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The Honda HR-V is an affordable subcompact crossover SUV in its second generation. It competes with the likes of the Kia Soul, the Hyundai Kona, and the Mazda CX-3. This Honda has lots of cargo room, great fuel economy, and agile handling.  

Because the HR-V offers such good value, it has become increasingly popular over the past five years, with last year’s sales peaking at almost 100,000. But this Honda SUV is not without its problems. Here are the top three overall problems that Honda HR-V owners complain about, according to

Loose window gaskets

A window gasket problem was the third-worst problem among all model years. The two owners of the 2017 Honda HR-V who submitted the complaints said that the window gaskets popped out and were flopping around as they were driving. Both reported that they had to have the gaskets replaced three times.

The issue occurred at an average of 3,400 miles so both owners had just purchased their new HR-Vs. It had a severity rating of “really awful”, which is the worst rating on the automotive complaint website. There were no solutions to this problem and no information about repair costs was available.

Defective paint on Honda HR-Vs

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Take on whatever comes your way in the #HondaHRV.

A post shared by Honda (@honda) on designated the 2016 Honda HR-V as both the worst model year and the model year with the most complaints. Poor-quality exterior paint was the second-worst problem overall.

Six owners reported a range of issues with the SUV’s paint job. For a few, the paint bubbled and peeled off. One owner said that the paint didn’t provide enough protection to the vehicle’s body because it scratched and dented so easily.

Another owner noticed small rust spots and small bumps under the paint. At the dealership, she was told that it was a problem with the clear coat and that Honda knew about the problem. In yet another case, a technician at the Honda dealership told an owner that the paint problem came from bird droppings.

Even though two dealerships acknowledged that the paint problem was Honda’s fault, the automaker didn’t absorb repair costs for the owners. No data was available regarding these costs.

On average the problem occurred at almost 27,000 miles. Its severity rating was “pretty bad”, which is’s second-worst rating. As with the window gasket problem, no solutions were listed for this problem.

The Honda HR-V has uncomfortable seats

Hip pain, sore backs, and headaches aren’t normally associated with driving — or at least they shouldn’t be. But these ailments and others were caused by extremely uncomfortable seats for the 12 owners of the 2016 Honda HR-V. It’s the most complained-about problem of all model years of the HR-V.

Four owners mentioned having to re-adjust the driver seat repeatedly. Despite these adjustments, they were unable to get any relief. 

Spinal pain wasn’t the only physical problem that the HR-V’s seats caused. One owner reported a pinched nerve in her arm along with back and hip pain. Other owners told of hand, jaw, and leg numbness. A few mentioned having to see their doctor or chiropractor for the discomfort.

Both the front and rear seats caused aches and pains for passengers. Two owners specifically called out the poorly designed fixed lumbar support. But the angle of the head restraints also added to the owners’ discomfort.

Several owners vowed never to buy a Honda again. One even traded his HR-V after owning it only a month. Two had the seats and head restraints replaced.

The problem occurred on average at nearly 6,000 miles. Unsurprisingly, the severity rating for this problem was “really awful”. No data was posted for repair costs related to this problem.

Although they’re pretty bad, the Honda HR-V’s top three problems pale compared to the downright awful transmission problems of the 2003 Honda Accord or the 2001 Honda Civic. But if you’re in the market for a secondhand HR-V, it’s a smart idea to know about its worst problems before you buy one.