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Upsized 2023 Honda CR-V could move up in price and segment to rival Mazda CX-8, Toyota Kluger and Hyundai Santa Fe

The design of the new-gen Honda CR-V was leaked earlier this week.

Honda's fifth-generation CR-V SUV has been on sale in Australia since mid-2017, and is in dire need of an update to keep pace against the likes of the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage, Ford Escape and Hyundai Tucson, which have all been refreshed with major updates since.

But, as the pictures and leaked information showed us earlier this week, don’t expect it to be a rehash of the current mid-size SUV.

The supposed dimensions of the new CR-V are pegged at 4703mm long, 1866mm wide, 1690mm tall and with a 2700mm wheelbase - or in other words, it is 107mm longer, 11mm wider and taller, and has a 40mm longer wheelbase than the current car.

As a result, the new-gen CR-V could be much closer in size to the Santa Fe (4785mm long) and Sorento (4810mm long), but still shorter than the CX-8 (4900mm) and Kluger (4966mm), and give Honda Australia much needed ammunition against those large SUVs.

This is in line with what Honda Australia boss Stephen Collins told CarsGuide recently. Mr Collins explained that the new-generation HR-V is designed to compete against the Mazda CX-30 small SUV, while an incoming new crossover will be positioned to take on the CX-5 mid-sizer.

Although Honda Australia is yet to confirm the name, it is understood it will be called ZR-V and slot in above the HR-V and below the CR-V, and share its styling, and possibly powertrains, with the US-market HR-V.

This leaves the CR-V enough room to move up in positioning, and rival the likes of the CX-8, Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento and Toyota Kluger.

Keep in mind that the aforementioned large SUVs all feature seating for seven, while the current CR-V is one of the only mid-size crossovers to offer three-row seating.

“CR-V is still a way off, but what I would say is, we’re looking to position each of the three not on top of each other,” Mr Collins said.

“Whether it be size, seating arrangement, engine or whatever, then we will make sure there’s differentiation between them.”

Current CR-V Current CR-V

One thing’s for sure though - expect the new-generation CR-V step up in price and get a trimmed down range as the brand continues to rollout new-generation product under its agency sales model.

The first model under the new business structure was the Civic small car, which is now available in a single grade for $47,200 driveaway, while the HR-V line-up has shrunk to two choices kicking off from $36,700.

The current CR-V range kicks off at $35,300 for the base Vi grade and tops out at $53,200 for the VTi LX, but it is likely Honda Australia will offer a small number of high-spec grades when the new-gen mid-size SUV lands.

In leaked documentation, the Chinese market CR-V scores a carryover 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine with an additional 2kW for a 142kW output, but the new-gen SUV will be offered with a hybrid powertrain for the first time in Australia - though exact details on the e:HEV grade are yet to be revealed.

New CR-V render (Image: Kolesa) New CR-V render (Image: Kolesa)

“Pricing is going to be staged … what our new business direction is all about is making sure we’re bringing the hamburger with the lot, and keeping it relatively simple when someone comes into the showroom to buy a car,” Mr Collins said.

“That’s what the transition to agency is all about, is making that transaction seamless, simple and transparent.”

Exact timing for the new CR-V is still unclear, but it is believed the next-gen version could break cover before year’s end.

An Australian arrival would then be likely for late 2023, but more information is expected to surface as time marches on.