Model Tested: Honda HR-V AWD Touring
Engine: 1.8-Liter i-VTEC 4 Cylinder
Horsepower: 141 • Torque: 121 lb. ft.
Transmission: Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
EPA Ratings: 26/City 31/Highway 28/Combined
Base Price: $28,580 • As Tested: $29,585
Overview: The Honda HR-V is a subcompact crossover with available all-wheel drive (AWD). Based on Honda’s popular Fit, it comes in five trims — LX, EX, EX-L, Sport (including a new black-trimmed model with 18-inch alloy wheels), and Touring — which this review focuses on. Like other Hondas. EX and higher trims come standard with a bevy of collision-avoidance technology including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and active lane control.
Walkaround: The HR-V styling is a blend of coupe and hatchback. It’s smooth, but not particularly captivating. From the front it mimics the larger CR-V, only featuring a wider grille, stronger nose, and new LED headlights. The curved roofline — capped by a roof spoiler — gives more headroom inside, while a rising character line runs from the door up into the D-pillar. In the rear, a massive crease on both sides swoops from outside of each tail light forward into the grille.
Interior: The interior is well organized, featuring a nice center stack and optional large display. Soft-touch materials adorn the dashboard, and vinyl on the door panels avoid the cheap hard plastic look of most subcompact crossovers.
The Touring version includes navigation, while most HR-V trims utilize a seven-inch infotainment touchscreen — that features a volume knob instead of the previous slider. Below the center stack is a small storage space and USB port.
The front seats are comfortable, and the Touring model has a power driver’s seat. Rear passengers have excellent head, hip and legroom. The rear-seat is a fold-flat 60/40 bench with fold-flat front seats.
There’s 24.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat — exceptional for a subcompact crossover. With the rear seat folded, it more than doubles to a best-in-class 58.8 cubic feet.
Behind The Wheel: Every HR-V uses a 141-horse, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder powerplant delivering 121 pound-feet of torque. It’s married to a well-tuned continuously variable transmission (CVT).
It’s quick enough in town, but on the highway, the engine works hard to deliver all the power it can. The ride is comfortable, handling is nimble with steering that’s quick and responsive, navigating curvy two-lane blacktops with ease.
Bottom Line: The Honda HR-V isn’t your quick, sporty hatchback, but is a fuel-efficient subcompact crossover with awesome upsides — price, quality, space, versatility, precise handling, and a very comfortable ride.