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Shopping for a subcompact SUV provides tighter competition than nearly any other segment. To be clear, several automakers offer great subcompact SUVs, but for this comparison, we’ll focus on entrants from two of the original top-rated brands in the class. So which affordable SUV is better, the Honda HR-V or Toyota C-HR?

2022 Honda HR-V

According to U.S. News, the 2022 Honda HR-V remains unchanged from the 2021 model except for a price increase of $850 from $21,020 to $21,870. Additionally, the Honda HR-V features average predicted reliability, a three-year or 36,000-mile limited warranty, and a five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. 

The Honda HR-V features a stiffer suspension than the Toyota C-HR, but optional all-wheel drive provides extra grip for cornering and on slick roads. Although it may take some time to get up to speed, it handles tight turns and corners confidently. However, the HR-V suffers from a somewhat underpowered engine compared to the C-HR, but that same powertrain delivers better fuel economy at 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. 

Inside the Honda HR-V, you’ll find a relatively spacious cabin with a modern style, soft plastic trim, and cloth upholstery. The 2022 HR-V interior styling takes more chances than the typical Honda, but it works well in the small space inside the subcompact SUV. Additionally, the seats inside the cabin are comfortable and functional.

The subcompact HR-V has 24.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 58.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. However, all-wheel drive models have a little less space overall. Nevertheless, this far exceeds the Toyota C-HR cargo space values. 

2022 Toyota C-HR

A white 2022 Toyota C-HR subcompact SUV model framed by a blue-painted brick wall
2022 Toyota C-HR | Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

While both SUVs presented here have decent reliability, the 2022 Toyota C-HR’s above-average reliability rating beats the Honda’s average rating. In addition, the C-HR has a warranty identical to the Honda’s three-year or 36,000-mile limited warranty and a five-year or 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Finally, the C-HR has a 144-hp four-cylinder engine compared to Honda’s 141-hp offering, which doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but it’s enough to give the Toyota the edge. 

Inside the 2022 C-HR, you’ll find comfortable seating and superior technology, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen. Even upper trim level HR-V models lack some of these features. 

The biggest win in the Toyota column is its safety rating. The C-HR comes with standard safety equipment, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control with road sign assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. These safety features led to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarding the C-HR with its Top Safety Pick award for 2020, a designation that the HR-V did not achieve. 

Which affordable subcompact SUV is better?

According to U.S. News, the overall winner of this duel is the 2022 Honda HR-V based on its lower price, superior ride and handling, excellent fuel economy, premium interior quality, and massive cargo space. However, the 2022 Toyota C-HR excels in other critical areas at a higher price. The C-HR features above-average reliability, better acceleration, superior interior technology, and a higher safety rating from the IIHS.