Skip to main content

Top selling Honda HR-V is a lesson in low-engine-tech buyer appeal

The Honda Fit derived HR-V Crossover sets new sales records month after month despite being relatively low-tech on the engine side. This normally aspirated 4-banger is relatively performance-sedate, yet buyers love it! What do buyer love about HR-V?


Back in 2014 when I first reported on the car show concept reveal of Honda’s compact HR-V crossover, readers told Torque News that they loved the idea of a Fit-sized crossover with all-weather driving attributes. Pointing back to the slightly underpowered, yet fun to drive Fit 5-door compact hatchback, the hook that was HR-V, wasn’t greater horsepower and torque, but the ease and maneuverability afforded by a compact sport-UTE restyled with coupe-like cabin environment and cutting edge good looks. I compare the Mazda CX3 and Honda HR-V here. Who came out the winner?

Since the introduction of HR-V, the auto industry follows suite with an ever expanding compact crossover offering. Yet, Honda HR-V remains one of a very few offering AWD, and no turbocharged engine. Yet, HR-V ia a Honda best seller for 2017, with 86,491+ units sold year to date, an increase of 18% over 2016 *November 2017.

There is a demand for 4-cylinder simplicity in modern automotive engineering

While attending Honda HR-V’s media event in Miami, way back in 2015, Honda’s Jeff Conrad rightfully informed Torque News that HR-V would be a sales leader based on projected consumer wants and needs. HR-V’s first production year would be subdued (a bit) by teething pains at Honda’s newest North American manufacturing facility in Mexico -- where HR-V would roll off of a common production line with the then reinvented Honda Fit.

Today, HR-V, although slightly underpowered by Honda’s new found turbocharged engine standard, surpasses Honda’s initial sales projections for the 1790cc normally aspirated, CVT shifted, FWD, or AWD 5 passenger compact crossover. We’re seeing many Honda HR-Vs on the road in Oregon, as buyers lineup to purchase what I consider to be a great compact utility package. It’s fun to drive, affordable, and maneuverable in town. Read our HR-V camping adventure here. Watch Parks take Honda HR-V on a freeway run. Impressive, under all road and weather conditions.

Do you own a Honda HR-V? What's your ownership experience with Honda's compact crossover. Please comment bellow and then share. Thanks.o


Allan Stillwagon (not verified)    December 28, 2017 - 5:17PM

We traded our Acura RDX for an HRV and are delighted. It's comfortable, relatively quiet, big enough to cart a baby elephant in the back, and - best of all - short and easy to park. Car mfrs just don't get it, when they consider what the older buyer wants. I don't care how much cars cost - quality, noise suppression, good seats, safety features are most important. Small SUVs don't need to be cheap. Navigation in the HRV is practically useless, however. Why not at least as good as our previous, old Hondas and Acuras?