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  • James Flammang
    Contributing Editor - October 24, 2016

    2017 Honda HR-V OVERVIEW

    Not long ago, compact crossovers surpassed midsize sedans as the best-selling class of vehicle. With that market firmly established, automakers have been betting on even smaller models to become the next big thing. Honda entered that arena last year with the HR-V, a subcompact that retains the basic crossover qualities that enticed buyers years ago, but on a smaller scale. Honda promotes the HR-V’s affordability and coupe-like styling, though the latter claim seems like a stretch.

    What's New for 2017

    All-new for 2016, the HR-V is a carryover except for one new color choice: Lunar Silver metallic has replaced Alabaster Silver.

    Choosing Your Honda HR-V

    Based on the subcompact Honda Fit, the HR-V is likely to remind you of a seven-tenths scale model of the brand's larger, highly popular CR-V. Like its big brother, the HR-V holds a surprising amount of cargo for its size: up to 58.8 cubic feet with back seats folded down, and 24.3 with the seats up. That amount of space puts it ahead of most of today’s extra-small crossovers, and even beats some compact models.

    The rear seat easily accommodates two adults. Three-across seating is only practical for youngsters. The seat folds down as expected, but can also fold up and flip backward, leaving a deep storage well in its place. Honda calls this feature its Magic Seat.

    Every HR-V is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 141 horsepower, which is roughly typical for this type of vehicle. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available for $800. The CVT is required with the optional all-wheel drive system, which we consider a bargain at $1,300.

    According to the EPA, you can expect an estimated 28 mpg in combined driving with the six-speed manual (25-mpg city/33-mpg highway). Gas mileage is thriftier with the CVT, having qualified as class-leading, at 28/34 mpg city/highway (31 mpg combined). All-wheel drive models, being heavier, promise a still-impressive 27/31 mpg city/highway, or 29 mpg combined.

    Comfort and convenience features are determined by trim level:


    For $20,200 (destination charge included) with manual shift, the entry-level model gets all the basics, such as power windows and locks, power mirrors, air conditioning, and a four-speaker sound system. LED brake lights, remote entry, and daytime running lights also are standard. For a base model, the LX comes with a few surprising touches, including a rearview camera, 17-inch alloy wheels, and Bluetooth phone and audio. The electric parking brake includes automatic hold.


    For an additional $2,050, the EX tacks on heated front seats, a moonroof, automatic climate control, heated mirrors, foglamps, pushbutton start, six-speaker sound, and rear privacy glass. The rearview camera includes dynamic guidelines. Standard Honda LaneWatch gives a view of the area to the rear of the right-hand mirror, when the turn signal is activated.

    EX-L Navi

    In addition to a navigation system with voice recognition, the top model comes standard with the CVT, plus leather-trimmed upholstery, roof rails, an auto-dimming inside mirror, HD radio, and satellite radio. Sticker price is $25,675.

    Except for the usual dealer-installed accessories, no individual options are offered for the HR-V.

    CarsDirect Tip

    Even the base LX model is tempting, in terms of features. Still, the $2,050 price difference between the LX and EX is small enough for us to recommend using the EX as your starting point. Its upgrades hit several significant marks, making the step-up HR-V feel like a complete crossover that you can live with for years to come.

    Get your price on a Honda HR-V »

    Read our review on the Honda HR-V »

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