Clever rear "Magic Seat" yields superior cargo space, versatility and generous passenger room; excellent fuel economy; abundant standard features; low price
Very slow; front-seat legroom is lacking for taller drivers; frustrating touchscreen controls
For 2019, the Honda HR-V gets its first significant update since being introduced. The styling is subtly tweaked (note the thinner headlight units and Civic-like strip of trim above the grille that now features a glossy black honeycomb-like insert. There are also new Sport and Touring trim levels, while the top three trims now come standard with Honda Sensing accident avoidance tech. They were previously unavailable. A volume knob has also been added to the touchscreen interface, and a power driver seat is available for the first time. Mechanically, the manual transmission has been discontinued, leaving behind the continuously variable automatic that Honda says has been retuned for greater refinement and improved drivability.
Our choice would be the front-drive HR-V EX. For about $3,500 more than the base model, you get an absolute abundance of comfort, convenience, safety and infotainment features. Then again, even the loaded Touring trim is priced well under $30,000, whereas many competitors easily cross that threshold.
For 2019, the Honda HR-V is available in five trim levels: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L and Touring.
The HR-V LX ($20,250) features 17-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, a height-adjustable driver seat, Honda's 60/40-split rear "Magic Seat," Bluetooth and a 4-speaker sound system with a CD player, a USB port and a media player interface.
The new HR-V Sport ($22,220) gets quicker steering, black-accented 18-inch wheels, extra gloss-black exterior trim pieces, roof rails, foglights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. It also gains a 6-speaker sound system, a second USB port and a 7-inch touchscreen interface that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and HondaLink smartphone apps.
The HR-V EX ($23,720) builds on the base LX trim with its own 17-inch wheels, forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, Honda's LaneWatch blind spot camera, adaptive cruise control, a sunroof, heated mirrors, automatic headlights, foglights, roof rails, rear privacy glass, proximity entry with push-button start, automatic climate control and heated front seats. It also includes the Sport's extra audio and infotainment features along with satellite and HD radios.
The HR-V EX-L ($25,320) adds leather upholstery, the leather-wrapped steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
And finally, the new range-topping trim is the Touring ($28,540) that comes standard with all-wheel drive and adds extra body-colored trim, gray-accented wheels, LED headlights and foglights, an 8-way power driver seat and integrated navigation.
As is typical with Honda, there are only a few dealer-installed options for each trim.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
2019 Hyundai Kona -- This new kid on the block can't match the HR-V's interior space, but it aces it in most other regards. It's stylish, fun to drive and powerful while boasting excellent fuel economy and value.
2019 Subaru Crosstrek -- The Crosstrek is really just a compact hatchback with lots of ground clearance, but that's not a bad thing. Its range of virtues is comparable to the HR-V, including its generous cargo capacity.
2019 Kia Niro -- This subcompact SUV is similarly priced and equipped as the HR-V, but it's actually a hybrid that gets better fuel economy than anything in the segment. It's comfortable, reasonably spacious and has easy-to-use controls.
Used Honda CR-V -- A latest CR-V might not necessarily be out of your price range, but a used one will provide good value, far more space and improved performance at a lower price than a new HR-V. It will likely be the previous-generation model, but that shouldn't be a deterrent.