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The Honda HR-V has plenty of features to brag about as Honda’s tiniest SUV. It’s certainly ready to tackle city life and serves as a comfortable daily driver. However, a few things might hold the 2023 Honda HR-V back from being the best subcompact SUV. 

Is the 2023 Honda HR-V worth buying? 

Front angle view of gray 2023 Honda HR-V, the most affordable new Honda model that costs under $30,000
2023 Honda HR-V | Honda

Yes, the 2023 Honda HR-V is an affordable subcompact SUV with a smooth ride, above-average fuel economy, and innovative tech. It’s based on the Civic but has a little more capability. 

We tested the Honda HR-V EX-L, which starts at $27,900 and comes with tons of bells and whistles. It’s the top-spec option out of three trim levels. 

It adds 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, ambient lighting, leather upholstery, a 9-inch infotainment system, a wireless charging pad, wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, parking sensors, body-color mirror caps, a power adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, and an auto-dimming review mirror. 

We took the Honda HR-V all over, for hours. It went from Rock Hill, SC, to Asheville, NC, and back to Charlotte, NC. Check out what you need to know. 

1. The Honda HR-V is only a little sluggish 

The 2023 Honda HR-V has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque. According to Edmunds, it takes over 10 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. But it didn’t seem this slow to us. 

We had no issues passing others on the interstate or merging into traffic. However, this SUV won’t provide a thrilling and athletic performance. The brakes are soft, and the handling could be more responsive. 

The automatic start and stop system operates smoothly, though. It’s quick to fire up at red lights so you can get off the line. 

2. How much space does the HR-V have? 

2023 Honda HR-V cargo space
2023 Honda HR-V cargo space | Allison Barfield, MotorBiscuit

The 2023 Honda HR-V features 24.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seats and up to 55,1 cubes in total. It’s surprisingly big on the inside, with plenty of space for at least three adults to pack their gear for a trip. 

Also, the HR-V has a deep center console and two fairly sized storage trays to access. The door pockets are tight, making it hard to fit water bottles, and the glove box is useless. 

The seats are easy to fold down to create a flat loading floor. Plus, the rear hatch opens wide with a low liftover height, making heavy and awkward items easy to load. 

Adults around 5’5″ and under can fit in the back comfortably. Taller folks may want more legroom. The door openings are wide for easy access, and child seats are easy to install. 

3. Does the Honda HR-V have a good fuel economy? 

Yes, the 2023 Honda HR-V has a pretty good fuel economy. It gets an EPA-estimated 26 mpg in the city and up to 32 mpg on the highway. From steep mountain roads to downtown city areas, we averaged about 27.7 mpg. 

Our model was equipped with AWD, which should have reduced these figures a bit due to the extra weight. Perhaps it does better on gas than expected. Also, EcoMode can help you save more fuel. 

4. The HR-V could be more comfortable 

The 2023 Honda HR-V has well-padded seats, but they could be a little more supportive. They’re a bit stiff. There are no power-adjustment controls for the passenger, but the back seat has a comfortable backrest angle. 

We found the climate controls to be mostly effective and rarely needed to adjust them. But there are no vents for the rear passengers. We didn’t see an option for a heated steering wheel either. 

The interior can be loud at highway speeds. Wind and road noise easily enter the cabin, but you can tune it out with the optional eight-speaker audio system. The engine wheezes loudly uphill too. But the engine sounds funny instead of annoying. 

5. The HR-V has basic but effective tech 

2023 Honda HR-V parked outside
2023 Honda HR-V | Allison Barfield, MotorBicuit

The 2023 Honda HR-V has a standard 7.0-inch infotainment screen that can be upgraded to a 9.0-inch unit. The system has attractive graphics and works very quickly. It’s easy to understand without any confusion. 

The EX-L has a wireless phone charging pad with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is convenient. Also, the digital gauge cluster has traffic sign recognition and displays navigation directions. 

But the HR-V doesn’t have steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, a head-up display, a power liftgate, ventilated seats, or a 360-degree camera display.