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Some of the most popular SUVs in America aren’t American-made models. In fact, many of the most popular SUVs in the country are from Japanese brands like Toyota and Honda. America often gets different versions of nameplates that are popular overseas to suit the market. Sometimes, other countries get versions of a vehicle that American drivers and automotive enthusiasts would love to see in the United States. Japan and Europe have an iteration of the Honda HR-V that you can’t have in America.

Do Japan and Europe get the best version of the Honda HR-V?

A white 2023 Honda HR-V subcompact SUV is parked outdoors.
The 2023 Honda HR-V | Honda

Japan seems to get the most desirable version of most Japanese vehicles in the eyes of automotive enthusiasts. These exotic vehicles have created a huge fandom. Millions of gearheads are jealous of the options that drivers have overseas in countries like Japan and regions like Europe.

The United States gets the Honda HR-V, a subcompact SUV model that exists between the Honda Civic small car and Honda CR-V small SUV model. In its best form, it’s a roomier Civic that shares many characteristics with the popular nameplate. It took some years for the HR-V to really shine in America, but its 2023 redesign is bringing attention to the subcompact SUV.

Japan and Europe get the Honda ZR-V. The HR-V and ZR-V have similar dimensions. The greatest difference between the two models is their powertrain options. According to Motor1, Europe’s ZR-V has a standard 2.0-liter hybrid powertrain system that makes 181 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. Japan has this ZR-V powertrain option as well.

America’s Honda HR-V has a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque. The HR-V gets 26 miles per gallon in the city and 32 miles per gallon on the highway.

What’s next for the Honda HR-V?

A blue 2023 Honda HR-V subcompact SUV is driving in the snow.
The 2023 Honda HR-V | Honda

Honda began producing the HR-V for North America in 2015. The subcompact SUV never dominated its segment. Its exterior design and lackluster performance specs forced Honda to take a back seat to other automakers in the HR-V’s vehicle segment. After several years, the HR-V is finally competitive for 2023.

The Honda ZR-V shows that there’s plenty that the brand can still do with the American equivalent. Honda’s small SUV, the CR-V, already has an exciting hybrid powertrain option. If the HR-V gets a hybrid powertrain option in the future, it could capture the attention of more consumers. Electrified options often get more power output and better fuel economy.

Should you get a 2023 Honda HR-V?

The 2023 Honda HR-V starts at $23,800. Car and Driver praises the subcompact SUV’s comfy seats and driving verve. Edmunds compliments its interior and exterior styling following its redesign.

Ultimately, the Honda HR-V has never been this competitive in the United States. Its value proposition is better than ever. The 2023 HR-V is a significant improvement from previous model years, but the Hyundai Kona and Mazda CX-30 still dominate the segment. Honda’s subcompact SUV is finally on the board, but it has a long way to go to compete with the big dogs.


2023 Honda HR-V Has 1 Giant Advantage Over Toyota C-HR