“The electric steering assist delivers even, nicely weighted feel. The HR V’s body stays level enough under a moderate G load to achieve that intangible ‘sporty’ feeling manufacturers seek, but the ride is never rigid. The suspension is compliant enough for smooth, low-noise urban operation. The solid axle in back is neither bouncy nor particularly clunky. The empty parking lot demonstrated that it takes a lot of throttle and a pretty good load on the front tires to get the HR-V plowing in an obvious fashion.” -- Autoweek
Honda HR-V: A focused crossover with pizazz and sporty zeal
“The CVT guided powertrain has more than enough real-world acceleration to handle most everything you need in terms of highway on-ramps and the occasional fun drive on a winding one-lane road. At the same time, the HR-V is not so much a sports vehicle as it is a utility focused crossover with a healthy sporty demeanor.” --Yahoo Autos
“What we have here is an attractive, compact crossover. It looks like a puffed-up Fit, or Honda Fat if you will. At 169.1 inches in length, the HR-V is more than a foot longer than the Fit (and almost nine inches shorter than the original CR-V). But with clean, taut lines that sculpt the body sides the HR-V is anything but bloated. We particularly like the integration of the rear door handles into the C-pillar. This thing is cute, especially with the rounded nose and chiseled rear end. And the chunky, five-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels we like so much are standard even on the base model.
“There are a couple of weird bits to the styling. Like the way the hood cutline spills over to the front quarter panel and the oversized, fang-shaped taillamps. But overall the HR-V looks great. It has more modern appeal than the Trax, and while the 500X and Renegade are more interesting to our eyes, the HR-V has plenty of pizzazz for folks afraid of flamboyance.” -- Autoblog
“We first set out on Miami’s coastal roads in an HR-V equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, available only on front-wheel-drive LX and EX models. The light clutch pedal and precise shifter, Honda hallmarks, were delightful and appreciated, seeing how we had to shift often to make the most of the engine’s meager torque. Though a bit coarse and buzzy at times, the four-cylinder engine provided adequate power for the relatively lightweight, 2,900-pound HR-V. We could squirt in and out of gaps in traffic so long as we kept the revs up.” -- Automobile magazine
“This newcomer is also loaded up with much of the technology drivers have come to expect, including double smartphone plugs in the front console, an excellent rear backup camera and lane assist. While it misses on small details such as power seats and automatic rear gate lift (presumably to keep sticker prices down), it delivers on the road. Above all, the HR-V is a pleasure to drive. It has a higher driving position than a coupe, but fittingly so. The only caution worth issuing concerns the six-speed manual model: while stick shifts often make smaller vehicles more fun to drive, the opposite is true here. The HR-V’s manual transmission was cumbersome and made the vehicle’s quality seem cheap. Buyers ought to trade up for the automatic CVT -- and prepare to see a slew of fellow HR-V drivers out on the road.” -- The Globe and Mail
“On the road, the engine has to work pretty hard getting the HR-V up to speed and it makes a noticeable racket when doing so.
“The ride is reasonable for a small SUV -- and better than we thought it would be from a subcompact vehicle. But the underlying basic small-car architecture rears its head when the HR-V is pushed toward its limits or rolling over ugly pavement.
“While the HR-V looks quite small from the outside, the cabin actually has a fair amount of passenger space. Adults will find the back seat tolerable -- for a short time. The HR-V can be equipped with heated leather seats, a sunroof, and keyless entry.
“Unfortunately, high-end models come with Honda’s lousy touchscreen-only radio. We hated this in the last CR-V we tested, calling it one of the most frustrating designs we’ve seen in a while.
“You can work around some of its idiosyncrasies with the steering-wheel controls, or you can wrestle with Honda’s typically hard-to-use voice commands.” -- Consumer Reports
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.