2017 Honda HR-V

2017 Honda HR-V Review

Versatile and fuel-efficient, the Honda HR-V makes the most of its small size.
3.5 / 5
Edmunds overall rating
author
by Cameron Rogers
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

Searching for an affordable crossover? Honda's 2017 HR-V is a strong contender. It makes the most of its small dimensions thanks to an innovative second-row seat that offers plenty of cargo-carrying flexibility. We're not fond of the HR-V's slow acceleration, but overall it gets most things right.

The HR-V uses one of Honda's clever innovations, the so-called Magic Seat that the company also features in the related Fit hatchback. The seat has flip-up rear seat cushions that, when raised, create a tall and narrow cargo area between the front and rear seats that's great for things such as a bicycle or a flat-screen TV. With all the seats in place, there's suitable space for average-size adults, too. Besides the HR-V's flexibility, it also benefits from high fuel economy and an unobstructed outward view.

At this price point, there are bound to be a few drawbacks. The HR-V's admirable fuel efficiency is offset by pokey acceleration, and the touchscreen infotainment system isn't as intuitive or as easy to operate as rival systems. The HR-V also a bit unrefined in certain respects, which is unusual for a Honda. Though these flaws are cause for concern, we think the HR-V is a pretty good value overall and worth a look if you're in the market.



What's new for 2017

The Honda HR-V, all-new last year, is unchanged for 2017.

We recommend

The price difference between the base LX with the optional continuously variable transmission and the next-level EX is relatively small for the vast number of features that are added, so you should at least step up to that one. But even the range-topping EX-L Navi is reasonably priced for what you get: leather upholstery, navigation, satellite radio and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. This is one of the rare instances when we recommend stretching for the fully loaded model if you can.




Trim levels & features

The HR-V might be the least expensive crossover in Honda's stable, but buyers won't feel let down by the many features on tap. The base LX is admittedly light on luxuries, but there are some impressive standard features such as alloy wheels, a rearview camera and Bluetooth. The EX is considerably more value-rich. It increases the price a little but comes loaded with a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats and other goodies. The EX-L Navi is the only way to get navigation, satellite radio and leather upholstery. There are no significant factory options to add.

All versions of the 2017 Honda HR-V are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine (141 horsepower, 127 pound-feet of torque). A six-speed manual transmission is standard on LX and EX models, and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. The CVT comes standard on the EX-L Navi. You can get a HR-V with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. When you pick the latter, the CVT is part of the deal.

Standard feature highlights for the LX include 17-inch wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a configurable 60/40-split folding rear seat, a 5-inch central display screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary jack and a USB port.

The EX trim adds a sunroof, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, foglights, heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats, automatic climate control, dynamic guidelines for the rearview camera, a passenger-side blind-spot camera (Honda's LaneWatch), a 7-inch touchscreen display, a six-speaker sound system (with an additional USB port), and HondaLink smartphone apps and integration.

At the top of the line, the EX-L Navi comes with roof rails, leather upholstery, a navigation system with voice recognition, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and satellite and HD radio.



Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Honda HR-V EX-L w/Navigation (1.8L inline-4 | CVT | AWD).

Note: Since this test was conducted, the HR-V has not received any significant revisions. Our findings remain applicable to this year's model.

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5

Driving

3.0 / 5

Acceleration2.0 / 5
Braking3.0 / 5
Steering4.0 / 5
Handling4.0 / 5
Drivability3.0 / 5

Comfort

3.0 / 5

Seat comfort2.5 / 5
Ride comfort4.0 / 5
Noise & vibration2.0 / 5

Interior

3.5 / 5

Ease of use3.0 / 5
Getting in/getting out3.5 / 5
Roominess3.0 / 5
Visibility5.0 / 5
Quality3.0 / 5

Driving3.0

The 141 horsepower generated by its 1.8-liter four-cylinder is fairly meager by segment standards. On the bright side, the HR-V's handling is sporty enough to have some fun when going around turns.

