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2016 Honda HR-V lake camping adventure

Smaller than Honda CR-V, and powered by Honda’s iconic 1.8 Liter Civic engine, many future crossover buyers may pass on HR-V, due to a misperception or two. Let’s get them out of the way now! We take Honda HR-V on a lake camping weekend and love it!


2016 Honda HR-V is not underpowered

Honda engineering as it applies to old-school horsepower and torque measurement, may be a thing of the past when it comes to Honda HR-V crossover. Initially I questioned Honda’s use of a 10 year engine design in HR-V. Speaking with the engineering team in Miami Beach, I learned that the 1.8 Liter Civic derived i-VTEC four was shoehorned into the Fit platformed HR-V, due to its greater horsepower and torque delivery over that of the 1.5 Liter direct injected Earth Dreams ™ 4 cylinder; it works!

Rated at 141 horsepower, 127 lb-ft pond torque 2016 Honda HR-V is not a Honda hot-rod

No one said it was. However, with a full load on board, and driven under all formats, surface, road and weather conditions, I found HR-V to perform surprisingly well. Something I found surprising was the interior haul capacity realized, without driver’s seat leg compromise.

Just a bit larger than Honda’s award winning 2015 Fit, when the Civic derived 1.8 Liter i-VTEC 4 cylinder is coupled with the constant velocity transmission (CVT) and Smart ™ all-wheel drive, HR-V surprises!

I discover 30 mpg fuel efficiency, exceptional utility

I found the “ Drive by wire” throttled engine to be reasonably responsive when called upon to pass or conquer uphill freeway grades, the brakes and handling to be exceptional, near zero lag-time paddle activated gear shifting to be surprisingly effective. The 5 door subcompact hatchback interior is pure new-generation Honda, with a performance coupe influence. You may read my latest 2016 Honda HR-V drive review here.

We load HR-V to the headliner and go camping

From time to time a Torque News reader will share a bit of disappointment in a car review and assessment based on a driver only, no load drive and ride experience. Well here you go! We take 2016 Honda HR-V AWD camping for the weekend, with enough gear and provisions for 4 adults, and love it. 2016 HR-V is Honda’s next best seller for several reasons; it’s that good.

Watch the video for a real-world-assessment of 2016 Honda HR-V performing under load and heavy highway crosswinds.


Rich (not verified)    June 23, 2015 - 9:16PM

I was so excited about this vehicle as a potential alternative to a Subaru Impreza. Then I drove it. A dog. Absolute dog with an uncomfortable ride and poor visibility.

Parks McCants    June 24, 2015 - 12:10PM

In reply to by Rich (not verified)

Good day Rich. Seriously Rich? Perhaps we're driving different variants.Bottom line: When someone builds the perfect car for every driver, their will be no need for multiple manufacturers and automotive review writers. I'll drop by Subaru and drive the entry-level Impreza, Subaru's lowest rated automobile.
How do you like yours? I had no idea that it came in a 5 door hatchback configuration.

Rich steckler (not verified)    June 24, 2015 - 12:23PM

i own a Honda Civic sedan and a Subaru Impreza hatchback. The civic rides som ugh nicer than the fit or this new hrv. No comparison, the later are like driving golf carts. At least the fit has better rear visibility, but nothing like a Subaru. My Impreza rides nicer than the hrv, has better visibility, better gas mirage and longer experience with awd. I love my civic so I was excited about the possibility of a awd Honda a little bigger than the Impreza but not as big as the forester.

Parks McCants    June 24, 2015 - 5:20PM

In reply to by Rich steckler (not verified)

Thank you Rich. Honda has yet to develop and sell the "Perfect" SUV or crossover vehicle for all drivers. Actually Rich, Honda has manufactured an all-wheel or 4-wheel drive variant in the U.S. since the early 1980 s.The earlier Civic "Real Time 4-wheel drive, has been and remains a world best seller (for decades.) CR-V is the best selling SUV in north America. This system is shared with HR-V AWD. It works fantastically well!

As to visibility, I didn't note a problem during our week with HR-V. The back up and blind spot camera more than make up for any short comings for me, Anyway, Hey... I've personally owned 3 Subarus in my driving carrier, beginning with a Loyal back in the early 1980s. Enjoy yours...

john (not verified)    July 5, 2015 - 11:17AM

FInished 4/7 in the motor trend comparison test largely because of the underpowered engine. I test drove it, and agreed. Great little package, ridiculously underpowered - 10+ seconds 0-60 with the cvt. Ignore this advertisement and stay away from this until the new ED engines get added.

Mark (not verified)    July 18, 2015 - 5:48PM

When I first found out the HrV only had 141 hp I was worried because I fell in love with the car. Being a previous fit gen 2 fit owner I remembered how under powered the fit was, but made up for it in fun to drive/ hauling abilities. I ended up buying a loaded HrV after driving it. I don't really drive fast and with all the traffic in my area it's rare I can actually speed, so with day to day use its actually peppy. As for hauling stuff I actually threw two mountain bikes in the back with out taking off the tires. This week I leave for a camping trip, so I'm excited to see how well the AWD does, sense I can't even get it to slip on wet roads. I think everyone needs to get over the power issue and try it out. Oh did I mention I've averaged 35.1 over the 4,000 miles I've put on it so far. I so happy with the car and glad I purchased it.