The Honda HR-V Should’ve Stayed in Japan
A Review of the 2020 Honda HR-V EX AWD
Today we are talking about a car that rivals the RAV4 for the worst car I’ve reviewed so far. This is the Honda HR-V and it’s Honda’s subcompact SUV. The HR-V is the successor of the delightful Honda Element. Honda claims that HR-V stands for Hi-Rider Revolutionary Vehicle. So, I guess this is actually the HRR-V.
The Honda HR-V actually began its life in 1999 and was based on the Honda Logo. You probably didn’t know that because it was originally a Japan-exclusive car. Later, Honda decided they would offer it in Europe but never in North America. However, I don’t think we need to be offended because I don’t think we missed much by not being able to buy that truly ugly car. Honda decided to stop making the HR-V in 2006, returning in 2016 for a North American debut.
This second-generation HR-V shares its platform with the Honda Fit. For 2019, Honda announced a refresh for the HR-V. They would be changing the grille, headlights, taillights, and bumpers. They added a volume knob to replace the old slider, offered Apple Carplay/Android Auto, and made Honda Sensing standard on the EX and above. They got rid of the manual transmission, only offering a CVT and added two new trim levels, the Sport and Touring.
This is a 2020 Honda HR-V EX AWD, and it cost about $27k. The paint color on this one is Modern Steel Metallic and it comes with 17” alloys. The HR-V comes in five different trims, starting at about $21k:
2020 Honda HR-V Trims
Each HR-V comes with a 13.2 Gal tank, 3,000 lb curb weight, and for the AWD version a max towing capacity of 3,500 lbs. The HR-V comes with one god awful engine with an awful transmission, this 1.8L I4 with a CVT.
2020 Honda HR-V Engine
First, let’s start with what this car does well, it’s not much but I’m going to start with the positive. Honda Sensing starts out on the EX and above trims and it’s a great driving assist suite. This one comes with AWD which will run you an extra $1,500. Both front seats are heated, and the driver’s seat is adjustable in 6-different ways. It comes with the multi-angle backup camera we’ve seen before with dynamic guidelines. I really like how this climate control system looks, however, I would much prefer physical controls.
This comes with a 7” infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. It comes with “magic” back seats, and let me tell you, there’s no magic happening back there. It’s just a seat with a 60/40 split that you can fold down or lift up the front, abracafreakingdabra. The HR-V rides pretty nice around the pavement and I’m sure it could handle some light off-roading with the AWD system. There’s an average amount of space in here for bringing things with you, nothing compared to the CR-V but it can haul some groceries.
2020 Honda HR-V vs Honda CR-V Cargo Space
2020 Honda HR-V EX AWD Interior
As you may have noticed, most of the stuff that is either good or average in this car can really be experienced with the engine off. That’s because this car is ruined literally by the push of a button, the push to start button to be exact. First, the engine in this car would be adequate for a kid’s RC car, but not a car that weighs 1.5 tons. Mr. Hachigo I know you’re reading this article, seriously throw a turbo or something on this car because this engine is garbage. In my road test, I had to merge onto a highway and it took ten seconds of flooring it to get to speed, I think I would have been better off in Fred Flinstone’s foot mobile. Then Honda has this LaneWatch technology which takes over your screen when you put your right turn signal on. This is great except for if you’re using GPS because it hides the map and directions from you which could cause you to miss your turn. All they need is the blindspot indicator you see on other Honda’s and that problem would be solved. So, you’d expect because this is a smaller car it is easily maneuverable? You’re dead wrong my friend, this thing has a turning radius closer to a Pilot than it’s rival the Toyota CH-R. It’s turning radius is 1.6 ft longer than the CH-R and only one foot shorter than a Pilot!'
Honda HR-V vs Toyota CH-R
Believe it or not, this Honda has a Toyota counterpart, the C-HR. The HR-V kills the CH-R when it comes to cargo space with 58.8 cu ft of with the seats down versus 36.4. Somehow, the HR-V actually has better acceleration than the CH-R. Also, the HR-V offers AWD whereas the CH-R does not. The CH-R has a more comfortable interior and comes with Toyota’s Safety suite standard. Also, the HR-V received a 2.5/5 for predicted reliability whereas the CH-R received a 3.5/5. Honestly, the subcompact SUV class just sucks and these cars are no outliers. I would have to say between the two the HR-V wins because of its better interior space.
- Backup Camera
- Lawnmower Engine
- Turning Radius
Seriously, if you’re contemplating buying an HR-V, don’t. Spend the extra money and buy a compact SUV like the CR-V. Sure, your kids may not be able to go to college, but both you and your children will be much happier to have a CR-V than the HR-V. Not only will they be happier, but they’ll be alive because you can actually merge in the CR-V, whereas in the HR-V you certainly will get run over by a semi. However, if you’re stuck on a subcompact SUV, check out the Hyundai Kona. It's the cream of the crap.