The HR-V is built on the same platform as the Honda Fit subcompact but is closer to the CR-V in its ride height, wheelbase and length. Because Honda likes to affix a meaning behind its acronym nomenclature — and in case you want to trot this out at your next cocktail party — HR-V stands for Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle.
The HR-V comes in three trim levels: LX, EX and EX-L Navi. Two more trim models are coming for 2019, and the option of manual transmission goes away; stick-shift is available in the 2018 HR-V on front-wheel-drive versions only of the LX and EX.
Should you buy one? Read on. Autoblog's buyer's guide aim to help you make an educated decision about buying popular models like the 2018 Honda HR-V. We'll include safety and reliability ratings, engine specs and horsepower, fuel economy ratings and pricing. We'll also summarize what Autoblog's professional reviewers think of the HR-V.
Is the 2018 Honda HR-V safe?
In its crash-test ratings, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gives the 2018 HR-V an overall rating of five stars, the highest possible. The HR-V gets four stars for protecting passengers in frontal crashes, five stars in side crashes and four of five stars for rollover crashes.
Over at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which puts cars through its own bevy of smash-'em-up tests, the 2018 HR-V earns only an "acceptable" rating on its small-overlap driver-side test (it wasn't rated for passenger-side protection, one of IIHS' newer tests). IIHS gives the compact crossover "good" ratings on most of the other crash tests — moderate front overlap, roof strength, etc. Headlights, a new area of scrutiny, earn a "poor" rating, while the child-seat LATCH anchor ease of use are rated "marginal."
Visit the NHTSA and IIHS websites to review ratings on the specific vehicle you're researching, since ratings may differ for CR-V models from other years.
How reliable is the Honda HR-V?
J.D. Power gives the 2018 Honda HR-V two out of five stars for both overall quality and overall performance and design. Its survey of Initial Quality Study data gives high marks to the crossover's powertrain and its features and accessories such as its navigation and HVAC system, but lower marks for things like the design of interior and body elements and ease of operating certain controls.
That said, Autoblog has raised concerns about the way J.D. Power weighs serious and less-serious reliability issues. You can read more about that here.
NHTSA reports no recalls of the 2018 HR-V.
How much interior and cargo room is inside the Honda HR-V?
Front-seat headroom in the HR-V tops out at 39.5 inches in the LX model and drops to 37.6 inches in the EX and EX-L-Navi. It's the same in the back seats across all trim levels, at 38.3 inches. Leg room is the same across all models: 41.2 inches up front and 39.3 in the rear. Cargo volume is the same across all trim levels: 24.3 cubic feet with the rear seat up, and 58.8 cubic feet with it folded flat.
By comparison, cargo volume is much smaller in the Jeep Renegade, another popular compact crossover. It offers 18.5 cubic feet with the rear seats up, and 50.8 folded down.
What are the Honda HR-V's engine specs and horsepower?
Honda offers a 1.8-liter inline-four-cylinder as the lone option powering the HR-V. It makes 141 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque.
What is fuel economy like in the 2018 Honda HR-V?
Fuel economy tops out in front-wheel-drive models equipped with Honda's continuously variable transmission. Those versions get 28 miles per gallon in the city, 34 on the highway and 31 combined.
Going with an all-wheel-drive version knocks those figures down a bit, to 27 mpg city, 31 highway and 29 combined.
Want your HR-V equipped with a manual transmission? That version delivers 25 mpg in the city, 33 on the highway and 28 combined.
How much does the Honda HR-V cost?
The 2018 Honda HR-V starts at $20,665 for the LX trim, while the Touring model climbs from $26,135. Both prices include Honda's $995 destination charge.
Use Autoblog's Smart Car Buying program powered by TrueCar to search out competitive local pricing and savings on the 2018 Honda HR-V.
What does Autoblog think of the Honda HR-V?
In his "First Drive" review of the 2016 HR-V, part of the same generation as the 2018 version, Autoblog reviewer Steven J. Ewing praised the HR-V's "cute" styling, its easy-to-use infotainment system, cargo space and flexibility, and solid drive.
"As the compact crossover class continues its big surge, the HR-V is a strong contender. It's fun to drive, affordably priced, and continues the Japanese automaker's long trend of offering excellent packaging and functionality."
We should also note a slightly different take from Autoblog editors who had the 2016 HR-V as part of its long-term fleet for testing and everyday driving. They referred to the vehicle as "Hervie," after the type of anonymous, unremarkable coworker guy everyone has worked with at one point in their career. "He lived a quiet life in our long-term fleet for the last year and recently left the firm," editor-in-chief Greg Migliore writes. "He was hard-working, put in his time, and, uh, what did he do again?"