2023 Honda CR-V Hybrid AWD Sport Touring, A very good mid-size SUV

My how we've grown. The "little" CR-V is almost as big as the first generation Pilot. It's ironic that in my mind the original Pilot was BIG but I see the current CR-V as no more than mid-size. Perception, it's all about perception. 

I'm not a SUV kind of guy but many of you are so I get to drive, and report on, a lot of SUVs. 

First thing I see when I look at this 2023 CR-V is the beautiful Canyon River Blue paint. Yes blue is my favorite color, and this blue looks spectacular. I also like that instead of bright aluminum or chrome rims the test CR-V had black wheels. They look nice and don't draw your attention away from the paint.

The Sport Touring comes with 19" wheels shod with 235/55R19 tires. I always have to chuckle to myself about tire sizes. Back around the dawn of time for autos rim diameters were were large (a Model T Ford had 23" rims), then they got smaller in the late '50s and early '60s (many cars had 13" wheels, the original Mini's were 10"), and now they are getting taller again. 

One benefit of larger wheels is that brakes can be bigger. Every 2023 CR-V has 12.3" rotors on the front and 12.2" rear (for comparison a '65 Shelby GT350 had 9.5" rotors). The only downside is that replacement tires can be pricey. 

Okay enough of that, what is the '23 CR-V Hybrid like? On one hand it's just another mid-size SUV, albeit a well made mid-size SUV. But it's also an economical SUV. It is rated at 34-mpg highway, 40-mpg city, and a combined of 37-mpg. I came close to those figures, exceeding the combined by a couple of mpg. That's the beauty of a hybrid, great fuel economy and you do not need to plug-in. 

One other benefit with a hybrid is power is combined with frugality. On paper the total power of 207 h.p. isn't that impressive but it is enough to get the two-ton CR-V to 60 mph from a dead stop in 7.9 seconds. Not too shabby for family transport with AWD.

Towing is limited to 1,000 lbs. so forget about your horse trailer. There is up to 76.5 cubic feet of storage with the second row of seats folded down, 39.3 with the seats up.

I hate white interiors so I was glad to see the black and shades of gray inside the CR-V. Yes black gets hot but the A/C cooled things off quickly. The seats were comfortable and supportive. Red piping added distinction to the seats. The back seats were just as comfy with fewer adjustments than the fronts, at least the outer two. Like just about every car today the center position of the back seat isn't sculpted for comfort.

The tach and speedo are traditional looking big, round gauges. 

Thankfully Honda keeps the instrumentation and driver's controls fairly standard. I like that, I didn't have to hunt for anything. It's got a shift lever, round gauges, etc. Yes there's a big screen with touch controls but surprise, surprise, they operated with a 'click'. Thank you Honda for making a screen that works with my fingers. And thank you for using knobs.

I'm old enough that I remember parking brakes that stuck on, especially in the winter. I don't live where it snows or gets terribly cold but I have to wonder how electric parking brakes fare. I've never had a problem with an electric parking brake and they are definitely easy to use. I use them all the time.

Although every test vehicle comes with a Monroney price sheet I usually check an automakers public website for price. The 2023 CR-V is not listed, just the 2024. So I'll give you the price for it - it starts at $39,500. I checked a couple of local Honda dealers and they have some 2023s available but not many. 

I liked the CR-V Hybrid AWD Sport Touring. You can buy a slightly less expensive CR-V, even a non-hybrid, but I'd stick with the hybrid for its economy. 



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