Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid's next big challenger? 2023 Honda CR-V shaping up as new Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Outlander rival with electric twist

This unofficial render is based on recent spy images of the new CR-V. (Image credit: Kolesa)

It’s no secret that Honda is busy developing the sixth-generation CR-V, with the new mid-size SUV having been spied testing overseas in March, but now we have a good idea of what was hiding underneath the camouflage at the time.

These unofficial renders come via Kolesa, which based them on the spy images taken earlier this year, and the result is our best look yet at the upcoming CR-V’s evolutionary exterior design.

Unsurprisingly, the next CR-V appears to take a few cues from its sibling, the soon-to-be-released third-generation HR-V small SUV, as demonstrated by the high positioning of its headlights, which are connected to its familiar grille.

Around the side, the fresh CR-V could easily be mistaken for its predecessor, although it does seem to be larger in size, which is potentially good news for third-row occupants in its seven-seat versions.

At the rear, the CR-V looks to have become much sleeker, with its tailgate not only appearing to be flatter than before, but also having integrated its handle and numberplate holder just below the rear window and Honda badge. That said, the tail-lights aren’t too dissimilar.

At the rear, the CR-V looks to have become much sleeker. (Image credit: Kolesa) At the rear, the CR-V looks to have become much sleeker. (Image credit: Kolesa)

But what about what’s under the metal? Well, we’re yet to catch a glimpse of the new CR-V’s interior, but the HR-V connection is, of course, likely to continue inside.

Where it will really get interesting, though, is the next CR-V’s powertrain options, particularly in Australia, where at least one hybrid option has been continually promised by Honda for the next-generation model.

‘Self-charging’ and plug-in hybrid powertrains are already available in the existing CR-V, but only in other markets, so the upcoming model is set to finally take the fight to the all-conquering Toyota RAV4 Hybrid locally.

That said, the next CR-V will also have its hands full dealing with the other best-sellers in its segment, including the Mazda CX-5, Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Outlander. Stay tuned ahead of its expected reveal and possible release next year.