The Honda HR-V is Honda’s offering in the subcompact crossover market. The current generation of the Honda HR-V is based on the Honda Fit. It first debuted in North America as a concept car in 2014 and first hit the showroom as a 2017 model. This model is smaller than the more well-known Honda CR-V.
When it comes to the HR-V, if features like power equipment and in-car electronics are important to you, Consumer Reports’ analysis indicates you might want to head a different direction than the Honda HR-V. If, on the other hand, you are most concerned about the vehicle’s drive system, the Honda HR-V has solid reliability results.
Poor marks: power equipment
The lowest marks from Consumer Reports relate to the reliability of the car’s power equipment, including cruise control, keyless entry, warning lights, wipers, lights, remote engine start, and alarm and security system. The research by Consumer Reports notes a significant downgrade in the reliability of these features in recent HR-V models.
If you opt for the standard trim, the reliability of most of these offerings won’t be an issue for you because these features don’t come standard. An upgrade to the EX model will be required to get the majority of these features, including heated mirrors and heated front seats. Based on the Consumer Reports reliability score, they may not be worth the upgrade.
Room for improvement: in-car entertainment
The standard in-car entertainment features of the Honda HR-V are relatively slim, including only a five-inch media player interface, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker sound system. An upgrade is required to get the benefit of the Display Audio system, which includes a seven-inch touchscreen and functionality for apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Additional upgrades are required to improve your speaker system.
Unfortunately, HR-V owners have indicated a dip in the reliability of these features.
Steady performance: drive system
Unlike the Honda HR-V’s power equipment and in-car entertainment, the drive system has offered steady performance over time, receiving consistently high marks from consumers.
The HR-V comes with a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine, offering up 141 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. The model no longer includes a six-speed manual transmission but instead comes standard with a continuously variable transmission.
The only engine upgrade option is from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive. While the performance is reliable, the owner satisfaction with respect to driving experience and comfort is only moderate. It reportedly lacks some get up and go and can be rough on uneven surfaces.
Added bonus: fuel economy and safety
The Honda HR-V has received consistently positive feedback on its fuel economy. Car and Driver reports that the HR-V delivers excellent fuel economy. The 2019 model boasts 34 mpg on the highway and 28 mpg for city driving. These stats make it one of the best subcompact crossovers for fuel-efficiency.
In addition to fuel economy, it has received consistently high safety ratings. Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have ranked it well. The NHTSA gave the HR-V a five out of five overall crash test rating, and the IIHS named the 2019 model a Top Safety Pick.
All models come with a rear view camera, stability assistance, and brake assistance. An upgrade to the EX model will include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane assist technology, and a blind spot camera.
The Honda HR-V may not be the crossover for you if you want a car that ranks highly in reliability for in-car technology and power equipment. If you are more concerned about engine reliability, safety, and fuel economy, the Honda HR-V might be a good fit.
Just be sure you don’t confuse reliability with performance. That mistake might leave you disappointed with the ride and comfort of the HR-V.