Once a leader, now a follower. The Honda HR-V burst onto the scene in 2016 as a leader in a growing class of tiny crossovers. It boasted tons of interior space, good tech, and a sharp look. Then the class exploded with options, leaving the HR-V behind.

Now, six years later, the HR-V feels dated next to significantly cheaper competition. Find out below if the 2022 Honda HR-V still has anything to offer buyers.

Spacy interior but dated standard tech. The 2022 Honda HR-V has a surprisingly spacey interior, offering an adult-friendly 39.3 inches of rear legroom and 24.3 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats upright.

Where the HR-V really shines is its cargo-hauling capabilities. The rear seat cushions fold forward, revealing a flat loading area for things like televisions or artwork. If you plan to haul anything large, you can fold the rear seatbacks and unlock 58.8 cubes of cargo space, rivaling larger crossovers.

That’s where our love for the HR-V ends, as it’s otherwise a simple design with limited standard features. The latter includes a lackluster five-inch non-touchscreen infotainment system that lacks Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. Smartphone integration doesn’t click in until the second-tier Sport trim.

This is unacceptable in a 2022 model vehicle, as virtually every competitor has at least a 6.5-inch touchscreen and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard. Some even come standard with wireless smartphone integration.

Nice ride but lacking power. The 2022 Honda HR-V offers an impressive highway ride for such a small car, making it great for long-distance road trips. We can’t say the same for some of its competitors, especially the Chevy Trax.

Handling is also well-sorted and precise, especially with the optional 17-inch wheels.

However, the HR-V lacks power. Sure, this is a subcompact crossover, so power isn’t its focus. However, its 141-horsepower 1.5-liter engine feels gutless and wheezy, and its continuously variable transmission adds to the unimpressive feel.

Buyers seeking more power can find this in the 227-hp Mazda CX-30 Turbo or the 175-hp Hyundai Kona Ultimate or Limited.

Honda lost its focus on safety.Honda focuses on safety, like many other automakers. However, the 2022 HR-V surprisingly lacks standard automatic emergency braking.

You can point to nearly any HR-V competitor – the dated Chevy Trax excluded – and get standard automatic emergency braking and other high-tech safety gear. You’ve got to bump up to the EX and EX-L trims to get these important safety bits.

Plus, the HR-V isn’t even an overly impressive value at $22,645 (destination fees included). The CX-30 is just about $600 more, the Hyundai Kona is about $300 cheaper, and the Nissan Kicks is nearly $2,000 cheaper.

To make matters worse, the Kicks comes standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warnings, blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alerts, and automatic high beams.

Final thoughts. The Honda HR-V was once a leader in the subcompact crossover space, and it still is in terms of roominess. However, with models like the CX-30, Kona, and Kicks delivering more bang for the buck, the HR-V has lost a lot of its luster.

It’s still the best subcompact for people who do a lot of hauling, but your typical subcompact crossover buyer will be better off with the better-equipped CX-30, Kona, or Kicks.

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