America’s Most Popular SUV Goes Hybrid
The 2023 version of Honda’s CR-V, the best-selling SUV in the U.S. and Canada, has entered production at the company’s Canadian manufacturing facility in Alliston, Ontario. The newest CR-V, which debuted earlier in 2022, will once again be offered with a hybrid powertrain, which Honda expects to account for 50 percent of overall sales volume.
The new CR-V Hybrid is a key part of Honda’s electrification strategy. The company will launch its first all-electric SUV, the Prologue, in 2024, with several more models to follow in the future. Hybrid models will become more important in Honda’s model mix as well, none more so than the CR-V Hybrid.
New Hybrid Technology
CR-V Hybrid is powered Honda's new, more powerful fourth-generation two-motor hybrid-electric system. It features a new, more refined 2.0-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and a new two-motor hybrid-electric system, featuring a pair of electric motors now arranged side-by-side in a parallel axis layout. The new setup offers more power and a sportier feel. Combined system output is 204 hp, while peak torque rises to 247 lb.-ft., making the 2023 CR-V Hybrid the most powerful CR-V ever.
Compared to the previous CR-V Hybrid, the new hybrid-electric system is more refined at highway speeds. Linear Shift Control for the continuously-variable transmission mimics the feel of conventional gears, providing a more natural driving experience. There’s now 1,000 pounds of towing capacity, and the continuous maximum speed has been raised from 86 mph to 115 mph – not that you would drive at that speed on public roads.
There’s also the latest Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assist technologies, including a new wide-angle camera and millimeter-wave radar. They improve collision prevention performance and are even better at recognizing vehicles or pedestrians, as well as white lines, road boundaries like curbs, other vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcycles, and road signs. Blind spot monitoring, traffic jam assist, low-speed braking control, and traffic sign recognition are standard. Adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist have been refined as well.
All of this is stuffed into an appealing package that is perfect for daily life or weekend escapes. The new CR-V is longer and wider than before, with a broader stance and more grown-up styling. Honda claims that its most popular SUV is also more fun-to-drive.
Made in Three Locations in North America
The all-new 2023 CR-V Hybrid will be built in three separate plants around North America. The Canadian facility is the first plant in the world to build the CR-V hybrid, and it’s also the first time Honda has built a hybrid in Canada. In the coming months, Honda’s Indiana Auto Plant and East Liberty Auto Plant in Ohio, which produced the previous CR-V Hybrid, will also begin production of the 2023 CR-V Hybrid in the coming months. The Atkinson-cycle engine is actually made at Honda’s Anna Engine Plant in Ohio.