Positives: Upscale cabin It’s basically a big Civic; Highest levels of safety. Honda reliability and resale
cons: Slow, even by segment standards, without rewarding fuel economy; There are no Sport or Exterior trim levels
The 2024 Honda HR-V is clearly the best-selling SUV in the U.S. for first-time car buyers as well as those in Generation Z (one might assume there’s a tremendous amount of overlap there). Credit these buyers, because they are definitely making a sensible purchase. The HR-V has a large, well-made cabin, plenty of space, top safety scores, and carries Honda’s well-earned reputation for reliability and resale. As a simple, reliable means of transportation for those who want to sit a little higher and enjoy some versatility, the HR-V gets the job done.
It feels like there’s a ‘but’ coming here, doesn’t it? there! While the HR-V is certainly reasonable, it’s also quite boring. Other small SUVs offer distinctive style and meet specific needs with sporty or off-road flavor variants. In short, they have more personality. Then, with rare exception, they became more attractive to drive and had more powerful engines. The HR-V is one of the slowest cars out there, and that’s exactly what it feels like. Worse still, it doesn’t compromise on above-average fuel economy. Even its utility is mediocre – the cargo space isn’t as spacious as the cargo volume suggests and there are no roof rails available to expand its versatility.
Basically, the HR-V might be a reasonable choice, but otherwise it’s okay. We’ll soon be recommending other products in this segment, some of which cost less money while offering more. This includes the Chevrolet Trax, Buick Invista, Kia Seltos, Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Niro hybrid, Hyundai Kona, Volkswagen Taos, Mazda CX-30, and the ultra-budget Nissan Kicks. Yes, it’s a long list, but that’s indicative of where the HR-V sits in the hierarchy.
Interior and technology | Passenger and cargo space Performance and fuel economy
What does leadership look like? Pricing and Trim Levels | Fault ratings and safety features
What’s new for 2024?
The HR-V continues unchanged for 2024.
What does the HR-V’s interior and in-car technology look like?
Aside from the high-floating, soft-touch-lined center console that makes its way from the last HR-V (albeit updated), the rest of the cabin’s handsome design and above-average materials are very much in keeping with the Honda Civic. This is a great thing. The most obvious Civic sign is the wheel-to-door vent that’s painted in a metallic-looking honeycomb pattern. There may come a day when Honda overuses this design element, but for now, it’s exceptional. You can read our in-depth review of the HR-V EX-L trim level here.
The touchscreen (7 inches in LX and Sport, 9 inches in EX-L), is shared with the Civic, and is vastly better than the slow, crooked, and outdated touchscreen in the previous HR-V. Now, are these screens better than those found in the HR-V’s competitors? No, not really, especially when compared to the Kia Seltos, Chevy Trax and Buick Invista twins. It’s also not visibly worse. There are also three USB-A ports in the center console, and the range-topping EX-L trim level gets wireless charging to go along with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. Wired versions come standard.
How big is the HR-V?
The HR-V is larger and roughly the same size as the SUV it replaces, which is puzzling, and if you want to know how and why, we dive into that in our first drive HR-V review. Ultimately, though, the HR-V has evolved to meet the new, larger standard that almost everything else in the segment meets. Passenger space is among the best in the range, and as a result, it’s one of the most family-friendly, along with the Taos, Trax and Envista.
In terms of cargo space, there’s 24.4 cubic feet of cargo space (the same as before, but again, long story). This is just the middle group, with more Seltos, Taos and Bronco Sport available. More importantly, we found that the HR-V’s angled tailgate opening makes it difficult to load luggage inside and reduces functionality not only compared with larger competitors on paper, but also with other cars like the Buick Envista and Subaru Crosstrek. At least the HR-V has a back seat that folds completely flat thanks to a cleverly designed multi-hinged seat base that dips down into the footwell. No need for a two-level charging floor.
What are the fuel economy and performance specifications of the HR-V?
There’s only one engine and transmission combination available: a 2.0-liter inline-four with 158 horsepower and 138 pound-feet of torque mated to a continuously variable transmission. Front and all-wheel drive are available. Their output is below average for this class – many offer more powerful upgrades.
EPA-estimated fuel economy comes in at 26 mpg city, 32 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined with front-wheel drive. Up to 25/30/27 with all-wheel drive. This is actually less than these stronger competitors.
What’s it like to drive the HR-V?
It’s very slow, with a dearth of low-end grunt (138 lb-ft of torque arrives at 4,200 rpm). Lay on the throttle and nothing really happens, which is in contrast to the powerful small turbo engines of many competitors. That includes the Chevy Trax and Buick Envista, which have similar 0-60 times on paper as the HR-V, but ultimately Feel Much faster. The HR-V is slow and feels sluggish. The CVT does a good job of behaving like a reasonably normal transmission by simulating the gears, and even applying engine braking when going downhill when in Sport or Low mode. If you want to speed things up, Sport mode doesn’t live up to its billing, as it’s too eager for gear changes. No paddle shifters available.
Beyond the powertrain, the driving experience has been impressively improved for the segment. Maybe it’s the current-generation CR-V’s different bits and pieces in the suspension, but it has a more substantial, sophisticated feel. Body roll is kept in decent check and the steering is consistently weighted with commendable response. The ratio is noticeably slower than the Civic, and working through a winding mountain road requires more turning angle than expected. This is in contrast to the livelier and more engaging Mazda CX-30 and Chevy Trax. There’s certainly a sportier version possible here if Honda chooses to go there – as is a version more suited to outdoor activities. Its ground clearance is modest at just 7 inches, and there are no roof rails either.
What other Honda HR-V reviews can I read?
First drive of the 2023 Honda HR-V
A deeper look at how the new HR-V differs from its predecessor, plus insight into why these changes were made (and why there’s no turbocharged engine).
Luggage test for Honda HR-V
The HR-V is a disappointment when it comes to hauling stuff, especially compared to its ultra-versatile predecessor.
Honda HR-V EX-L interior review
Dive into the EX-L’s best-in-class cabin, including quality materials, storage, technology and space.
Honda HR-V or Toyota Corolla Cross: which is better?
We take a look at two of the best-selling cars in the segment, comparing specs and our separate impressions from them. Ultimately, though, we recommend people look beyond these two.
What is the price of HR-V 2024?
Pricing starts at $25,395 for the base, front-wheel-drive LX trim level. This includes the $1,295 destination charge. This starting point, as well as those in the upper trim levels, is competitive with most rivals, including the Kia Seltos and Subaru Crosstrek. However, as mentioned above, the HR-V is noticeably flawed, or at least inadequate. Also important are the recalls of the Chevy Trax and Buick Envista, which cost much less.
Unlike some of these competitors, there are no special trim levels to cite that offer a sportier look or driving dynamics, or off-road-themed versions that gain extra ground clearance and functionality for carrying outdoor adventure gear. The HR-V Sport comes close, but it’s really just a mid-range trim with some sporty touches like black wheels on the outside and amber stitching on the inside.
All prices below include the $1,295 destination charge. All trims also come standard with front-wheel drive.
LX AWD: $26,895
Sport all-wheel drive: $28,445
What are the HR-V’s safety ratings and driver assistance features?
Every 2024 HR-V includes as standard equipment forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability and lane-center steering assist. It also has rear side airbags, which is rare. Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning are included on Sport and EX-L models.
The NHTSA gave the HR-V five out of five stars for overall, frontal and side protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick+ for best possible performance in all crash prevention and protection categories as well as a sufficiently high headlight rating.