2023 Honda HR-V: a look inside…

Last Updated:

These photos show the Chinese market version of our new HR-V, called the ZR-V.
We already know these are the same exact cars and they will be sharing interior designs as well.
While Honda hasn’t shown us the new 2023 HR-V interior yet, they just unveiled the Chinese version.
This interior is basically what we’ll have over here for the new HR-V. And it looks like what it is. A crossover version of the 2022 Honda Civic.
Which isn’t a bad thing. Although a bit less original than the current “Fit-based” HR-V, this larger version does seem more upscale. 
Being based on the Civic and not the Fit, I’m sure prices will increase from the current $22 000.
Although its main competition, the Corolla Cross still starts at just $500 more.
The main differences between our 2023 HR-V and its Chinese cousin are the availability of the larger panoramic sunroof. And more importantly, the 1.5 Liter Turbo engine from the Civic.
While our version will be getting the 2.0 Liter/CVT combo. 
While it might seem like a big step down from the 1.5 Liter Turbo on paper, in real life it isn’t really.
I drove both engines in the new 2022 Civic a while ago. In daily life, the turbo doesn’t feel that much more powerful, mostly because of the horrible CVT Honda is using. 
Other manufacturers have very decent CVTs. Not Honda.
The 2.0 Liter is a very smooth and quiet engine. The CVT robs most of the power in the 1.5 Liter Turbo anyway. 
What the HR-V really needs is some kind of hybrid powertrain. Honda is so late in pushing electrification in the US that it is actually pretty sad.
They still don’t have a date for the Civic Hybrid in the US. (already out overseas)
And zero mention of a hybrid for the HR-Z.  While the European (smaller) version is only available as a Hybrid. 
I guess this has the potential to be even more popular than the Civic it is based on. Although a Civic Hatchback is so much more fun. Also a better-looking choice than this…


Conversation 5 comments

  1. The dash could have come from a ten year old Mazda. It's so sad to see new Hondas without even a hint of design flair.

  2. You're actually the first person I have ever heard say a bad thing about Honda's CVT, in comparison to other manufacturers Vince. Most tend to say that the CVT mates well to the 1.5T, and it was always the quickest non Si/Type R Civic option. The 2.0 NA engine has proven to be alot slower in acceleration, according to other reviews. I have driven the 10th gen with the 1.5T and CVT and other than it being a CVT, it seemed to keep the turbo nicely in the power band and was even somewhat quick.

  3. I don't think I'm the first. I have read reviews of the 2022 Civic mentioning the bad CVT.
    But I also have to say that manufacturers spend a lot (a lot!) of money treating car journalists like royalties with free trips, food, drinks, etc…
    Many of them will not say anything really bad about the cars. Or find something small to complain about.

    As for the CVT, if you floor it you will get a bit better performance out of the turbo. But most (like me) will not take the noise and droning that goes with it. In normal, around town, daily driving, the difference between the 2.0 Liter and the 1.5 Liter turbo is minimal. I actually think that most people drive pretty slow in general. And won't be bothered by the CVT. This is proven by the huge sales numbers from the Civic, HR-V, and CR-V.
    it's fine for most buyers. But it is cheating people into thinking they will get much more performance with the more expensive engine option.

  4. I think you're right about the 2.0L. It's pretty nice if you appreciate the older Honda normally aspirated engine's engagement and this engine's bulletproof reliability.

    Honda's CVTs probably are some of the best in the business. Having said that, I don't like them. We have four Honda products, and the one I dislike driving is the 1.5T CRV is like a punishment for bad deeds in another life. Have you noticed the Integra reviews (CVT) coming out now, you can see its also true in the 200hp 1.5T CVT Integra. Until boost comes on, and the CVT winds up… its not doing much.

    This is where a higher trim level HYBRID HRV would be a welcome alternative (and should have markedly better mileage). My guess is the Civic and HRV and being held back in North American by battery availability limits – so Honda is pushing it in the higher priced models first to absorb soaring electric drivetrain costs.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *