2017 Honda HR-V – Test Drive, Review Ratings, Specs

SAMSUNG CSCThe Go Around, Get Around Vehicle

When it comes to minimalism, the Honda HR-V does it best. It’s as if the whole idea was slapped together with parts from the Honda recycling bin. And it’s not necessarily a bad thing either. The basic sub-compact cross-over is small and quick enough for city zipping during the work week with plenty of room to spare for the weekend adventures. All that within a very affordable price tag. The whole small scale subcompact cross-over is not a new idea however, and there is certainly a growing demand for it. Take for example, the well priced Mazda CX3, and the Toyota RAV4. Both are of similar traits that aim to fill the demand for those that want basic functionality and cargo convenience.

Sharp Exterior

Overall looks of the HR-V is well proportioned that aims to depicts a thing of modern styling and sportiness. The front encompasses Honda’s signature front grille and the overall front fascia is uplifted to support the cross-over SUV styling with the rest of the body. The rear door handles integrated into the window chassis frame also shows off a hint of dare and uniqueness to its lineup as well. Strictly speaking of styling, the HR-V is on par with its handsome Mazda CX-3 competitor. Though while the CX-3 remains a more sweet and subtle design approach, the HR-V still boldly stands its own ground with a fairly flat overhang and short wheelbase, and 17″ alloy wheels that is especially pleasing from a glimpse from afar.

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Despite its somewhat miniature chassis and a short wheelbase of 102.8 inch, the HR-V is still capable of providing 100.1 cu-ft of passenger space and 58.8 cu-ft of cargo space with its rear seats folded down.

The Interior

In terms of aesthetics, visual excitement ends when you open the door. The overall interior is bland and the the quality of material is basic to the touch, but gets the job done. Honda seems to skimp out on its infotainment system that has also proven over years to be sluggish and cumbersome to use. And the absence of a simple volume knob is very disappointing – a basic feature left out to make up the price point for its higher models in its lineup. Seating wasn’t particularly comfortable either due to the lack of support even though it was 8-way power adjustable on the driver’s seat.

There are a total of three trims to chose from – LX, EX, and Ex-L Navi. Our highest EX-L Navi tester model comes equipped with upgraded leather seats with available heated front seats and a few other candy coating features including fog-lights, SMS text messaging functionality, heated side mirrors with turn indicators and chrome interior door handles.

The Drive

Under the hood of the HR-V gets a small 1.8-liter SOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with i-VTEC┬« valvetrain, producing a peak 141 horsepower at 6,500 rpm1 and 127 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm. As you might have guessed, it’s not much power to play with. But considering its feather light chassis of just shy of 3,100 lbs, the HR-V feels very capable with acceleration. Choice of transmission includes a 6-speed manual gearbox available to only the LX and EX FWD powertrain configuration, or a standard CVT with Honda’s Real Time AWD with intelligent Control System. The latter CVT transmission gets steering mounted paddle shifters, but don’t get your hopes too high with driving excitement. Gear shifts are somewhat responsive, but there just isn’t enough horsepower to feel sharp gear engagements and sharp acceleration.

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Still, the HR-V remains relatively well composed for city driving, and the CVT transmission does fairly well to subdue the notoriously obnoxious gear whining noise that better mimics a normal automatic transmission. EPA ratings for the HR-V is 28/35/31 city, highway and combined for the FWD CVT transmission while the AWD CVT powertrain scores in a bit lower at 27/32/29. The 6-speed FWD manual transmission suffers the most in fuel efficiency with a lower scores of 25/34/28. These ratings are not incredible, but is still on par with its competitors, namely the Mazda CX-3 with near equal EPA numbers.

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The Honda HR-V base model can be had for as little as $21,150 while the price of the fully equipped EX-L NAV goes all the way up to $30,450. For that price, I would rather opt for the Mazda CX-3 that proves better quality interior and an overall smoother powertrain. Still, the choice of the HR-V shouldn’t be neglected. After all, opting in for the HR-V may (hopefully) buy you less trips to the repair garage with its renowned reliability.

 

Specifications

  • Vehicle : 2017 Honda HR-V
  • Model : HR-V EX-L NAVI
  • Vehicle Type : Subcompact SUV
  • Seating Capacity : 2+3
  • Powertrain Configuration : AWD
  • Engine : 1.8L V4
  • Transmission : CVT

Pros

  • Modern and youthful styling
  • Quick acceleration and overall easy car to drive

Cons

  • Low quality grade interior
  • Lack of quality and basic tech features that falls behind competition in its class