Ford Authority

2023 Honda CR-V, Future Ford Escape Rival, Spied In Germany

The Honda CR-V has long been a favorite with consumers, and the current model is also the automaker’s best-selling vehicle overall. However, the fifth-gen CR-V is beginning to show its age after launching in 2016 for the 2017 model year, so it’s no surprise that Ford Authority spies captured the next-generation 2023 Honda CR-V driving around Germany recently.

This particular 2023 Honda CR-V prototype is heavily camouflaged, but we can see several changes present in the upcoming Ford Escape rival’s bodywork that are worth noting. That includes a front end with a simpler, cleaner design than the current model, with a more traditional mesh grille in the center. The sixth-gen CR-V also sports a set of slimmer headlights that aren’t quite as angled as the current crossover, either.

The 2023 CR-V’s front-end design is certainly more conventional than the current model, and the overall look is more reminiscent of the forthcoming 2023 HR-V, bringing it in line with Honda’s future design direction. From the side, the prototype looks a bit longer than the current model as well, which could signal that Honda wants to add third-row seating to better compete with its newer rivals, though that doesn’t include the Escape – at least not in the U.S.

The rear end of the CR-V prototype is wearing quite a bit more camo that disguises its revised appearance, so it’s hard to tell if the next-gen model will retain the current model’s vertical taillights or go with a more conventional horizontal layout, though these certainly look like the latter.

In terms of powertrains, the 2023 Honda CR-V is expected to continue to offer a traditional ICE engine as well as a hybrid option. It’s also quite possible that an all-electric variant is in the works, but that likely won’t launch until at least a couple of years into the new CR-V’s life cycle. A CR-V EV would likely be powered by GM’s Ultium battery technology as part of the two automakers’ recently-announced partnership as Honda plans to electrify its entire lineup by 2040.

Sales Numbers - Mainstream Compact Crossovers - Q2 2021 - United States

TOYOTA RAV4 +20.63% 221,195 183,360 15% 16%
HONDA CR-V +53.49% 213,199 138,898 15% 12%
NISSAN ROGUE +70.42% 182,289 106,965 12% 10%
CHEVROLET EQUINOX -4.49% 118,666 124,251 8% 11%
SUBARU FORESTER +11.77% 95,965 85,860 7% 8%
MAZDA CX-5 +42.34% 92,621 65,072 6% 6%
FORD ESCAPE +0.82% 85,492 84,797 6% 8%
HYUNDAI TUCSON +44.14% 83,517 57,941 6% 5%
JEEP CHEROKEE +17.95% 67,158 56,938 5% 5%
VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN +37.18% 65,153 47,494 4% 4%
SUBARU CROSSTREK +40.41% 64,214 45,732 4% 4%
FORD BRONCO SPORT * 60,514 0 4% 0%
KIA SPORTAGE +34.72% 53,374 39,618 4% 4%
GMC TERRAIN -14.52% 33,533 39,231 2% 4%
DODGE JOURNEY -37.99% 12,765 20,586 1% 2%
MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER -31.32% 10,675 15,544 1% 1%
MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE CROSS -31.33% 4,358 6,346 0% 1%
TOTAL +30.94% 1,464,688 1,118,633

Currently, the CR-V trails only the Toyota RAV4 in the mainstream compact crossover segment in the U.S. in terms of sales, and it has grown its share by three percent over the last year. The CR-V has cut into the RAV4’s market share considerably over the last year, however, as the latter has actually lost a bit of ground in recent months.

The 2023 CR-V is expected to launch at some point in 2022 as a 2023 model year vehicle, with a full reveal likely coming in early 2022.

We’ll have more on everything Ford’s competition is up to soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for 24/7 Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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  1. Stephen Ketterer

    How the CR-V could possibly trail behind the POS RAV4 in sales is mind-boggling.

    1. NCEcoBoost

      It’s because Toyota consistently racks up superior reliability over Honda these days and in recent years.

  2. NCEcoBoost

    Until the Escape goes through a major overhaul, including ditching that 3-cylinder engine that never should have been there in the first place, I’d take the CR-V over the Escape any day.

  3. Bubba

    I’ve seen it listed as the 2022 crv and the 2023. Which is it going to be?

  4. Edward de Jong

    Toyota had a hybrid model ahead of Honda, gave them and edge.
    But those two companies always fight hard over the same terrain.
    A very japanese way to compete; products within an inch of each other, duking it out.
    Ford needs to improve their interior quality. Ford Bronco and Maverick are so well designed, i hope that Hackett’s designers are kept on.


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