The HR-V is that quirky new arrival at your local Honda dealship. Borrowing from both the CR-V and the Civic, the 2016 Honda HR-V tries to combine the best of both worlds, giving drivers the safety and comfort of an SUV together with the gas mileage and price point of a compact sedan. The end result is a great vehicle that successfully accomplishes all it was designed to do, though it does lag behind in terms of styling and driving experience.
The performance of the HR-V is sufficient, though it can not really be called exciting. Under the hood it is equipped with a 141-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that can accelerate it to 60 miles per hour in 9.3 seconds. It also gives it a class-leading fuel economy of 8.3 liters per 100 km in the city, 6.7 l/100km on the highway and 7.6 l/100km combined. Most of the HR-Vs have a continuously variable transmission, though a manual is also available on models without navigation or all-wheel drive. Thanks to its small size, the car is very maneuverable, though the suspension is geared far more towards passenger comfort than sporty driving.
The interior of the HR-V is nicely appointed, including some nice glossy accents and some soft-touch plastics, though it is not too luxurious: leather seats are an option, but power seat controls are not. The car is also quite spacious, with 688 liters of cargo space with the rear seats up and up to 1665 liters with the seats down. Folding them down is easy thanks to Honda’s “Magic Seat” technology pioneered on the Fit. With the seats up, there is seating for five, though the rear row is oriented more for children rather than adults. The ride inside the car is quiet and soft compared to other vehicles in the class thanks to improved noise insulation and a softer suspension.
Hondas are frequently praised for their excellent safety ratings, and the 2016 HR-V is no different. The American National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the car an overall five out of five stars, though it does give it a four out of five for the frontal crash test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety concurs, giving the car top marks – ‘Good’ – on all the tests except the side crash and the small overlap front crash, where it gets the one down ‘Acceptable’ score. Advanced safety features such as lane departure and forward collision warnings are available, but only on the high-end equipped with navigation and all-wheel drive.
The Honda HR-V offers some of the largest cargo and passenger space in the subcompact SUV class while at the same time also featuring class-leading gas mileage and good safety test scores. It lacks powerful engine choices and flashy styling, so if you are looking for a fast or distinctive car, it may not be the best choice. But if you are looking for a compact and efficient day-to-day vehicle, the HR-V is an excellent option. Check out the Formula Honda website if you want to learn more.