Super Street Network

Due to the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation, our website is currently unavailable to visitors from most European countries. We apologize for this inconvenience and encourage you to visit www.motortrend.com for the latest on new cars, car reviews and news, concept cars and auto show coverage, awards and much more.MOTORTREND.COM
 |   |   |  2016 Honda HR-V Review - First Drive
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

2016 Honda HR-V Review - First Drive

Functionality, good looks and a low price tag will make the HR-V a winner

May 1, 2015
Photographer: Honda

The utility vehicle marketplace is a pretty crowded space these days, thick with offerings by automakers looking to roll everything into one magic whip. They're responding to a buying public looking for a product to fulfill all of their whims: Is it comfortable and efficient enough to roll everyday? Can I haul my stuff/friends around in it? Is it so big I need two spaces to park it? Does it have any get up and go? Is it easy on the eyes? Will it break the bank? The requisites amount to a tall order for any OEM, but they all seem to have a take or two, or three, on the subject, and therein lies the opening for the latest crossover ute from Honda, the 2016 HR-V.

305HP 2015 Honda Civic Type R Revealed

Rear three quarter Photo 2/152   |   Rear Three Quarter

Meant to run with the likes of smaller fare such as the Nissan Juke, Subaru XV Crosstrek and Mazda CX-3, the HR-V slots in under the CR-V in Honda's SUV/CUV lineup. We're told it shares some engineering and features with the Fit, but unlike the subcompact (or the ungodly ugly Juke) the HR-V is a much more handsome proposition.

EX FWD Mulberry Metallic 04 Photo 6/152   |   EX FWD Mulberry Metallic 04

Under the hood is a 1.8-liter single cam i-VTEC inline-4 - we're thinking probably the R18 - creating 141 horsepower and 127 lb.-ft. of torque at their respective peaks at the flywheel. Depending on trim, that energy is routed through either a CVT or six-speed manual transmission, and the HR-V comes in either FWD or RealTime AWD. The chassis sports a MacPherson strut front suspension and an H-shaped torsion beam setup out back, akin to what the latest Civic Type R rocks. Needless to say, a performance monster the HR-V is not.

EX L FWD Deep Ocean Peal 68 Photo 10/152   |   EX L FWD Deep Ocean Peal 68

But that's ok, because that's not what Honda was looking to make here. The name of the game with the HR-V is function, and you get plenty of it; Exhibit A is the configurable rear seat, which many of our Fit-loving fans will recognize. Users can set up the second-row seating in one of five modes (Normal, Split, Tall, Utility and Long) freeing up enough space to carry everything from bikes and surfboards to potted plants.

EX L AWD Modern Steel Metallic 07 Photo 14/152   |   EX L AWD Modern Steel Metallic 07

There's a fair amount of gadgetry included in the HR-V, too. We dug the multi-view rear camera, LaneWatch blind-spot detection system, e-parking brake and even the climate control touch panel (no more buttons! The future is here!) We were less stoked on the so-called "console pocket," which places USB and HDMI ports and a power outlet sort of under the shifter on a second level of the center console. Not only is it out of sight, and to a degree out of mind, but it's also not easy to reach into from either the driver or front passenger seat.

EX L AWD Modern Steel Metallic 63 Photo 18/152   |   EX L AWD Modern Steel Metallic 63

Honda planned a short drive for us up the Los Angeles-area coast, starting from Venice and going up to Malibu and back along State Route 1. Admittedly, the hop's biggest challenges were negotiating traffic, as well as some mildly hilly parts, both of which the HR-V took with deft and confidence. There is no real reward for driving this car hard; then again that's not what it's for. We imagine a more legitimate test might be to load up our little CUV with cargo and see how it does on steeper inclines, but let's face it, we were just happy to get out of the office for an afternoon and enjoy an at times spirited drive along the beach.

EX L FWD Deep Ocean Peal 49 Photo 22/152   |   EX L FWD Deep Ocean Peal 49

We like the HR-V. It isn't love - that's reserved for more radical rides - but it is definite admiration for the crossover, in an era where the market is saturated with similar fare. Honda's all-new 2016 HR-V compact crossover will come in eight different exterior colors and four different interior schemes, and hits showroom floors May 15, featuring a price tag starting at $19,995.

EX FWD Mulberry Metallic 06 Photo 26/152   |   EX FWD Mulberry Metallic 06
Bob Hernandez
765 Articles

BROWSE CARS BY MARKET

MORE CARS

From the moment Chris Huitron saw a brochure for the fifth-gen Prelude in 1997, he knew there was no other car crush that could compare.
Micah WrightApr 24, 2019
The stuff dreams are of
Bradley IgerApr 23, 2019
A Voltex-clad purpose-built road course warrior with aspirations on becoming one of the fastest S2000s in the world.
Sam DuApr 22, 2019
Ronnarit Imsamut didn't exactly stay with the original engine that his RX-7 rolled off the assembly line with, however, he stuck to what he knows and loves, and that's pure rotary power.
RodrezApr 19, 2019
Strapping into Honda's latest off-road toy
Sam DuApr 17, 2019
Sponsored Links

SEARCH ARTICLES BY MAKE/MODEL

Search
CLOSE X
BUYER'S GUIDE
SEE THE ALL NEW
NEWS, REVIEWS & SPECS
TO TOP