The original Honda HR-V first entered the global market in 1998. While it didn’t have the best of starts, the idea and concept behind it soon took off. The current generation HR-V made its debut in 2012, with Honda introducing little changes here and there year in and year out. They have been relentless with the updates. Officially categorized as a five-door subcompact, the 2017 Honda HR-V can be thought of as a small SUV slotting in between the 2017 Honda Fit and the 2017 Honda CR-V. In all actuality it’s closer to the Fit in terms of parts and underpinnings, but a lot more similar to the CR-V practicality and design-wise. The 2017 HR-V makes the most out of its compact dimensions without compromising design or performance.
Although the 2017 HR-V is the smallest crossover Honda makes, it’s by no means the least equipped. The 2017 Honda HR-V is offered in five trim levels, with the lineup ranging from the base LX to the top of the line EX-L Navi. The LX offers 17-inch wheels, a 5-inch central screen, a height-adjustable driver seat, Bluetooth, sound system with four speakers, an aux jack and a USB port. The LX is a great option if you’re after a more affordable crossover and can make do without all the bells and whistles.
The 2017 HR-V EX-L Navi is the most feature-rich HR-V on offer and adds everything from the EX model plus roof rails, a navigation system (complete with voice recognition), leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and satellite/HD radio. It also comes with the optional Lane Departure and Forward Collision Warning system as standard. It may be the most expensive HR-V, but it’s still one of the most affordable subcompact crossovers currently on the market.
Although it’s directly based on the Honda Fit, the 2017 Honda HR-V looks more like a smaller, less bulky CR-V. From a distance, you may even confuse it with a CR-V if you’re not that familiar with Honda styling. While the exterior of the HR-V may well be inspired by the CR-V, it still features many unique design queues in its own right. The headlights and sloped hood are slightly smaller on the HR-V, the body lines are completely original, especially the upward-sweeping line nicely integrating into the waistline at the rear doors.
The 2017 HR-V is understated without being dull or boring. It has just the right amount of aggression design and curves to make it appealing and modern. It’s youthful by character, and the exterior nicely represents that. The HR-V is primarily aimed at a younger audience, but it’s actually a car for people who like the CR-V but would rather have something more compact.
By combining the best of the Fit and CR-V, Honda has been able to create the ultimate subcompact! The compact design and “Magic Seat” borrowed from the smaller Fit make the 2017 HR-V feel cozy and familiar, but the materials themselves have been heavily borrowed from the CR-V, making it high-quality and a lot more luxurious than the Fit.
The seating position provides a great field of view and there’s plenty of headroom and legroom for all passengers. Unless you have a large family of 5 or more, the HR-V is all the car you’re ever going to need.
ENGINE AND DRIVE
The 2017 Honda HR-V is equipped with a 1.8L four cylinder engine, outputting 141hp and paired with a continuously variable transmission (manual transmission for the base model LX). The standard offering is front wheel drive but there’s an option to upgrade to real time AWD paired to the CVT. The AWD with Intelligent Control System transforms the 2017 HR-V into a seriously capable crossover. Don’t expect an off-roader, but it’s definitely more than capable of tackling any weather Mother Nature can throw at it!
Combined, this all yields a smooth driving experience, zippy accelerations and great gas mileage. Admittedly, the HR-V did feel a bit sluggish under a full load of passengers and cargo. However, the gas consumption makes up for the occasional lack of power, with posted rates of 8.9 L/100km in the city and 7.5 L/100km on the highway, for the fully equipped 2017 HR-V.
The HR-V really comes into its own in the city, with its small dimensions making it easy to maneuver and park. It feels light and zippy, but the steering firms up nicely as the speed increases. There’s not a lot of body roll despite its relatively high ride height and the suspension makes for a smooth and comfortable ride.
As an everyday car or a road trip vehicle, the 2017 Honda HR-V is a great proposition. Incredibly practical for its size, zippy quickness, full feature availability and great pricing make the 2017 HR-V the go to for entry level compact SUVs. Take one for a test drive to have great starting point for comparing all others!