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$20,820 - 28,890 MSRP

2020 Honda HR-V Review

The 2020 Honda HR-V is a midpack subcompact SUV. It has a spacious interior, easy handling, and great fuel economy. Its engine is weak, however, and the infotainment system can be hard to operate while driving.

Pros & Cons

  • Expansive cargo room
  • Great fuel economy
  • Spacious second-row legroom
  • Nimble handling and comfortable ride
  • Weak, unrefined powertrain
  • Few standard features
  • Some confusing infotainment menus

Rankings & Research

The 2020 Honda HR-V's #8 ranking is based on its score within the Subcompact SUVs category. Currently the Honda HR-V has a score of 7.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 38 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.3

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 6.7
Interior: 6.7
Safety: 9.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the Honda HR-V a Good SUV?

Yes, the Honda HR-V is a good subcompact SUV. It has one of the most spacious cargo holds in the class, and its second row is roomy enough for adults. This Honda also returns great gas mileage, and it has surprisingly sporty handling.

However, some notable downsides prevent this crossover from standing out in a crowded segment. Its powertrain is unrefined and delivers weak acceleration, and the complicated infotainment system takes a long time to learn.

Should I Buy the Honda HR-V?

You should buy the HR-V if you want a practical, utilitarian crossover. This Honda has a well-built and durable cabin that also features seats that can be configured in several ways. The HR-V’s base price is about average for the class, but it has a short list of standard features. You'll probably want to spend more to get amenities such as all-wheel drive, more active safety features, or an infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

There are other options in this class worth considering. The Mazda CX-3 is one of the most engaging SUVs in this class to drive, thanks to its peppy acceleration and sporty handling. The Hyundai Kona has less cargo space than the HR-V, but it offers stronger engines, nimbler handling, and more standard infotainment and driver assistance features.

Compare the HR-V, CX-3, and Kona »

Should I Buy a New or Used Honda HR-V?

Honda made no major changes to the HR-V for the 2020 model year. Therefore, you may be better off buying a 2019 model, which is nearly identical and likely less expensive than a new HR-V.

The 2019 HR-V is also a better choice than the older models in this SUV’s inaugural generation, which launched for 2016. For 2019, Honda refreshed the interior and exterior designs, introduced the Sport and Touring trims, and made Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance tech available. Honda also improved the HR-V’s optional touch-screen system by adding a physical volume knob.

The 2019 model was the first in this generation to receive significant changes, so the 2016 HR-V, 2017 HR-V, and 2018 HR-V will all be very similar. Each of those model years offered a six-speed manual transmission, which was done away with for the 2019 refresh.

Be sure to read our reviews of older HR-V models to help make your decision, then check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts you can find on used cars.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 HR-V »

We Did the Research for You: 38 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 38 Honda HR-V reviews – along with reliability ratings, fuel economy estimates, and more – to help you decide if the 2020 HR-V is the right new car for you. This 2020 Honda HR-V full review incorporates applicable research for all model years in this generation, which launched for 2016.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain objective, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team manages the advertising on our site.

How Much Does the Honda HR-V Cost?

The 2020 Honda HR-V starts at $20,820, which is about average for a subcompact SUV. Three higher trims retail for $22,520, $23,970, and $25,570, respectively. All come standard with front-wheel drive. You can add all-wheel drive for an additional $1,500. The top-of-the-line HR-V Touring comes standard with AWD and costs $28,890.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great deals at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

Honda HR-V Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Honda HR-V or Mazda CX-3?

Both the HR-V and the Mazda CX-3 are decent subcompact SUVs with their own distinct strengths. The CX-3 is the most fun-to-drive SUV in the class, thanks to razor-sharp handling and quick acceleration. This Mazda also has a nicer interior than the Honda, a slightly lower starting price, and more standard features, including automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and a touch-screen infotainment system. However, the CX-3 doesn't offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, which the HR-V does.

The HR-V comes out on top when it comes to space and practicality. It serves up more rear-seat room, and it boasts a larger cargo hold than the CX-3. Choosing between these two comes down to which car’s strengths best fit your needs.

Which Is Better: Honda HR-V or Toyota C-HR?

The Toyota C-HR ranks low in the class. Its main advantages over the HR-V are a better predicted reliability rating and a longer list of standard features that include Apple CarPlay, forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high-beam headlights. However, you can get all of those as options in the HR-V. You're better off buying the Honda.

The C-HR has less passenger and cargo space than the HR-V, and its interior isn't as impressive. The HR-V has a weak engine, but the C-HR's is even worse. Also, you can't get the Toyota with all-wheel drive. It's really not even worth considering the C-HR in this matchup.

