Honda HR-V Test Drive

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 After driving the Mazda CX-3, I was really interested in comparing it to the Honda HR-V.
The HR-V is a much more popular choice since they sold over 85 000 of them last year.
Vs about 17 000 units if the CX-3.

I always thought the HR-V looked really good, and it still does.
It has very nice proportions and just the right amount of style to create its own personality.

Most people I talked to during my week test driving it really like the design.

 The interior is also very nice and has a very substantial feel to it.
Everything feels refined and solid. With plenty of soft-touch plastics. The Touring version especially does a good job at creating a rather upscale experience.
( A small detail, but I actually also appreciated the super muted/refined sound of the turn signal chime)

The 6 speaker stereo in my top of the line Limited unit sounded great.
Better than the Bose system in the Mazda CX-3.

While I am comparing the Honda to the CX-3. I have to say the whole interior seems more upscale.
And roomier. Especially in the back.
The rear seat is quite a surprise! As it is at least as roomy as may larger mid-sized SUV’s.
The leg room is quite amazing for such a small car.

 Same thing with the trunk.
The long flat floor is really deep when the rear seats are down. And actually, if you slide the front seats forward, there is enough room in there for camping.

 While I still had the noisy experience from the CX-3 in mind, the first thing I noticed with the HR-V was how quiet and refined the engine sounded. Even when cold.

The car is also very quiet at speed and driving around town ( Honda added sound deadening as part of a 2019 model year revision)

While it is not as punchy as the Mazda, the HR-V always had enough power for anything.
Carrying a couple of people, stuff, merging on the freeway, etc… I never felt I needed more power.
The CVT isn’t meant to be pushed. It actually reacts much better in relaxed driving.
And that ‘s basically what these cars are. (If you need a sporty car you shouldn’t look at a compact crossover in the first place, really)

 The ride is slightly firm and always very comfortable and solid.
It doesn’t even compare to the skateboard-like the experience of the Mazda CX-3.

The HR-V is also much better composed and secure at freeway speed.
Nice steering feel, comfortable and quiet ride and make for a nice freeway traveling experience.

The Honda HR-V AWD is rated at 26 City and 31 MPG Hwy.
While I did get up to 30 in the city, you will get mostly around 25 to 27.
But I very easily averaged over 40MPG on various freeway trips.
(I am actually not sure how you would get only 31…)

The loaded Touring model I was driving is not what you would call cheap. At over $29 000.
But it does come with pretty much everything (Although a power tailgate would be nice)
And it is similar to the competition. ( you can also get a very well equipped EX-L model for around $25 000)
The HR-V is also roomier than most.

I would definitely recommend the HR-V for anyone looking for a compact crossover. It is very easy to live with every day.
And can carry much more than its small size suggests. (competing with some more expensive mid-size models)
And you can actually travel with people in the back seat for long trips.

You can click on the picture above and see all the pricing details of the car I was driving.

Conversation 13 comments

  1. Much improved with this refresh…but I can't believe we are in $30,000 territory with sub Compacts now. Vince, will you be test driving the 2020 Kia Soul anytime soon? You can get a Loaded GT-Line 1.6T for the same price or less than the HR-V, but they are both still excellent choices.

  2. very nice review, Vince. I too actually really like the styling in and out of this Honda HRV. Maybe the only thing i dislike is the all gray colored interior. White/black, black/dark tan or some combination would be much cooler to my eyes. As far as the engine power being sufficient at 141 HP, very likely it would be with just the driver and or passenger. But as you mentioned, Honda designed this vehicle with a roomy back seat and decent cargo area in the back. Now and then people do need to carry 2-3 passengers and maybe a bit of heavier cargo in the rear. That is when a buyer's remorse might kick in, wishing they had bought a bigger vehicle or a more powerful vehicle. Otherwise they would have to be content with good gas mileage, good passenger and cargo and somewhat sluggish performance during freeway merging or on long inclines. Great compact ''suv '' overall, i would not mind owning one as it would suit my needs .

  3. I never see these on the road in the Chicago suburbs, and I even work next to a Honda dealer. I fear this may be too close to the CRV and may need to get smaller next gen closer to the size of the Venue.

  4. I was in the Honda showroom a few weeks ago and as I leaned in from the driver window, i could nor believe the amount of interior space, All it needs is the CRV turbo and it will be a massive winner.

  5. It's not even Japanese built, and they're still charging that much for this? That's what stopped me from buying this and getting a CX-5 for the money despite it being bigger.

  6. It is comical for sedans and absurd for crossovers to include paddle shifters. Who the heck uses them and why? Oh..wait..sports enthusiasts.

  7. I know, the paddle shifters are ridiculous.
    I think it mainly comes from car journalists obsessed with speed criticizing CVTs. Maybe its a way from car makers to respond.
    I usually use it once to try it out and never touch it again.

    It is useless especially since most of these cars do have a "sport" mode. Which usually works just fine providing more punch from a smaller engine (It does work very nicely in the HR-V by the way)

  8. I had to laugh that you photographed the car near a cemetery. Guess it was a quiet, lush setting.

  9. Ha! I do that a lot!

    One of my favorite sport for car pix is the Hollywood Forever cemetery. Sometimes I even try to include famous old-time Hollywood people in the background…

  10. There is no way you got 40 mpg in HR-V. The best is 32. The engine is an old K series from the previous Civic model. I have an HR-V and average 30.1. I've never gotten better than 32.

  11. All I can do is share my own experience of driving the car for a whole week.
    During all my freeway trips, I could never really get under 38/40MPG ever.

    Not sure how it would be possible to only get 31…

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