The Honda CR-V Hybrid gets a makeover for 2023 and is one of the top small hybrid SUVs. It has peppy handling, good fuel economy, an upscale cabin, lots of standard features, and plenty of cargo space.

Base Price: $38,600
As Tested: $39,845
Horsepower: 203
Mileage: 40 mpg city/34 mpg highway/37 mpg combined

The CR-V Hybrid was launched for the 2020 model year and only received minimal changes until now. The 2023 model gets updated exterior and interior styling, added driver assistance technologies and a better infotainment system.

It comes in two trims: Sport and Sport Touring. Starting prices are $32,450 and $38,600, respectively. These are about average for the segment. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available on the Sport, and AWD is standard on the Sport Touring trim.

Both trims get the same powertrain: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and two electric motors with a total output of 203 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is a continuously variable automatic.

The CR-V Hybrid has brisk acceleration from a stop and also plenty of pep at higher speeds for merging and passing. The CVT shifts smoothly and promptly but can whine when you want aggressive acceleration. Steering is responsive.  You can adjust the regenerative brakes so that they range from a normal feel to almost one-pedal driving.

Fuel economy is good but other compact hybrid SUVs do better. EPA ratings for my AWD tester are 40 mpg city and 34 mpg highway with a combined rating of 37. I got 36 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.

When properly equipped, the CR-V Hybrid can tow up to 1,000 pounds.

The cabin is attractive and upscale, with a modern, clean design. Materials are nice including many soft-touch surfaces. Front seats are supportive and comfortable. The second-row seats are a little less padded but still comfortable. Two adults will easily fit in the second row, even on longer drives. The rear seats recline so you can stretch out back there.

Standard features include remote start, proximity keyless entry, push-button start, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, seven-inch digital gauge cluster, infotainment system with seven-inch touchscreen, six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, four USB ports, wired Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, Wi-Fi hot spot, automatic high-beam headlights, and a power moonroof.

Available features include leather upholstery, four-way power-adjustable front passenger seat, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, infotainment system with nine-inch touchscreen, navigation, 12-speaker Bose audio system, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless device charging, HD Radio, satellite radio, interior ambient LED lighting, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and universal garage door opener.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear-seat reminder.

Available driver assistance technologies include front and rear parking sensors.

The infotainment system is user-friendly, whether you get the standard seven-inch or available nine-inch touchscreen. However, many vehicles now have larger screens so these look a little small. Graphics are sharp and the system responds quickly to touch and voice commands. Physical controls make it easy to adjust audio and climate settings.

Cargo space is good for the class. There are 39.3 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place and 76.5 cubes with the second row folded. A manual liftgate is standard and a hands-free power liftgate is available.

The good:

Peppy acceleration

Pleasant ride

Decent fuel economy

Upscale and roomy interior

Many standard features and tech

User-friendly infotainment system

The not-so-good:

Powertrain can whine when pressed

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $38,600. Destination fee is $1,245 bringing the grand total to $39,845.

Bottom line:

With the redesign of the CR-V Hybrid, Honda has taken a good thing and made it better. The 2023 CR-V boasts refined handling, brisk acceleration, decent fuel economy, a spacious and upscale cabin, and lots of standard features and tech. Anyone wanting a small hybrid SUV should take a look.

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