The Honda HR-V was an all-new model when it debuted in 2015. For the 2019 model year, the HR-V receives updated exterior styling, some additional sound deadening and an assortment of new standard and available features.
All Honda HR-Vs come with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine producing 141 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. This puts the HR-V midpack against some of its competitors, like the 125-horsepower Nissan Kicks, 130-horsepower Kia Soul and 148-horsepower Mazda CX-3. Additionally, many competitors offer more powerful, optional powertrains, including the 201-horsepower Kia Soul Turbo.
Honda no longer offers the HR-V with a six-speed manual, so every 2019 model comes with a continuously variable transmission. This efficiency-minded transmission helps the HR-V achieve EPA-estimated fuel economy ratings of 28 miles per gallon in the city, 34 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined when equipped with front-wheel drive. With all-wheel drive, the base HR-V LX is rated at 27 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined; higher AWD trims lose 1 mpg in the city and combined cycles.
The HR-V isn't as fuel-efficient as competitors from Mazda and Nissan, but bests the Kia Soul.
The 2019 Honda HR-V features a reasonably spacious interior with seating for five passengers. With the second row of seats folded, the HR-V boasts a maximum of 58.8 cubic feet of cargo space. This makes it one of the most spacious vehicles in its class, easily besting the Nissan Kicks (32.3 cubic feet), Mazda CX-3 (44.5 cu. ft.), Ford EcoSport (50 cu. ft.) and Jeep Renegade (50.8 cu. ft.). Only the Kia Soul is more capacious, with 61.3 cubic feet of space on offer.
The HR-V is rather tech-competitive for the 2019 model year. With the exception of the base model, all 2019 HR-Vs get a new 7-inch touchscreen with a real volume knob and an updated user interface with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Top-spec Touring models get embedded navigation with crisper graphics and the addition of 3D landmarks. The base HR-V makes do with a 5-inch LCD color display.
The HR-V's top-three trims offer Honda Sensing, which bundles adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist and road departure mitigation. The Mazda CX-3 offers some of those features standard, while other competitors charge you extra or don't even offer them at all.
The HR-V comes in five trims with starting prices ranging from $20,520 to $28,450, not including $995 for destination. The base LX model comes standard with 5-inch color LCD infotainment with Bluetooth streaming; a 160-watt, four-speaker audio system; USB port; LED daytime running lights and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Stepping up to the $22,220 Sport model adds a 7-inch display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, two USB ports, a 180-watt audio system, paddle shifters, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and foglights. Features exclusive to the Sport model include variable-ratio steering, sport pedals, special lower-body trim and unique 18-inch wheels.
The $23,720 HR-V EX gets Honda Sensing standard, a 4.2-inch TFT driver information display, door locks that automatically secure the vehicle when the driver walks away, HD and satellite radio, heated cloth seats for the driver and passenger, a sunroof and push-button start. The $25,320 EX-L trim adds unique 17-inch wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and leather seats.
The top-level $28,540 HR-V Touring trim gets standard all-wheel drive and also adds automatic LED headlights, LED fog lights, an eight-way power driver's seat, HomeLink and a navigation system.
The 2019 Honda HR-V is available nationwide now.
The US' subcompact crossover genre is exploding, but Honda was one of the first to enter this space with the HR-V. Just as it started feeling a little old, the automaker came through and gave the 2019 Honda HR-V a number of updates that add peace of mind and, if you pick the new Sport trim, an aesthetic dash of sportiness.
The HR-V has always been at the top of my recommendation list, and these new updates only reinforce its position on that list.
In addition to a few creature-comfort upgrades across its various trims, Honda also added a new Sport model that's positioned just above the base LX. It's a Sport trim in name only, relegated to aesthetics alone -- a choice from Honda that I find harder to defend with each iteration -- but I like the final result. The gloss black lower body trim and wheels stand out against my tester's orange paint in a way that confers just the right amount of aggression for a car of its size.
The Good The 2019 Honda HR-V scores big on driving dynamics and capacity.
The Bad The powertrain is eligible for retirement, and the optional Sport badge means squat.
The Bottom Line The 2019 Honda HR-V remains one of the best in its segment, but the competition is rising fast.
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