Honda HR-V Review
If I were the host of that show Mad Money, I would tell you now is the time to buy, buy, buy in the small SUV segment. Somewhere between a hatchback and an SUV, the CUV sits precariously in the middle of the market, aimed for a younger, hipper buyer base; i.e.: myself.
Slotted just below the CR-V and just above the Fit hatchback, Honda introduced the quirky HR-V last year and hasn’t looked back. In a market already swarming with good options like the Nissan Juke and Jeep Renegade, the HR-V is Honda’s first fresh face in the U.S. in a long time. And it’s much needed.
PHOTOS: See More of the 2016 Honda HR-V
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Where Honda expects to sell an approximate bajillion CR-Vs each year, they’re being a little more frugal with the new HR-V. They’re planning on moving 70,000 in the first year, which is a very safe number. But based on what I drove, I feel like they might have trouble keeping up with the demand.
The HR-V has a handsome face, a cute little body, and room enough for plenty of junk in the trunk. Where the Nissan Juke’s styling is already becoming sort of obnoxious, the HR-V bridges the gap between overly-quirky and overly-sedated. Sharp, subtle lines and a good stance keep this car interesting.
The interior is much of the same. Simple, clean lines remind you that you’re paying for something less than a CR-V, but as good as, if not better than, the competition. The strongest case being the two touchscreens smack dab in the center of the interior. They both look extremely refined— something you wouldn’t expect in a sub-$20,000 CUV.
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And they control just about everything; from the radio, to the air conditioning, to anything in between. Although these two touchscreen systems might look refined, they might be working a little too hard. Trying to find the correct knob in any other car while you’re driving is difficult enough, let alone trying to fumble around with a touchscreen system just to change the temperature. Though, to be fair, it was pretty much the one and only real issue I had with the car.
The backseats are also spacious, giving you 39.9 inches or rear legroom. Meaning my 6-foot frame wasn’t cramped. And you can even fold down the seats for a nifty 58.8 cubic feet of room for bikes or body bags or any other big things you might have lying around. That’s second-best in class behind the Kia Soul.
Now for me, normally, I only like things that go fast and make me look cooler than I actually am. But I really like the peppy little Honda HR-V. Side-by-side with the Juke, it’s about the most fun you can have in a CUV. It even comes with a manual, which makes an interesting case for an even hotter variant.
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With a starting price of only $19,115 (base manual), and an estimated 31 mpg combined (CVT/2WD), there’s also a lot to love in terms of frugality. Honda definitely has a winner on its hands with this one— if customers can overlook the freakin’ touchscreen.
MPG: 31 combined (CVT/2WD), 29 combined (CVT/AWD)
Engine: 1.8L 4-Cylinder
Price: $19,115 (base)