New Honda CR-V is coming to the UK with hybrid power

Honda reveals the latest version of its hybrid family SUV in the US, due to arrive in the UK next year

  • Tech from latest Honda Civic
  • Expected to be hybrid-only for UK
  • Due to arrive early 2023

The all-new Honda CR-V has been unveiled in America. This sixth-generation version of the Japanese giant’s family SUV gets a sharper exterior design, up-to-date technology and an efficient hybrid powertrain.

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Honda is yet to confirm when the new CR-V will be coming to the UK, but we expect to see it on this side of the Atlantic by the middle of 2023. When it arrives here, the CR-V will renew its rivalry with other economical crossovers such as the Peugeot 3008 and Toyota RAV4.

2022 Honda CR-V: design

In a market full of bold-looking SUVs such as the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, the new CR-V plays it safe with a relatively subtle design. At the front, the CR-V wears a similar hexagonal grille to the smaller HR-V, albeit with a more traditional honeycomb mesh covering.

Overall, the new CR-V is much boxier than the car it replaces; Honda has flared the wheel arches further in order to create a more imposing appearance, plus there is a much flatter roofline than before. The rear end is characterised by a set of LED tail lights, which are somewhat reminiscent of those found on a Volvo XC60.

The new car measures 4,964mm long – 60mm longer than the old model. Most of this increase comes within the CR-V’s wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels); this allows for just over 15mm more legroom in the rear. Although Honda has not confirmed exact dimensions, we expect the CR-V’s 497-litre boot to grow in size, too.

Interior and technology

At first glance, it's easy to see where Honda has taken interior design inspiration from its own Civic hatchback. Like that car, the new CR-V gets a dashboard characterised by one large air vent that sweeps across the entire width of the cabin. Sitting on top of this is a nine-inch touchscreen that comes as standard with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Unfortunately, there is no fully-digital instrument cluster available; part-digital dials make the new car feel instantly outdated compared with the likes of the latest Hyundai Tucson.

On a more positive note, Honda has refrained from falling into the current industry-wide oversight of burying the climate controls within the main touchscreen; the CR-V instead gets physical knobs and dials which should be much easier to use when on-the-go.

As can be expected from a car aimed at families, the new Honda CR-V comes absolutely packed with the latest safety systems. Although Honda is yet to detail which features will make it to the UK, drivers can expect blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, driver attention monitoring and standard knee and side passenger airbags. The old car received a full five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, and we expect the new model to do the same. 

Engines and powertrains

Honda is offering two distinct powertrains for US buyers: a traditional petrol engine and a ‘self-charging’ hybrid. Like the current-generation of CR-V, the new car is likely to only be offered as a hybrid in the UK – including a plug-in for the first time.

Thankfully, it looks as if the new car will be just as efficient as the one it replaces; the CR-V’s hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a pair of electric motors which together provide 201bhp and four-wheel-drive. Honda is yet to release any performance figures, but we expect the hybrid CR-V to get from 0-62mph in around eight seconds; fuel economy figures of at least 45mpg will be necessary to remain competitive with rivals such as the Ford Kuga.

While the UK is likely to miss out on the regular petrol model, Honda has already confirmed that a plug-in hybrid model will be coming in the future. This version will sit at the top of the range and will utilise a larger battery than the standard hybrid. We expect this powertrain to offer an electric-only range of around 35 miles and to be the most popular option with company car drivers.

No pure-electric Honda CR-V is expected for the time being, however Honda is confirmed to be developing an electric SUV to rival the Peugeot e-2008, as well as a coupe-SUV dubbed the ZR-V.

What does this mean for car buyers?

The family SUV segment is one of the hottest right now, and Honda knows that it must keep its models up-to-date if it wishes to be successful. The current CR-V has been on sale since 2018; this may not sound like a long time, yet with such a rapidly changing segment, it was already in need of a replacement. We expect the new model to sell well, thanks to its frugal hybrid powertrain. However, for sales to remain strong, Honda will need to offer competitive finance deals to justify the CR-V’s inevitable premium over cheaper petrol and diesel rivals.

Want to beat high prices at the pump? Check out our list of the top 10 best electric SUVs

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