Honda has been tight-lipped about the new CR-V as even though the fifth-gen model was first spotted a year ago, there haven't been any teasers. We now may have a big piece of the puzzle as a patent image reportedly depicting the compact crossover has emerged. It appears to be the real deal since the sole image seems to match the prototypes we've spotted on a couple of instances.

As always with these grainy images published by automakers to protect their designs, the 2023 CR-V doesn't look particularly exciting. It's less visible in the photo, but the camouflaged test vehicles caught by our spies seemed to be significantly bigger. That wouldn't come as a surprise seeing as how the subcompact HR-V has been bumped in size as well for its recent generation.

Gallery: 2023 Honda CR-V new spy photos

From the slimmer headlights and larger honeycomb grille to the lower door mirrors and larger quarter glass, there are quite a few changes over the outgoing CR-V. An image of the rear is not available for now, but you can easily notice the signature tall taillights are here to stay. Despite going under the knife, you can immediately tell what type of Honda this is since designers won't be rocking the boat.

You'll notice the upper character line creates a visual connection between the headlights and taillights as it extends across the entire side profile. It's similar to what you will find on today's CR-V, albeit it's now located above the door handles and has a flatter design. This one looks a tad "underwheeled," although there should be larger alloy options.

It’s worth noting the HR-V is going to be different in the United States compared to Europe, but Honda hasn't said a word about whether the bigger crossover will also be sold in two flavours. An official premiere should take place before the end of the year.