2016 Honda HR-V 2WD EX-L Navi Review
A fledgling crossover for a new generation.No Comments
If cost has been your main deterrent from buying a crossover, the HR-V opens up the segment to more buyers with its affordability.
Crossovers have officially become the new family car. Built on car platforms, but with styling like an SUV, crossovers have skyrocketed in sales, reaching 3.8 million last year, leaving midsize sedans in the dust. With nearly one in four new vehicles purchased in the U.S. now being crossovers, it's no wonder automakers are pushing them like crazy. The latest edition to this booming segment is the newly named 'baby crossover' - a smaller, cheaper, efficient alternative.
Meet the 2016 Honda HR-V. The all-new entry-level crossover joins Honda's SUV lineup, consisting of the Pilot and CR-V. While it might be considered the baby cub, it - bears great resemblance to its parents, and more than pulls its weight in the lineup after all, it's still a Honda. Engineered for durability, efficiency, and versatility, the HR-V lives up to the brand's reputation for reliability, and easily meets all basic driving needs at an affordable price.
While maybe considered the runt of the litter, it's hard to overlook the HR-V with its attractive exterior. Sleek curves and sloped roof give it a handsome sporty look. Outfitted with roof rails to help haul everything from bikes to suitcases, LED brake lights for increased visibility to other drivers, and keyless entry and ignition, the HR-V remains practical above all else.
Well-considered interior details like the open/close sunroof, heated front seats, USB port, and auto-dimming rearview mirror offer ease of use, though I found the lack of physical knobs on the front dash irritating. A seven-inch touchscreen audio display handles communication and navigation with Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, CD player, and satellite and HD radio.
With sweet suspension tuning, the HR-V gives a sporty driving feel on the road, with nice cornering. While it delivers a smooth ride, its acceleration is a little underwhelming but it's highly efficient. It reaches 28 mpg in the city, and 35 on the highway for a combined average of 31 mpg. A wide, sweeping windshield offers great visibility in the HR-V, but there are also helpful safety tech features built-in. A multi-angle rearview camera allows the driver to get a better view of what's behind them with three view modes: normal, top-down, and wide. And, it also comes with LaneWatch, which should arguably become mandatory in all new vehicles alongside back-up cameras. LaneWatch is a small camera mounted underneath the passenger-side mirror that sends a live video stream to your dash when you signal right. This feature is invaluable for urban driving where there are often numerous cyclists, so drivers can see them approaching if they're trying to make a right-hand turn. This could be instrumental in helping avoid collisions and cutoffs on the road.