The Honda HR-V is the Japanese automaker’s smallest and most affordable crossover offering, slotting in below the larger and popular Honda CR-V. With room for five people, available all-wheel drive, and a higher seating position that many people seem to like, the subcompact crossover is perfect for people who need extra utility but want something efficient, reliable, safe, and easy to maneuver. The HR-V is based on the same platform as the Honda Fit, a subcompact hatchback.
The Honda HR-V is relatively new and is only in its second generation. The HR-V was first sold in North America in 2015. The second-generation HR-V was the first one to be sold in North America, but other markets were able to buy the first-generation model. The Honda HR-V is also known as the Honda Vezel in other markets. The Honda HR-V was recently refreshed for the 2019 model year with a revised look (new headlights taillights, bumpers, and grille), trim line updates, and more features and technology to help it catch up to the very stiff competition. The CVT has also been tweaked to feel more natural while driving and make less noise. There is also more sound deadening and active noise cancellation is available on Sport trim and above.
The HR-V models sold in North America are built in Celaya, Mexico, alongside the Fit with which it shares a platform.
Pros/ Magic Seats, HondaSensing availability, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto availability, Reliable, Safe
Cons/ Feels very slow, noisy, can be more refined, could use more standard features
Bottom Line/ The Honda HR-V has a proven reliability record and its versatile Magic Seats help set it apart from its competition.
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Honda HR-V Specs
The Honda HR-V is only available with one engine, a naturally aspirated four-cylinder, and one transmission, a CVT. A 6-speed manual transmission was previously available, but it has been discontinued for the 2019 model year. The AWD system has also been tweaked to offer better performance in low traction conditions.
Engine: 1.8L four-cylinder
Torque: 127 lb-ft
Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive, available all-wheel drive
Seating Capacity: 5
Cargo Capacity: 23.2 cu ft seats up / 57.6 cu ft seats down
Honda HR-V Fuel Economy
The Honda HR-V has a 13.2-gallon fuel tank and runs of regular-grade gasoline. Since it has only one available engine and transmission, the fuel economy for the Honda HR-V is relatively uncomplicated.
With the 1.5L engine, CVT, and front-wheel drive, the HR-V is rated at 28 mpg city, 34 highway and 30 combined. AWD models see a slight penalty, with official ratings of 27 mpg city, 31 highway, and 29 combined.
Honda HR-V Safety Rating
The Honda HR-V is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick, the second highest possible rating available. When equipped with the optional front crash prevention included within the Honda Sensing package and the optional headlights, the Honda HR-V is one of the safest subcompact crossovers, excelling in all crash test categories. Its front crash prevention system also got a “Superior” rating.
The IIHS says the only weaknesses are the headlights — the base headlights have a “Poor” rating, while the upgraded ones are “Acceptable.” The LATCH child seats also got an “Acceptable” rating, meaning they’re easy to use but could be improved.
Honda HR-V Features
One standout feature in the Honda HR-V that makes it unique in its segment is the Magic Seats, which come standard. This allows you to flip the rear seat cushion up easily so you can store taller items upright that might not even fit in the trunk. This is an excellent feature that gives drivers some added versatility. The front seat can also be reclined all the way back to hold even longer items.
Other notable standard features include a reverse camera (upgraded ones have dynamic guidelines), LED daytime running lights, tire pressure monitoring, a 5-inch infotainment touchscreen, Bluetooth, 1.0-amp USB charging, and more. For 2019, a physical volume knob was also added, addressing complaints about being more user-friendly.
Honda Sensing is standard on EX trim levels and above. The package includes collision mitigation braking, forward collision warning, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.
Some HR-V models are also available with a LaneWatch camera, which plays a video feed from the passenger side mirror of your blind spot whenever the right turn signal is being used. Honda uses this instead of traditional blind spot monitoring. Some notable available features include moonroof, smart entry with automatic locking doors when you walk away from the car with the key on person, fog lights, heated side mirrors, rear privacy glass, automatic LED headlights, automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, push-button start, automatic dimming rearview mirror, Homelink garage door opener, leather seats, heated front seats, a 7-inch touchscreen, touch-capacitive HVAC controls, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 1.5-amp USB charging, and more.
Honda HR-V Pricing
The pricing below does not include the $1,045 destination fee.
2019 Honda HR-V pricing starts at $20,520 for a front-wheel-drive LX model. All-wheel drive is a $1,400 option. A five-inch touchscreen is standard here, so this is a very basic budget option.
From there, the Sport trim, which is new for 2019, starts at $22,220 for a front-drive model and $23,620 for one with all-wheel drive. HR-V Sports get a few interior enhancements like a black headliner, sport pedals, 18-inch wheels, and gloss black trim. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and active noise cancelation become standard on the Sport trim and up along with a larger 7-inch touchscreen, roof rails, leather steering wheel, and halogen fog lights.
A Honda HR-V EX starts at $23,720 and again, AWD is a $1,400 upcharge. The EX trim is where Honda Sensing becomes standard equipment and the reverse camera gets guidelines that move with the steering wheel to help you park easier. Walk-away automatic locks, the LaneWatch blind spot camera, a moonroof, heated front seats, rear privacy glass, pushbutton start, and automatic headlights are other notable features of this trim.
Next in the trim lineup is the EX-L, which starts at $25,320, plus an additional $1,400 if you want AWD. It adds leather seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, auto dimming rear-view mirror and leather door lining.
The topline Honda HR-V is the Touring model, which starts at $28,540. This model is the only trim that comes standard with all-wheel drive and it’s the only HR-V that gets navigation. Touring models also get contrast stitching in the leather seats, an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat, LED headlights (low beams and highbeams), LED foglights, and Homelink garage door opener.
Honda HR-V Competitors
The Honda HR-V is a subcompact crossover that competes with vehicles like the Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Kicks, Nissan Rogue Sport, Toyota C-HR, Fiat 500X, Hyundai Kona, Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, Mazda CX-3, Subaru Crosstrek, Jeep Renegade, Ford EcoSport, and more.
Future Honda HR-V Plans
The Honda HR-V was recently refreshed for the 2019 model year but is due for a new-generation model in a couple of years. One of the subcompact crossover’s biggest weaknesses is its engine, which makes the car feel very slow. Honda has addressed this concern in other markets and has introduced an available turbocharged engine. It’s only a matter of time until the North American version of the HR-V gets this 1.5L turbo engine (the same one in the Honda Civic with 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque), as it will make the HR-V much more competitive among its peers, the best of which offer an optional turbo engine.
For the next-generation model, we also expect Honda to make more features standard like Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance and safety technology, as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Honda HR-V Photos
|Engine /||1.8L 4-cylinder|
|Horsepower /||141 hp|
|Torque /||127 lb-ft|
|Drivetrain /||FWD, AWD available|
|Seating Capacity /||5|
|Cargo Capacity /||23.2 cu ft seats up / 57.6 cu ft seats down|
Our Final Verdict
The Honda HR-V has a proven reliability record and great resale value. One of the crossover’s best features is the Magic Seats, which helps differentiate it from its competitors by giving drivers more options for increased versatility. Although it’s not the best subcompact crossover in its class, the Honda HR-V is a pragmatic choice that is affordable, safe, and easy to live with.4