Skip to main content

The compact SUV vehicle segment is becoming increasingly competitive. Crossovers are all the rage. Some compact SUV models quickly ascend to greatness. Others…not so much. Here’s the most disappointing new compact SUV of 2021.

The 2021 Honda HR-V’s specs are average at best

The 2021 Honda HR-V is the black sheep of the Honda automobile lineup. Honda is known for producing vehicles that have peppy powertrains and provide great value for their price. The HR-V deviates from the Japanese automaker’s formula by being underwhelming for its price.

The 2021 Honda HR-V starts at $21,220. It uses a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine to make 141 horsepower. It gets 28 miles per gallon in the city and 34 miles per gallon on the highway.

The Honda HR-V has a similar engine to other vehicles its size and its fuel economy is decent, it’s just lacking the “wow” factor that comes with most Honda models.

The 2021 Honda HR-V is far from a top safety pick

A blue 2022 Honda HR-V driving through a city.
The Honda HR-V | Honda

The Mazda CX-3 is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety top safety pick. The Honda HR-V is unfortunately on the other side of the safety spectrum. According to CNN Business, the compact SUV model is one of the least safe small SUVs on the market.

The IIHS conducted several tests to see how small SUVs would hold up in different scenarios. The Honda HR-V was one of two models to receive the organization’s “poor” rating. The other model was the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross.

The Honda HR-V’s design makes it vulnerable to severe side-impact crashes. The small SUV’s safety issues and lack of advanced standard safety features make it the most disappointing new SUV of 2021.

The Honda HR-V’s ride quality is disappointing

A white Honda HR-V is on display.
A white Honda HR-V is on display | Sjoerd van der Wal via Getty Images

The Honda HR-V’s ride quality doesn’t do the compact SUV any favors. Drivers have experienced cabin noise and even rattling windows while driving the HR-V.

The HR-V’s engine is noisy as well. The tiny Honda SUV’s overall driving experience is very different from what consumers expect from models like the Accord or CR-V.

The Honda HR-V is a disappointment because, like the Honda Fit, it just doesn’t provide the power or type of ride quality that Honda drivers have come to love over decades of excellence. The 2021 model year has made few improvements. While the cabin is spacious, it doesn’t justify the compact SUV’s price due to the lack of power and poor ride quality.

Combine the HR-V’s safety issues with its noisy, underpowered ride, and you’ve got the most disappointing compact SUV model of the year. The HR-V is no match for safer, more refined models like the Mazda CX-3. If Honda wants to compete using the HR-V, the Japanese automaker will have to address its safety issues and add more standard features that provide more value.

RELATED: Honda HR-V’s Most Misleading Trim Level


What Does the Honda HR-V Have to Offer?