it the Japanese brand’s first PHEV to go on sale in Europe. The new CR-V will be available with a choice of full-hybrid or plug-in hybrid power when it arrives in 2023 to compete with the likes of the Skoda Kodiaq, SEAT Tarraco, Kia Sorento and Hyundai Santa Fe.

The new CR-V will remain Honda’s largest SUV in Europe and is set to grow in size over the current model. A more squared-off body should be good for boot space, which we expect will surpass the existing car’s 497 litres.

So far, we’ve only seen heavily camouflaged prototypes, with exact styling details kept well hidden. It does look as though this latest CR-V will take some styling cues from the current HR-V, but we’ll have to wait until the car is officially unveiled to find out.

Similarly, we've yet to see the car's interior, but its design is likely to follow in the footsteps of the HR-V and the new 2023 Civic hatchback, which both get a minimalist cabin with only a few buttons for the climate control, alongside a ‘floating’ nine-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system.

Under that reprofiled exterior, the CR-V is expected to use the same platform as the new Civic, with the full-hybrid version of the SUV likely to feature the same e:HEV setup as the hybrid-only hatchback. The Civic e:HEV gets a pair of compact electric motors and a newly developed 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine producing a combined 181bhp and 315Nm of torque. A CVT gearbox will likely feature as well, giving the potential for both two and four-wheel-drive options, like the current CR-V.

We don’t know much about the CR-V e:PHEV’s powertrain just yet, as Honda hasn’t released specific information yet and this will be the first model of its kind from the company in Europe. The brand did briefly sell a plug-in hybrid version of its Clarity saloon in the US, but that’s as far as it’s gone to date.

Key rivals for the plug-in CR-V, such as the Kia Sorento PHEV and Hyundai Sante Fe Plug-In, can cover around 35 miles on electric power alone and claim fuel economy of close to 200mpg, so the Honda will have to match or beat this numbers in order to be competitive.

Once the hybrid-only Civic goes on sale, Honda will have a completely electrified European line-up, including the Jazz and HR-V hybrids, plus the Honda e electric city car. The brand is also planning to launch both a Civic-sized hybrid SUV and compact fully electric SUV in 2023, previewing the latter with the e:Ny1 Prototype.

Additionally, Honda is looking to partner with technology giant Sony to develop and sell electric cars. The team-up isn’t final yet, but the two look set to establish the joint venture by the end of the year, with the aim of launching their first jointly developed EV by 2025.

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