Civic Wagon: The 2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L


2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L front 3/4 view

Okay, let's address the elephant.---no, the large-mouth bass---in the room. Yes, the front end of the 2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L is unfortunate.


2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L rear 3/4 view

So, let's flip the script and our view of the car and address the elephant in the room. If you take a crossover SUV and reduce its height, what do you have? A station wagon. And that's true of most SUVs. They're station wagons. Some are based on trucks, but crossovers are based on cars and 40 years ago, the HR-V would have been what I'm going to call it right now---an all-wheel drive Honda Civic station wagon. And really, that's a pretty damn wonderful thing.


2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L hood up

2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L engine

The 2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L is powered by the 158-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine found in the Civic LX and Civic Sport. It has a continuously variable transmission. Zero to 60 takes---wait for it---wait---wait---


Eleven and a half seconds. Fuel economy is an EPA estimated 25 miles per gallon city/30 highway. Neither of those are world-beater numbers, but put it in the context of a wagon for a small family that sees most of its service in school and grocery runs and has the bonus of AWD for bad weather and the picture gets better.


2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L cargo area

2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L rear seat

2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L front seats

2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L front seat detail

2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L instrument panel

The picture improves further on the inside because---it's a Civic. Seats, dashboard, controls---all really top-notch stuff from the new Civic. Pricing is a strong spot, too---with a base price in top-level EX-L trim of $28,950 (the base LX model starts at $23,650 and the mid-level Sport is $25,650). Honda Sensing , Apple CarPlay, 18-inch wheels, parking sensors, a six-way power driver seat, dual-zone automatic climate control and a nine-inch touchscreen infotainment system are all standard.


2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L steering wheel and gauge cluster

2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L HVAC and vents

2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L center stack

And Honda being Honda, that's it. Our tester was wearing Nordic Forest paint, an extra-cost option at $395. So with $1,245 destination and handling, the as-tested price of the 2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L is $30,590.


2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L front view

2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L side view

2023 Honda HR-V AWD EX-L rear view

On paper and in practice, an AWD Civic wagon is a pretty great thing. If Honda wants to call it the HR-V, that's fine.

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