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The Honda HR-V is one of Honda’s smallest SUVs, and while there is a lot to like about the Honda HR-V in general, its safety isn’t always its best quality. In fact, only two of the most recent seven HR-V models win safety awards from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Here’s why the 2019 and 2020 Honda HR-V are the best used models you can look at, and why you might want to skip some of the other model years.

A gray 2022 Honda HR-V against a white background.
2022 Honda HR-V | Honda

The 2019 Honda HR-V is one of the safest used HR-V models

The 2019 Honda HR-V is an IIHS Top Safety Pick winner. The non-profit organization’s second-highest award is given to vehicles with good crashworthiness scores. They also must have advanced or superior ratings for available front crash prevention, and acceptable or good headlights available. Of course, you’ll want to make sure that the specific model you choose meets all of the criteria to be an award winner.

Unfortunately, the 2019 Honda HR-V doesn’t win an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. To win the coveted Top Safety Pick+ award, a vehicle must have good crash test ratings in all major categories. It also has to have superior or advanced safety systems and acceptable or good headlights standard on all models. The 2019 HR-V has acceptable, marginal, and poor headlights available. It’s also worth noting that it has a poor updated side crash test, which isn’t yet part of the Top Safety Pick awards.

The 2020 Honda HR-V wins a Top Safety Pick award

The other used Honda HR-V to win a top safety award is the 2020 Honda HR-V. It’s a Top Safety Pick winner. It also has acceptable, marginal, and poor headlights available on all of its trim levels. And, like the 2019 Honda HR-V, the 2020 model has a poor updated side crash test. The new test is harder to pass than the old test. Whereas vehicles used to be struck by a 3,300 pound barrier at 31 mph, they now are struck by a 4,200 pound barrier at 37 mph. This simulates what happens in crashes with today’s vehicles, which tend to be larger and heavier than before.

To further make the new updated side crash test more like an actual car accident, the IIHS has changed the honeycomb barrier. The IIHS says, “Like real SUVs and pickups, the new barrier tends to bend around the B-pillar between the driver and rear passenger doors. This creates depressions in the front and rear doors of the struck vehicle. The occupant space can be compromised this way even if the vehicle has a strong B-pillar.”

The 2022 Honda HR-V doesn’t win a safety award

Unfortunately, the brand new 2022 Honda HR-V doesn’t win any safety awards. Neither does any other model as far back as 2016. The 2022 HR-V has a poor updated side crash test, like the 2019 and 2020 HR-V models. It also has marginal and poor headlights available, precluding it from either safety award.


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