Acceleration2.0

The HR-V is one of the slowest subcompact SUVs we've tested. It went from zero to 60 mph in an unhurried 9.7 seconds. After lurching off the line abruptly, the HR-V feels weak, even in regular driving. When driving up hills, the CVT is constantly adjusting engine rpm, to your annoyance.

Braking3.0

The brakes are barely adequate power-wise, but the pedal has a decent feel, making it easy to modulate when coming to a stop. In a simulated-panic stop, the HR-V stopped from 60 mph in 124 feet, a bit longer than average.

Steering4.0

The steering has a pleasant and natural feel to it. It gives you confidence as you steer the HR-V around turns. It's also an easy car to wield around in tight parking lots.

Handling4.0

This is a fun vehicle to drive thanks to the steering's quick turn-in and well-tuned suspension that enhances stability. The stability control system rarely intervenes on public roads.

Drivability3.0

Full-throttle acceleration brings vibrations through the steering wheel and gas pedal, especially above 5,000 rpm. The gas pedal's responsiveness isn't linear either, making the HR-V seem jumpy and hard to drive smoothly.

Off-road

The HR-V comes standard with front-wheel drive, but all three trim levels are available with all-wheel drive, as on our test vehicle. As is typical for this class, an all-wheel-drive HR-V is meant for improved traction during inclement driving rather than any true off-road adventuring.

Comfort3.0

The 2017 HR-V has one of the best ride qualities in its class. Seat comfort is mediocre, however, resulting in average scores overall.

Seat comfort2.5

The front seats are narrow and firmly cushioned. Lumbar support is not adjustable. Taller folks might take issue with the lack of adjustability and poor legroom. The door and center armrests have good padding, though, and the rear seats are firm but comfy.

Ride comfort4.0

No vehicle in the subcompact crossover class is cushy. But the Honda HR-V does better than most, with a completely livable ride quality. Only when you drive over big bumps does the HR-V seem a bit choppy or still-riding.

Noise & vibration2.0

At full throttle or high rpm, the engine sends a considerable amount of racket into the cabin. Even at idle at a stoplight, there's noticeable engine vibration. The tires are noisier than expected over most surfaces, but wind noise is impressively muted.

Interior3.5

The 2017 HR-V's interior is more useful than any other vehicle in the class, with a nifty rear seat that can fold or swing up and out of the way. Rear seat occupants will be pleased with the amount of room.

Ease of use3.0

All of the HR-V's central controls are easily within the driver's reach, and the steering wheel controls feel substantial and high-quality. The lack of physical infotainment and climate control buttons and knobs is a huge minus, however.

Getting in/getting out3.5

The front seat is at a near-perfect height for slipping in and out, and the roofline is high. Doors are large for this size of vehicle and open quite wide. It's more difficult to get into the rear because of the sloping roofline, small door openings and high-mounted seats.

Roominess3.0

Space for rear passengers is excellent. Average-size adults can actually fit back there, which can't be said for a lot of subcompact crossovers. But the front seats lack legroom and adjustment range for tall folks.

Visibility5.0

Most of the vertical roof pillars are slim, particularly up front, giving you a great view out. The rear pillars are thick, but the side windows are long, making for easier lane changes. A rearview camera is standard; the LaneWatch blind-spot camera is standard on EX and EX-L Navi models.

Quality3.0

Although the interior looks nice, some of the trim pieces and the functionality of a few controls aren't up to Honda's usual high standards.

Utility4.5

Cargo capacity is excellent at 24.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats or 58.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded (FWD figures; with AWD, cargo space is slightly less). It has unbeatable versatility thanks to the flat-folding rear seat and flip-up cushions. Small item storage is subpar, though.

Technology2.5

The touchscreen user interface looks nice even with its low-rent nav graphics. It's frustrating to use, though, because of the imprecise virtual buttons and a confounding menu structure. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto would help some, but alas, the HR-V is not one of the Hondas with this technology.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.