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Parks McCants's picture

2019 Honda HR-V Subcompact SUV Gets an Injection of Refinement and Safety

Long a segment leader for American Honda Motors, 2019 Honda HR-V comes to market this Summer with several features one wouldn’t anticipate enjoying in the maker’s most affordable sport utility vehicle.
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American Honda fires up a mid-cycle refresh for the Fit platformed SUV compact crossover, or SUV, depending on the time of day, or the mood of the journalist reviewing it. Coupe like in design, just a bit quirky and a pleasure to drive, HR-V sets month over month record sales due to not only a favorable price point and bigger than life utility, but exceptional drive dynamics and unique good looks.

I first drove HR-V in Miami Beach back in 2015, and found it to be surprisingly fun to drive. Under the hood you’ll find a Civic derived 1800cc normally aspirated mill and CVT transmission. HR-V proves that turbocharging isn’t the only way to go. Frankly, HR-V is powerful enough without it, if you tease it a bit. On or off road HR-V lives large.

2019 HR-V keeps the motor, tunes the CVT and adds a ton of safety features

For 2019 Honda takes HR-V to a higher level in cutting edge exterior design, interior quiet, and uptick personal electronic connectivity. Although I haven't driven the 2019 edition of Honda’s most affordable AWD available crossover, we’re told by Honda that CVT (continuously variable transmission) mapping is greatly improved, resulting in less motor rev and search, and a more conventional automatic transmission shift pattern.

I’m assuming that Honda’s exceptional 6 speed manual transmission remains available in the FWD (front wheel drive) version, a great transmission. We take HR-V glamping and drive away with a smile.

Honda fixes the one glaring problem I had with HR-V and more

There’s little arguing the value that is HR-V. I’ve drive compared this vehicle to Mazda CX3, Nissan Versa Note, and Toyota CR-H. They’re all viable contenders in the sub compact SUV crossover segment. Where HR-V comes out on top is in superior interior volume and drive-ability. It also offers a Real Time AWD option, Versa and CR-H don’t. How does HR-V and Mazda CX-3 compare?

However, I did find HR-V a bit road noisy on the interior, especially on variable road surfaces. And, Honda’s advanced safety suite was not available. For 2019, Honda engineering and design injects refinement and safety into HR-V with Honda Sensing ™ available in EX and higher trim packages, an all new Sport and Touring trim level is also available, as is a new display audio system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

2019 Honda HR-V pricing and availability

As of this writing Honda has not released full specifications and MSRP for 2019 HRV. However, knowing how Honda does business, I’ll go out on a limb here and predict that the base model 2018 HR-V, presently priced from $19,670, will hit the dealership sales floor with a $130 MSRP increase, making 2019 Honda HRV the most affordable sub compact, AWD option available 5-door SUV on the market. Look for the refreshed 2019 Honda HR-V to arrive at dealers the week of July 24.


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