The 2018 Honda HR-V is a master of versatility and a strong contender in the subcompact SUV segment. Despite its small size, it'll accommodate adults just fine up front or in back, and there's plenty of flexible cargo space options.
Just like the Honda Fit, the HR-V employs one of Honda's clever innovations called the Magic Seat. You can lift and flip up the rear-seat bottoms to create a cargo area from the floor to ceiling, which is perfect for transporting taller items like a flat-screen TV or a bicycle. With all the seats in place, the space is surprisingly suitable for average-size adults, too.
Another advantage to the HR-V's diminutive engine is its fuel efficiency. It can be paired with a six-speed manual transmission, but the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is more efficient overall, and it's required if you want all-wheel drive.
On the downside, the HR-V's efficient engine delivers lackluster acceleration, and the touchscreen infotainment system demands more of your attention to use compared to some competitors. The HR-V also feels somewhat unrefined because of the amount of cabin noise present, which is a little unusual for Honda. Shortcomings aside, though, the HR-V is still one of the better picks for a subcompact vehicle, and it offers decent value overall.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Honda HR-V as one of Edmunds' Best Small SUVs for this year.
trim levels & features
The 2018 HR-V is the least expensive crossover in Honda's stable, but thanks to the number of features offered, it doesn't have to feel like an econobox special. There are three trim levels available: LX, EX and EX-L Navi. All three models are powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine (141 horsepower, 127 pound-feet of torque) and either paired with a six-speed manual (with front-wheel drive only) or a CVT automatic (front- or all-wheel drive).
Standard feature highlights for the LX include 17-inch wheels, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split folding rear seat with Honda's Magic Seat feature, a 5-inch central display screen, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player 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.
Lastly, the range-topping 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 automatic | 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.
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.