2017 HR-V New Car Test Drive
The Honda HR-V subcompact crossover, introduced for 2016, is one size smaller than the CR-V, and is based on the versatile and economical Fit. It looks a bit sportier than the CR-V, and more like an SUV than the swoopy and aerodynamic Fit. It's essentially unchanged for 2017.
There is one engine, a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that makes 141 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive is standard, all-wheel drive is optional.
The HR-V is comfortable to drive, and it can be fun, but it isn't what we'd call sporty. Its versatility and economy are what make it a great choice in a subcompact crossover. Competitors include the funky Fiat 500X, sporty Mazda CX 3, and the Chevy Trax that shares a platform with the upscale Buick Encore.
Most models come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), but a six-speed manual is available with front-wheel drive. The CVT gets better gas mileage, its reason for being, though it's lame from a driving standpoint; it's EPA-rated at 28/34 miles per gallon City/Highway, or 31 mpg Combined, with front-wheel drive. That essentially ties with the best in class Mazda CX-3 that gets a half-mpg better.
The HR-V was carefully designed with versatility in mind. The cabin is clean and well organized, with a nice center stack with an optional big display. The roofline is curved for more headroom. The rear passengers have plenty of hip and legroom. The HR-V steals the popular features of the Fit, like the fold-flat 60/40 rear seat, and the Magic fold-flat front seats. A flat cargo space behind the front seats, and a dropped front seatback, makes it like a minivan. With all-wheel drive and a roof rack, it'll do anything.
The models are LX and EX, combining transmissions and fwd or awd drivetrains, plus navigation or not. The entry-level LX with fwd and the six-speed manual gearbox is $19,465, while the fully loaded EX-L Navi CVT 4WD goes for $26,240. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
The base LX comes with cloth upholstery, air conditioning, tilt-and-telescoping steering column, Bluetooth, five-inch color display, four-speaker 160-watt audio system, single USB port, auxiliary audio jack, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
The EX adds sunroof, fog lights, automatic climate control, heated front seats, six-speaker 180-watt stereo system, seven-inch display screen with the HondaLink interface, Pandora, text message function, second USB port, and Honda Lane Watch.
The EX-L adds leather, navigation with voice recognition and real-time traffic, HD radio, satellite radio capability.
Safety equipment on all models includes frontal airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, ABS, Brake Assist, Electronic Brake-force Distribution and multi-angle rearview camera.