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The holidays are here, and for millions of Americans, that means it’s time to shop. Some teens will get socks for Christmas, while others will get brand new SUVs. Believe it or not, not every holiday vehicle purchase is a Christmas miracle. Don’t ruin the holidays by purchasing this small SUV for your teen driver.

The 2021 Honda HR-V isn’t a huge step above getting coal for Christmas

A blue Honda HR-V is driving down the road.
A blue Honda HR-V is driving down the road | Honda

Comparing a new SUV to a lump of coal sounds ludicrous… until you learn about the many flaws of the Honda HR-V. The CR-V’s wacky younger cousin isn’t just funny-looking. Some design flaws actually make it hazardous, and the nameplate may never blossom into a successful Honda model because of these flaws.

Is the Honda HR-V better than a lump of coal? Sure. It could also get drivers seriously injured, according to CNN Business. The popular news outlet reported on a study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety that came upon some disturbing test results.

The IIHS puts vehicles through several different tests and scenarios every year that replicate real accidents as closely as possible. Some vehicles come out of these rigorous tests practically unscathed. Others show clear warning signs.

The Honda HR-V received the lowest rating of all small SUVs tested by the IIHS in 2021, along with the Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross. If some vehicles are championed as IIHS top safety picks, does the HR-V deserve to be scorned due to its low rating?

The Honda HR-V is the least safe small SUV according to the IIHS

A silver Honda HR-V is driving down the road.
A silver Honda HR-V is driving down the road | Honda

When the 2021 Honda HR-V was put through a side-impact simulation, its B-pillar (roof support between front and back doors) was completely torn from the frame of the small SUV model. This allowed the HR-V’s side to collapse inward, which would have caused serious injury to a real driver.

The crash test dummies were impacted at the pelvis and chest throughout many HR-V crash simulations. Since side-impact crashes are responsible for many deaths, the HR-V’s flimsy B-pillar comes as disturbing news. Some SUVs may be small in size but still offer a suite of premium safety features like the Mazda CX-5. So what’s the HR-V’s excuse for being so susceptible to life-threatening side-impact accidents?

The 2021 Honda HR-V is the family dissapointment

A silver Honda HR-V is on display.
The Honda HR-V is on display | Robert Hradil via Getty Images

Some family members take a little longer than most to get it right. The HR-V came to the United States in 2015. Though it has only been five years since its American debut, few experts have good things to say about the small SUV model.

The small SUV space is competitive, and the HR-V is nowhere close to beating rivals like the Hyundai Kona or Mazda CX-5. Unless it gets a major redesign, it is unlikely to bridge the gap. The HR-V is the family disappointment because it is one of the few models in the Japanese automaker’s lineup that is underpowered. It uses a 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine to make a measly 141 horsepower.

The 2021 Honda HR-V comes from SUV royalty like the Honda CR-V, but this small SUV fails to impress. It starts at $21,420. While the price may seem appealing, don’t make the mistake of buying this controversial small SUV for your teen driver during the holidays. Between the HR-V’s lackadaisical powertrain and safety issues, there are much better alternatives available.

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What Does the Honda HR-V Have to Offer?