2023 Honda HR-V’s New Engine Given Away By Lower EPA Fuel Economy

When Honda first revealed photos of the new-for-2023 HR-V subcompact crossover, it left out a few key details, including what would power the new SUV, what the interior looks like, and more. Looks like we just figured out the engine part, thanks to the appearance of the 2023 Honda HR-V’s fuel economy numbers, which were posted to the EPA’s fueleconomy.gov website. On the HR-V’s entry, a 2.0-liter engine is listed—along with lower mpg figures than the current HR-V and its smaller engine delivers.

The 2022 HR-V is powered by a 141-hp 1.8-liter I-4 engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional; thanks to equipment and weight differences between various HR-Vs, this resulted in EPA-estimated fuel economy of 28 mpg city, 34 mpg highway, and 30 mpg combined for the front-drive model and between 26 and 27 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and 28 to 29 mpg combined for the all-wheel-drive versions.

For 2023, the redesigned HR-V appears to swap the 1.8-liter engine for a 2.0-liter. In all likelihood this is the same 2.0-liter I-4 found under the hood of the entry-level Civic sedan, where it produces 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. Honda keeps the CVT around for 2023, however. Whether because of the larger engine or the HR-V’s growth spurt for ’23, or both, the city/highway/combined fuel economy for the model drops to 26/32/28 mpg on the front-drive model and 25/30/27 mpg on the AWD version.

Doing the math, that’s a 2 mpg hit in the city, highway, and combined figures for the front-drive HR-V, and a 1-2 mpg cut to the AWD model’s city and combined figures, plus a 1-mpg drop on the highway. The reductions also drag the HR-V’s fuel economy below that of the one-size-larger, more powerful turbocharged Honda CR-V, which in its current form delivers up 29 and 30 mpg combined, with better figures across the board for front- and all-wheel drive models than the new HR-V.

Honda is set to unveil an updated CR-V later this year, so the gap might change, but the HR-V’s backslide is all the more noticeable given the 37 mpg combined promised by the new-for-2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid. Even non-hybrid Corolla Cross models deliver between 30 and 32 mpg combined. But hey, the new HR-V at least looks snappier than the dowdy outgoing model, while the 2.0-liter engine should bring a welcome injection of athleticism. We’ll find out more for sure when the HR-V’s full details are revealed soon.

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