Honda Quality in an All-new Subcompact SUV
Driving Experience: On the Road
The all-wheel drive 2016 Honda HR-V offers one engine, a 1.8-liter, 16-valve DOHC in-line four-cylinder producing 141 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. There are two transmission options—a six-speed
manual (2WD only) and a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Clean Fleet Report’s HR-V had the CVT with paddle shifters and Honda’s Real Time All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) that has an EPA fuel economy rating of 27 city/32 highway/29 combined. Over 548 miles of 75-percent highway/25-percent city driving, we averaged 30.7 miles per gallon. If you opt for the 2WD and the CVT the numbers are 28/35/31, which are best in class.
The HR-V provides the usual Honda smooth performance, even though it could use a bit more pep when accelerating hard, such as a highway on-ramp. Keeping the revs high by using the paddle shifters helps squeeze maximum performance from the engine and CVT. Engaging the engine with push button start resulted in near silence at idle. The CVT and drive-by-wire throttle resulted in seamless and smooth driving.
The HR-V AWD is nimble with a refined suspension that begins with electric power-assisted rack and pinion steering, 17-inch alloy wheels shod with P215/55/17 all-season tires, MacPherson strut front and torsion beam rear suspension with stabilizer bars front and back. Braking is by 12.3-inch front power-assisted ventilated discs and solid rear discs with electronic brake distribution, brake assist and four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS).
Driving Experience: Exterior
The all-new HR-V’s tall profile and soft sculpted lines are what Honda says “blends the styling of a coupe and the space and utility of an SUV.” From the side, the deep contours and the front-to-rear upswept character lines lead to the concealed rear door handles that visually give the HR-V a very sleek look. The sloping roofline, with roof rails, leads to an even deeper sloping rear hatch glass with an integrated spoiler and LED tail lights.
Driving Experience: Interior
Clean Fleet Report’s HR-V EX package had an open airy feeling with the power moonroof and comfort coming from the leather-trimmed heated front seats and a tilt-and-telescope leather-wrapped steering wheel. The steering wheel has lighted controls for cruise control, audio settings and the Bluetooth hands-free link. Learning the steering wheel mounted audio controls will come in handy as the otherwise excellent six-speaker, 180-watt infotainment system does not have volume or channel knobs for the AM/FM/CD/MP3/HD/Pandora/XM satellite radio with USB audio interface and SMS text messaging. You can make all changes to the audio, telephone and navigation on the seven-inch electrostatic color touch screen, that also houses the navigation and rear-view camera (that has three settings: normal, wide and top down), but, oh, those knobs would be nice to have too. The Bluetooth worked flawlessly for hands-free telephone, as did the HondaLink system that connects the car with a wide array of support and information services.
The rear, leather-trimmed bench seat splits 60/40 and easily accommodates three adults with excellent head, leg, knee and shoulder room. For longer trips or commutes, two adults would be a
better arrangement to guarantee a comfortable ride, aided by the folding center armrest, heating and cooling vents, cup holders, USB jack and 12-volt power outlets. Lifting the rear hatch reveals ample storage space, especially the 55.9-cubic inches with the rear seats folded flat.
The 2016 HR-V EX AWD comes with safety features that include six airbags, cruise control and vehicle stability assist with traction control. The Honda LaneWatch system has a nice feature; when the right turn signal is activated, a camera turns-on, and the seven-inch monitor shows the right quarter panel view. In crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the 2016 HR-V received five stars (the highest rating) for overall crash protection, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the HR-V its Good rating.
For convenience the HR-V has a tire pressure monitoring system, immobilizer theft-deterrent and security systems, dual-zone automatic climate control with air filtration, front center sliding armrest, multiple cup holders, map lights, power windows and door locks with automatic up and down, electric parking brake, hill start assist, fog lights, heated power side door mirrors with turn indicators, variable front windshield wipers and a rear wiper.
Pricing and Warranties
The 2016 Honda HR-V comes in several trim levels starting at $19,215 for the four-cylinder six-speed manual LX, all the way to the HR-V EX AWD with Navigation at $25,840. All prices are do not include the $880 destination and handling charge.
The 2016 HR-V comes with these warranties:
- New Vehicle – Three-year/36,000-mile
- Powertrain – Five-year/60,000-mile
- Rust Perforation – Five-year/unlimited mileage
- Roadside Assistance – Three-year/36,000-mile
Observations: 2016 Honda HR-V EX-L AWD with Navigation
If you are looking for a new small car to haul your stuff and friends and want to ride higher than you would in a sedan, then the 2016 Honda HR-V should be on your shopping list. At under $20,000 base price and nicely equipped, including AWD for under $25,000, this not-so-small-and-not-so-big SUV should catch your attention.
With the engine and transmission coming from Japan and final assembly in Mexico, the Honda HR-V is truly an international vehicle that competes very well against other world cars such as the Fiat 500X, Nissan Juke, Mazda CX-3, Toyota RAV4 and many others in this very competitive category.
Honda is well-known for its customer loyalty and high-quality vehicles. If you have never been a Honda owner, take the opportunity to visit your local dealer and take the 2016 Honda HR-V for a lengthy test drive. You just never know if the HR-V might soon be living happily in your garage.
Whatever you buy, Happy Driving!
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Clean Fleet Report is loaned free test vehicles from automakers to evaluate, typically for a week at a time. Our road tests are based on this one-week drive of a new vehicle, which does not address issues such as long-term reliability or total cost of ownership. In addition we are often invited to manufacturer events highlighting new vehicles or technology, during which we may be offered free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our best to present our unvarnished evaluations of vehicles and news irrespective of these inducements. Our focus is on vehicles that offer the best fuel economy in their class or are among the top mpg vehicles on the market. In addition, we aim to offer reviews and news on advanced technology and the alternative fuel vehicle market. We welcome any feedback from vehicle owners and are dedicated to providing a forum for alternative viewpoints. Please let us know your views at firstname.lastname@example.org.