Positioned below the Honda CR-V in size and price, Honda’s new HR-V compact crossover aims to attract buyers with its coupe-like styling, SUV functionality, and of course the quality and dependability of a Honda. The HR-V is based on the Honda Fit platform although it’s substantially larger than the Fit, measuring in 9.1 inches longer, 2.8 inches wider, and 3.2 inches taller. It also features a front and rear track several inches wider for a more stable ride.
These added dimensions mean the HR-V can carry people more comfortably and, of course, accommodate more gear and cargo. Since Honda located the fuel tank beneath the front seats like the Fit, the same second row Magic Seat configuration is built in, enabling the seat to fold completely flat into the floor to provide a more spacious cargo area. In fact, the HR-V’s 100 cubic feet of passenger space and 58.8 cubic feet of cargo volume with the second row seats folded down rivals the interior volume of some midsize SUVs.
The HR-V is powered by the same 1.8-liter engine as the Honda Civic, delivering 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft torque. It comes in front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive versions and in LX, EX and EX-L Navi trim levels. A continuously variable transmission is available with all-wheel drive, equipped with steering wheel paddles that provide seven preset ratios. A six-speed manual transmission is available on front-wheel-drive LX and EX models.
The HR-V turns in impressive fuel economy numbers. Depending on transmission and whether equipped with FWD or AWD, highway fuel economy reaches up to 35 mpg, as good as it gets in this segment. Driving range is about 400 miles.
Like most Hondas, the HR-V comes with Eco Assist. This includes a sophisticated coaching system that helps improve driving habits for better fuel efficiency. It uses color-changing displays within the HR-V’s instrument cluster, with speedometer illumination changing from white to green depending on real-time fuel efficiency. Engaging the car’s ECON button optimizes operation of the transmission, engine, and other powertrain components to also help conserve fuel.
The HR-V hits a home run with its many desired features combined with an approachable entry point of just $19,215. Depending on trim, standard or available electronics include Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist; electronic stability control; Multi-Angle Rearview Camera; Bluetooth, Tire Pressure Monitoring, and Honda LaneWatch. Either a 5 inch color LCD screen or 7-inch touchscreen display are offered. EX-L Navi trim adds satellite-linked navigation and SiriusXM radio, HD Radio, and Honda Digital Traffic that provides real-time traffic information.