Review and Test Drive: 2017 Honda HR-V EX-L

By Jonathan Spira on 28 April 2017
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The original Honda HR-V dates back to the “Wild and Joyfull J-WJ” concept car that Honda unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1997. Meanwhile, the second generation HR-V, based on the third-generation Honda Fit’s platform, began to be offered in the United States for the 2016 model year. Like the Fit the HR-V (which Honda’s website says stands for “Hi-rider Revolutionary Vehicle) is manufactured at the company’s plant in Celaya, Mexico.

For a car with an MSRP of under $20,000, and to my knowledge the only SUV that starts under $20,000, it is very nicely equipped.

Buyers have a choice of either a six-speed manual or a CVT transmission paired to a 141-horsepower 1.8-liter four banger. The CVT is the only option if you choose the all-wheel-drive system ($1,300 option). The second row of seats folds flat, providing more cargo space than one would expect, and when not folded, it’s actually comfortable in the rear for two adults. Standard equipment includes a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, and 17” wheels.

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Honda refers to the HR-V as both a crossover and an SUV but, like Shimmer floor wax, it can be both.

We liked the HR-V’s practical and apparently infinitely reconfigurable interior, which seemed to outperform that of some larger SUVs for cargo space. Honda located the fuel tank under the front seats in order to offer this versatility. Seats were comfortable, in this trim level sporting a decent grade of leather, and provided good lateral support even in hard cornering (which is not recommended in the HR-V on a regular basis).

The navigation and infotainment system had a somewhat confusing interface and I would much have preferred more traditional knobs or, even better, Apple CarPlay integration.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2017 Honda HR-V EX-L

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