Honda HR-V’s Most Misleading Trim Level

The Honda HR-V compact crossover SUV is like a smaller version of the CR-V. Like the Honda CR-V, the HR-V is designed to be a practical point A to point B mover of people and stuff. And in general it does its job. Like many others in the Honda lineup, the HR-V crossover SUV comes in several trim options. There are HR-V models from an entry-level bare bones option to a knocked out Touring trim. The EX-L trim, however is a bit confusing.

This video review by Edmunds for the 2019 HR-V is still relevant for the 2020 model year, as few changes have been made to the new model of this Honda SUV

Someone looking to downsize form a larger option like the Honda Pilot or the Honda CR-V SUVs may have their eyes on the more compact HR-V. Additionally, others may be wanting to take a step up from the traditional sedans like the Honda Accord or Honda Civic. If you are hoping to make a smooth transition from the fully loaded Touring trim of one of Honda’s other familiar models, then you’ll likely want your next vehicle topped out as well. But trying to save a few bucks by stepping down the the EX-L trim might get tricky.

The 2020 Honda HR-V

The Touring trim is known for having basically everything. It puts the Honda Odyssey on the map in terms of luxury, and gives models like the Accord a more dynamic array of trim options. The compact 2020 Honda HR-V crossover SUV comes in 5 different trim levels, including the top-tier Touring trim. And with that touring badge comes a lot of cool amenities. Some that are weirdly absent from the EX-L trim which is just one level down from the top.

Honda HR-V driving in rain storm
Honda HR-V

RELATED: Is Ford Going Out of Business?

This little family SUV contender also comes with the prestige of 5 star safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Plus, it’s a Top Safety Pick, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. According to Car and Driver, you’ll be out at about $21,940 for the base LX trim and $30,010 for a Touring trim Honda HR-V compact crossover SUV. Some may look to save on luxury by springing for the upper mid EX-L trim, but tread with caution.

The EX-L trim level

With a Touring trim 2020 Honda HR-V you will get the typical full spectrum of comfort and technology. You’d think that just one level down from there you’d see more similarities. But when you view the run down of these two top trim levels, some features come to light. You see some things missing from the EX-L which kind of make you wonder why it exists at all. The mid range EX trim offers almost everything that the EX-L trim does. However, it lacks leather seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror, according to US News and World Report.

2020 Honda HR-V Touring interior
2020 Honda HR-V Touring interior | Honda

RELATED: California Mandate: We’re Coming for Your Diesel Truck

If you want all-wheel drive (which comes standard on the Touring trim), you can instantly tack on $1500 to the $26,690 price that Car and Driver posts for the EX-L trim. Plus, creature comforts which some people (understandably) deem absolutely necessary––such as navigation––are only standard with the Touring Honda HR-V subcompact family SUV. The most important of which is the lack of a power-adjustable driver’s seat.

So, what’s the point?

The point is probably to get people to sign the dotted line and drive away thinking they scored. But in reality, the Touring trim offers some make it or break it amenities which the EX-L trim lacks. If you want to feel coddled by your new Honda HR-V, the lack of power-adjustable seats, all-wheel drive, and navigation may affect your level of comfort.

A Honda HR-V on display at an auto show
A Honda HR-V on display

RELATED: The 2006 Honda Accord Claims Then and Now Reliability

Don’t let the EX-L trim mislead you into thinking you are getting a deal. The Touring trim is worth everything penny if you car about luxury. This type of amenity may not be on your radar. If not, you might want to opt for a lower trim like the Sport trim or the EX trim (which includes a standard Honda safety suite) and just add the AWD.