The folks at Honda are no dummies.
Blessed with longtime bestsellers like the Civic and Accord and the CR-V sports utility, they added the smaller HR-V model in 2014, introducing a new class of crossover.
The 2019 Honda HR-V AWD Touring trim level continues to move the ball forward with several improvements – most notably – Honda Sensing and Apple CarPlay with Android Auto integration.
HR-V expands its appeal with the addition of new Sport and Touring trims, refreshed styling, new technology, and a more refined driving experience, adding to an already established reputation as a versatile and sporty five-door subcompact SUV.
My top-of-the-line Touring tester cut a sleek, sporty swath with two lines running the length of the vehicle. The rear-door handles are integrated into the window, making the HR-V look like a coupe to the untrained eye.
Other exterior highlights included a Lunar Silver Metallic coat of enamel, 17-inch machined alloy wheels, revised bumpers, headlights, grille and taillights, multi-element LED headlights, dark chrome trim and LED fog lights.
Powered by a 1.8-liter i-VTEC four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic continuously variable transmission. The combo generates 141 horsepower – which may not sound like a lot – but delivers plenty of power when asked. It seats up to five adults and delivers 31 miles per gallon down the highway as estimated by the EPA.
Real Time all-wheel drive has been improved for better performance in low-traction conditions such as snow. HR-V’s steering becomes more stable at higher speeds, as it becomes less sensitive to small movements of the steering wheel. At lower speeds, the steering wheel requires less movement to turn the front wheels, making HR-V feel exceptionally maneuverable in parking lots. The interior does not feel cramped, the cargo area is surprisingly large – although not wide enough to accommodate golf bags unless one of the split-fold rear seats is folded flat.
Creature comforts are plentiful inside, including a power moon roof, leather-trimmed seats, paddle shifters, navigation, XM and HD radio, Bluetooth, USB interface, pushbutton start, automatic climate control with air filtration, 12-volt power outlets and an electric parking brake.
My only gripe is that the two cup holders are not so great, and the center storage console is a little small. Probably nitpicking at best, as the HR-V delivers across the board, including a quiet cabin that makes conversation possible without shouting.
The HR-V EX and higher trims come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver-assistive systems. Honda Sensing includes adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation braking system, lane-keeping assist system and road-departure mitigation that incorporates lane-departure warning.
Base Price: $29,585
Price As Driven: $29,585
Base price includes destination charge. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturer. List price may vary at local dealerships.