Usually, the cars that arrive on stage at the New York Auto Show are flashy, new and buffed to a high sheen -- about as perfect as can be. Honda's throwing that idea on its head by rolling out a busted-to-hell crossover... but, in this case, it's a decision worth praising.
Honda on Thursday announced that it has something special in store for the 2019 New York Auto Show next week. It will show off a 2019 Honda HR-V that has been put through the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's crash-test wringer. It hasn't been restored, so it will be on stage in all its smashed-up glory, something consumers (and journalists) rarely see.
Honda says it's to "highlight its commitment to safety rating leadership at all price points," but part of me believes it's because nobody ever gets to see post-crash-test cars and we're all pretty darn intrigued to see one up close. I know I am.
In early March, the IIHS announced that the. Previous iterations didn't make muster for the awards, but thanks to a raft of changes under the skin, the HR-V scored well enough to earn TSP. The only thing holding the car back from the top award, Top Safety Pick Plus, is the headlights -- they only earned an Acceptable rating, and even then, that rating requires the LED headlights on the more expensive Touring trim. The base halogen lights were rated Poor.
The HR-V is one of seven Honda vehicles to achieve TSP or TSP Plus, with the rest of the group comprising the Accord, CR-V, Insight, Ridgeline, Odyssey and Pilot. The HR-V was updated for 2019 with new trims, a new look, standard safety systems and clearly a few under-the-body tweaks for better crash ratings. I had one for a whole week earlier this year, and I walked away impressed by its driving dynamics and capacity.