2019 Honda HR-V Almost Aces IIHS Safety Ratings

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - March 8, 2019

Honda's subcompact HR-V barely missed out on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) highest rating because of headlights that were found to be Acceptable. Still, the 2019 HR-V was found to be safer than models from the 2018 model year, as the institute named the crossover a Top Safety Pick.

In the IIHS' testing, the 2018 HR-V missed out on the designation because of its headlights, which were found to be Poor, and its driver-side small overlap rating of Acceptable. Honda fixed these two issues, making structural changes to the vehicle to the point where the subcompact earned a rating of Good – the best possible score – in the driver-side small overlap test.

Honda also added an available front crash prevention system via its Honda Sensing suite of features on EX trims and above for the 2019 model year. The IIHS found the system to be Superior, which is the best possible score. A front crash prevention system was not available on the 2018 HR-V.

While improving upon the HR-V's IIHS rating is something that Honda should be proud of, headlights continue to one of the model's weak points. And that's something that remains true for a lot of automakers. Lower trims of the HR-V come with halogen projector headlights, which the IIHS found to be Poor. Only the range-topping Touring trim comes with LED headlights as standard, and that's the one the IIHS found to be Acceptable.

When it comes to the competition, the Hyundai Kona is the only one of the HR-V's contenders that got a better rating from the institute. Hyundai's subcompact SUV earned a Top Safety Pick Plus designation, acing all of the IIHS' tests. The headlight issue plagues the Kona, too. Lower trims come with projector headlights, which were found to be Poor. Moving up to the mid-level Limited trim brings LED headlights that earned a rating of Good.

The only other option in the subcompact SUV segment to earn a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS is the 2019 Mazda CX-3. Once again, the vehicle's headlights held it back, as they were found to be Acceptable. The Kia Sportage, Jeep Compass, Toyota C-HR, Buick Encore, Chevrolet Trax, and Jeep Renegade all missed out on the Top Safety Pick designation.

With the addition of Honda Sensing, which brings a collision mitigation braking system, a road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist, as standard on the mid-level EX trim and above, the 2019 HR-V has one of the more robust list of safety features in its segment. The Kona has a lot of the same standard features on the SEL trim and above, while the range-topping CX-3 Grand Touring comes with a similar list of safety features as standard.

Learn more about the HR-V

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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