2018 Honda HR-V Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Marty Padgett Marty Padgett Editorial Director
September 5, 2017

The 2018 Honda HR-V blends great rear-seat flexibility and gas mileage, but it’s slow.

The 2018 Honda HR-V is a small crossover SUV that’s perfectly acceptable as an economy-car substitute. It puts packaging over performance, gas mileage before great handling.

We think its priorities are in order, and we give it a 6.5 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.) 

Carried over with only paint and wheel changes, the 2018 HR-V comes in LX, EX, and EX-L editions. Honda sells some HR-Vs with a 6-speed manual, but most go out the door with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). All-wheel drive costs extra, and only is offered on CVT-equipped models.

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Honda sets the HR-V apart from rivals like the Jeep Renegade with a curvy hatchback silhouette. It’s a playful shape with some swole fenders and tucked-away door handles that don’t entirely add up. The interior’s better: it’s a simple economy-car cabin, with better trim than the related Honda Fit.

The HR-V’s performance is best seen through a ride-quality lens. Its 141-horsepower 4-cylinder doles out fair acceleration on city streets with only a driver aboard. Anything more and it feels taxed, despite paddle shift controls that give the driver access to pre-selected “gears.” Handling is benign, but moderately sized wheels and good tuning give the HR-V a smoother ride than its short wheelbase might indicate. Gas mileage, at up to 31 mpg combined, is excellent.

The HR-V reigns over its class with a flip-folding rear seat that kicks up its bottom cushion. It’s not magic, it’s good engineering, and it gives the HR-V a tall load space right behind the front passengers. The rear seats fold the other way, too, and expose a big cargo bin of up to 58.8 cubic feet.

The HR-V’s crash-test scores from the IIHS disappoint, though federal scores are fine. A rearview camera comes standard, but the HR-V doesn’t have automatic emergency braking. For about $20,000, it does offer the usual power features standard, along with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. Leather, navigation, a big touchscreen, and a side-view camera come on more expensive models.

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MSRP based on LX 2WD Manual
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Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 6
Performance 5
Comfort & Quality 7
Safety 6
Features 7
Fuel Economy 8
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2018 Honda HR-V Pricing Insights

  • 2018 HR-V's inventory improves
  • Unadvertised incentives nixed
  • Financing: 0.9% for 36 mo. (2018)
  • Lease: From $199 for 36 months
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