According to Consumer Reports, the 2020 Honda HR-V is “a subcompact SUV that’s about practical and affordable transportation.” At the same time, they claim that it is “not an ideal companion for a long drive.” Is saving money worth it if you have to sacrifice comfort and convenience in the process?
Interior styling and features
The 2020 HR-V maintains the same interior as in the previous model year. Some critics have noted that the crossover maintains a rather generic appearance while also lacking the sporty appeal that many drivers are looking for in an SUV.
This vehicle is available in six trim models. The standard model is the LX, which contains only basic features. For example, it lacks the 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system found in the Sport and higher models. Accordingly, many drivers could easily become bored by the HR-V’s lack of features. In addition, the all-black interior is very bland, and many feel it lacks any visual appeal whatsoever.
The poor design can stifle comfort as the center console is situated just high enough to make accessing it difficult. And the small passenger-side air vents also makes it hard to control the temperature. Taller passengers can experience a lack of headroom because of the body’s sloping roofline.
It seems the HR-V is not well suited for longer road trips. The front seats are designed in such a way that sitting in them for any length of time is uncomfortable. Not only do they feel stiff, but the longer seat base could make it difficult for short drivers to access the pedals.
The driver experience in the Honda HR-V
As if a poorly designed interior was not bad enough, Car and Driver reports that the driving experience leaves a lot to be desired as well. In independent testing, they reported “buzzy engine sounds” along with a “choppy ride on rough roads.”
Car and Driver also noted that the vehicle’s four-cylinder engine was slow, leaving it less “flashy and fun” to drive as its competitors. When equipped with front-wheel drive, it took 8.6 seconds for the HR-V to go from 0 to 60 mph. The all-wheel-drive version is even more sluggish, requiring 9.5 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph.
Smooth braking is not something this vehicle is known for either. Even a light tap of the brakes can often send drivers and passengers lurching forward. While especially bothersome on longer trips, the vibrating gas pedal can nonetheless cause numbness in the feet after only a short trip across town.
Those attracted to the 2020 Honda HR-V are probably not looking for a lot of bells and whistles. Are owners who were initially drawn to the SUV for more practical reasons satisfied with their decision? Not necessarily. Some reviews indicate that buyers were disappointed with the vehicle’s rough driving experience and lack of personality. Others claim that they were disappointed that the HR-V did not seem to measure up to the high standards they had come to expect from Honda.
Those who are not necessarily Honda enthusiasts seem to be disappointed by the HR-V as well. Some reported that the engine’s knocking and vibration had left them with such a poor impression that they were unlikely to purchase another Honda vehicle again in the future.
Although it is one of the most affordable crossovers in its class, the HR-V’s features and driving experience leave a lot to be desired. As such, those looking for a subcompact SUV may want to avoid the 2020 Honda HR-V and go with a Mazda CX-3 or Kia Soul instead.