2023 Honda CRV has made its global debut – 6th Gen CR-V gets hybrid system for US market
Honda CR-V has been one of the best-selling SUVs in America. In fact, it has consistently been the 5th best-selling car in America. CR-V sales are just shy of its main competitor, Toyota RAV4 at 4th position and the top 3 spots are always reserved for pickup trucks that American Trinity (Ford-Dodge-Chevrolet) sells.
Being the 5th best selling vehicle in a market like America’s is no mean feat. Now, Honda Motor Co of America has officially revealed the all new CR-V 6th Gen with a hybrid badge.
2023 Honda CRV Hybrid SUV
Honda CR-V 6th Gen features a mildly subdued and mature design language replacing the 5th Gen CR-V whose design was fairly handsome and muscular. In our opinion, the SUV looks more modern and premium owing to sleeker LED headlights in reflector housings and a larger hexagonal grille. Chrome elements at the bottom also up the premium quotient. Tail-lights get premium-looking LED elements that seem to be inspired by Volvo’s tail-light designs.
New Honda CRV is longer by 2.7 inches as compared to older CRV. Wheelbase is also longer by 1.6 inches. Interiors are similar to new gen Honda Civic. It comes with all black or dual tone finish. There is a 7 inch digital instrument cluster and a 9 inch free standing infotainment touchscreen system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. There is also a 15W wireless charger.
It is offered in a choice of 4 variants – EX, EX-L, Sport and Sport Touring. The first two are powered by a 1.5 liter iVTEC petrol engine delivering 190 hp and 243 Nm torque via automatic CVT. It gets 3 drive modes of ECON, Normal and Snow. These variants ride on 18 inch alloys. The Top 2 variants are powered by a 2.0 liter petrol hybrid system delivering 204 hp and 335 Nm. This one gets 4 drive modes – ECON, Normal, Sport and Snow. Sport variant gets 18 inch alloys while the Touring variant gets 19 inch alloys.
Honda has a hybrid variant that is similar to i-MMD hybrid system that we saw on Honda City e:HEV in India. It basically has a small battery and a motor that can drive the car for short distances by pressing the EV button. It is not a plug-in hybrid system where the user can charge the battery by themselves.
But Honda has a superior plug-in hybrid system on the 5th Gen CR-V that is on sale exclusively in China. It gets a 17 kWh battery pack which promises a range of 65 km on a single charge. This is good enough for city commutes and the petrol engine will always provide the safety net of extended range and easy refueling.
Competition and Launch
US model CR-V faces cut-throat competition from Kia Sportage, Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, Chevrolet Equinox, Hyundai Tucson, Subaru Forester and mainly, Toyota RAV4. Toyota has equipped the RAV4 with a 2.5L petrol engine mated to 2 electric motors for a combined output of 219 bhp. RAV4 Hybrid gets AWD as standard where one motor powers the rear wheels and the other motor along with the engine drive the front wheels. It gets a big 18.1 kWh battery which promises 68 km of range.
Honda hasn’t had any luck with SUVs in India. 5th Gen CR-V that sold like hot cakes in the US, absolutely bombed in India. But recent developments with Toyota in India suggest that they are considering launching the RAV4 in India. RAV4 was spotted testing recently and it strengthens the argument.
Honda might consider the potential in the Indian market and launch the 6th Gen CR-V in a Hybrid guise. For India, Honda has confirmed two new SUVs, one is sub 4m to rival Nexon / Brezza and the other is a compact SUV to take on Creta / Seltos.