2016 Honda HR-V

Starting MSRP: $19,115 - $25,840

Estimated MPG: 25 city / 34 hwy

2016 Honda HR-V Review

Already one of the hottest selling vehicles in its class, the 2016 Honda HR-V offers passenger space for four or five and expandable cargo room. All of this is wrapped up in one of the most compelling designs for 2016.

By Randy Stern
Last Updated 05/03/2016

Based on the Honda Fit platform, the all-new Honda HR-V is designed to navigate through urban enclaves where small parking spaces exist. However, the 2016 HR-V receives power from the Honda Civic with a 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine available with a choice of a manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Front- or all-wheel drive is available across three trim levels (LX, EX and EX-L Navi), each with a level of equipment to satisfy all budgets. A four-door liftgate body style is the only choice for HR-V customers. The HR-V is made at Honda's Mexico plant, where the Fit is also produced.

Exterior

Exterior
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The subcompact HR-V has a very compelling design, combining current Honda trends from both cars and crossovers. The front end has gloss black trim above a lower grille with an additional ventilation slot above the trim. A combined headlamp and turn signal unit frames each side of the front end, with each emitting a good beam of light. The hood appears to be long, though it leads to a shapely roofline. The four doors open wide enough for cargo and passenger load in, though the rear doors open on the roofline, rather than below or on the beltline. The liftgate opens wide and high for better loading.

The HR-V introduces us to a new taillight design for Honda's crossovers, with a boomerang shape that gives this vehicle a compelling look. All models ride on a 17-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires.

Interior

Interior
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The Fit plays a huge part in shaping the 2016 HR-V's interior. Owners of the latest Fit would easily recognize the instrument panel with its three-dial binnacle, single infotainment location and familiar switches for climate control, audio, cruise control, lights and wipers. In all, it is a cleaner instrument panel when compared with larger Honda products. Our tester was the top-of-the-line EX-L, which featured touch screens for the infotainment and climate control systems, along with Honda's LaneWatch system, which shows objects along the passenger side as the right turn signal is indicated.

Interior quality is extremely good with excellent materials throughout. Seating is for five, and the front seats offer plenty of adjustments for most bodies. Manual adjustments are available throughout, including height, rake and recline for the front seats. The rear seats are split 60/40 and both seatbacks recline. Headrests are also adjustable for all outboard seats. Leg- and headroom are good in rear of the HR-V. The EX-L's leather upholstery is supple and comfortable.

One feature that carried over from the Fit is Honda's "Magic Seat," which provides room for tall pieces of cargo to stand up when the rear seat cushions are folded up. Behind the rear seats, there is up to 24.3 cubic feet of space available. Fold the rear seats down, and that space is expanded to 58.8 cubic feet with a flat-load floor to the front seatbacks.

Performance

Performance
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Though it rides on the Fit's platform, the HR-V gets the Civic's engine. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine is good for 141 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. This is the perfect choice for the HR-V. Front-wheel drive models can match this engine with a six-speed manual transmission or an optional seven-step continuously variable transmission. The CVT is the only transmission choice on all all-wheel drive models. The HR-V gets its best fuel economy estimates with the CVT, delivering an EPA-estimated 28/35 mpg city/highway. All-wheel drive models get slightly lower estimates of 27/32 mpg.

In all, the HR-V is enjoyable to drive. The HR-V rides comfortably and absorbs various road conditions with ease, and our test drive revealed impressive cornering ability. The steering system is very precise, and the HR-V has a decent turning radius for its size. Stopping power is very good with excellent feel from the brake pedal.

Technology

Technology
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The Honda HR-V comes standard with a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a USB port. Choosing the HR-V EX adds the HondaLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, as well as proximity key with push-button start, automatic climate control and Honda LaneWatch.

HondaLink enables playback from smartphone apps such as Pandora Internet Radio without the use of another app to do so. An onboard navigation system is included in the EX-L model, and HondaLink also offers real-time traffic reports via the navigation system.

Safety

Safety
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The HR-V earned a top five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). At the time of this review, the HR-V has not been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). A rearview camera, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and six air bags are among the HR-V's standard safety features. Honda's LaneWatch blind spot camera system is standard on EX and EX-L trims.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The HR-V's base price is $19,115 for a front-drive LX model with a manual transmission. Our all-wheel drive EX-L model was at the opposite side of the pricing spectrum, with a sticker price of $26,720. These prices are in line with what you'll find elsewhere in the subcompact SUV class, yet the base price is very attractive to bargain hunters looking at the HR-V as a high value proposition.

Overall

Overall
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Even though the HR-V is seen as a possible champion of the subcompact crossover segment when it comes to sales, the competition is stiff. These competitors include the Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Jeep Renegade, Nissan Juke, Kia Soul, Subaru XV Crosstrek and Mazda CX-3.

Honda certainly has a hit on its hands with the 2016 HR-V. The rising demand for crossovers and Honda's ability to manufacture solidly built products creates a grand opportunity to offer a subcompact crossover that will satisfy a lot of people – whether they live in the city or beyond it.