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.
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.
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.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
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.
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