2019 Honda HR-V: A Top Competitor in the Ever-Growing Compact Crossover Segment
In 2003, Ford introduced a compact SUV (the Escape) to the market that would meet the needs of a van, but at a much lower cost than those in the market. Following this launch, many other options came to light in order to compete; brands such as Nissan, Chevrolet, Mazda, Renault and Suzuki were the main ones in charge of unveiling a different option to evolve the compact SUV segment.
In 2016, Honda decided to enter this segment by presenting an SUV with a hatchback soul (because it is mounted on the same platform of the Fit) but with all the aesthetics of its older sister the CR-V , which has had great acceptance among users due to its great versatility. The Honda HR-V is currently assembled in Mexico, where the vehicle has been exported to the whole world since its inception, quickly positioning itself as one of the best-selling SUVs in segment.
Before continuing we must mention that the HR-V comes in five versions, with our Touring placed at the top of the range with a base MSRP of $28,890.
The most noticeable changes come on the exterior, with the inclusion of a new grill that synergizes with the headlights, which are LEDs on our Touring trim, while maintaining the halogen optical group for the others. The fog lights are now completely circular with a honeycomb grille, sharing the same configuration at the front air inlet.
Inside the changes are noticed in the center console where elements in piano black are introduced to the lever area. Chrome frames are added for the air outlets, door opening handle and speakers, in addition to brushed aluminum pedals that highlight these inserts very well with the rest of the cabin.
One issue to note is that, despite being a small SUV Honda has solved the issue of space very well, personally I can say that I am surprised at the amount of cubbies and compartments, as well as the distribution of each element to make their vehicles of the most versatile on the market.
Our Touring version includes a sunroof, leather trim, as well as a seven-inch info-entertainment screen with connectivity for smartphones.
In matters of safety, it has the minimum required such as 6 airbags, stability and traction control and ABS brakes as well as driver assistance amenities that help simplify handling, such as a starting system on slopes (which already incorporate most vehicles), electronic brake distribution system, three-angle reversing camera with dynamic lines and a lane change assistant, called by the brand as Honda LaneWatch.
It maintains its 1.8-liter four-cylinder, naturally aspirated engine capable of generating a total of 141 horsepower and 127 Lb-ft of torque, coupled to a six- ratio manual gearbox or a CVT
Although I have to admit that I am not a fan of this type of transmission (CVT), it behaves in a good way both in the city and on the road, but if you want to get ahead on the road, make a pass or join fast roads, you must force the engine a bit or use the paddle shifters to control the changes and this action is much easier to perform. While it is true that this SUV is not intended for sporty driving, it meets expectations, although if you consider yourself an enthusiast that requires more adrenaline it might be better to consider another option within the segment.
In general, a very well assembled and well planted vehicle is felt, this theme also contributes to the optimum soundproofing in the cabin, with a significant reduction in wind and outside noise.
If you are looking for a spacious, versatile, economical and attractive compact crossover we consider the 2019 Honda HR-V Touring a top option in the segment. That said, options such as the Mazda CX-30, Ford EcoSport, and Toyota CH-R, just to name a few, are other options that may be better adapted to your needs and lifestyle.
Minimal form factor, maximum interior cargo capacity
Superb fuel economy
Handling and AWD capability
CVT sound and feel
Specs: Engine: 1.8L I4 Drivetrain: AWD
Power: 141hp @ 6,500 rpm Torque: 127 lb-ft @ 4,300rpm Transmission: CVT
Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Comb.): 34/28/26 MPG Wheelbase: 102.8 in Curb Weight: 3,150 lbs (Touring trim) Base Price: $20,820 Price as Tested: $29,728 (incl. dest.)