Compare the HR-V, CX-3, and C-HR »

HR-V Interior

How Many People Does the HR-V Seat?

The Honda HR-V crossover seats five people. The front seats are narrow and the cushions are firm, so overall comfort is just OK. Also, you have to spring for the highest trim level to get a power-adjustable driver's seat. Taller drivers and front passengers may find legroom a little cramped.

Conversely, the second row offers plenty of space for taller riders to stretch their legs out. However, a sloping roof cuts into available headroom.

HR-V and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats. You can also position a child car seat on the middle seat and borrow lower anchors from both sides.

All of the lower anchors are set deeply in the seats, but it's easy to attach the car-seat straps once you find the anchors. You might confuse other hardware on the back of the seats for the tether anchors, and the middle tether anchor is more difficult to locate.

HR-V Interior Quality

The HR-V's cabin should meet your expectations for a vehicle at this price point. This SUV’s build quality is solid. Most materials are nice enough, even if the whole design is a little drab.

HR-V Cargo Space

The HR-V is among the roomiest subcompact SUVs when it comes to cargo space. You're treated to 24.3 cubic feet of room behind the second row and a maximum of 58.8 cubes when the second row is folded.

All models with all-wheel drive have 23.3 cubic feet behind the rear seats. Space behind the first row depends on trim level and whether your model has all-wheel drive. Lower trims with AWD drive have a maximum of 57.6 cubic feet, while higher all-wheel trims have just 55.9 cubic feet.

The HR-V comes standard with a 60/40-split-bench rear seat, as well as Honda's Magic Seat feature. You can fold up the bottom cushions of the back seat to create a roomier space behind the first row.

HR-V Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

This Honda's base trim is sparsely equipped and comes with a simple 5-inch audio display. The upgraded interface in other trims is a 7-inch touch screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, which we recommend you upgrade to and use.

Some of the infotainment system's menus can be confusing to navigate through, and the virtual buttons are hard to hit precisely. Critics think the graphics look good, though the software could deliver better response times.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

HR-V Performance

HR-V Engine: Little Pep in Its Step

A 141-horsepower four-cylinder engine powers the Honda HR-V. It has just enough juice for light cruising around town, but it can struggle to get up to speed. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard.

The CVT tends to hunt around for the right gear, hampering acceleration and creating uneven power delivery. The combination of the engine and this transmission results in a lot of noise, especially under heavy throttle.

HR-V Gas Mileage: Here's a Positive

What the HR-V lacks in engine power, it makes up for in great fuel economy. With standard front-wheel drive, it gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Along with the Mazda CX-3 (29/34 mpg), the front-wheel HR-V is one of the most efficient nonhybrid subcompact SUVs.

When equipped with all-wheel drive, the HR-V gets 27/31 mpg city/highway. Those are the same figures as the front-drive-only Toyota C-HR.

HR-V Ride and Handling: Poised and Fun

The HR-V has well-weighted steering that translates into sporty overall handling. There's little body roll around turns, and the small crossover feels planted to the road. It's also easy to maneuver in tight parking lots and through crowded city traffic.

This Honda provides a mostly comfortable ride, though you'll feel the bumps over rough roads and large potholes.

Read more about performance »

HR-V Reliability

Is the Honda HR-V Reliable?

J.D. Power gives the 2020 Honda HR-V a predicted reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.

Honda HR-V Warranty

Honda covers the HR-V with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

How Much Does It Cost to Insure a Honda HR-V?

The cost of insuring a Honda HR-V will depend on a variety of factors, including your deductible, the level of coverage that you want, and the type of insurance that you choose. Your age, gender, location, credit score, and driving record can also have an impact on your insurance rates. Check out our car insurance guide to find the best policy for you.

HR-V Safety

HR-V Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2020 Honda HR-V an overall crash test rating of five out of five stars. The SUV received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in both the frontal crash and rollover tests.

As of this writing, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not evaluated the 2020 HR-V.

HR-V Safety Features

The HR-V comes standard with a rearview camera. All trims above the base model add dynamic guidelines to the camera. Optional advanced safety features include the LaneWatch blind spot camera, automatic high-beam headlights, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and road departure mitigation.

Read more about safety »

HR-V Dimensions and Weight

The Honda HR-V is 14.2 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,906 to 3,150 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Honda HR-V Built?

Honda builds the 2020 HR-V in Mexico.

Which Honda HR-V Model Is Right for Me?

The 2020 Honda HR-V is available in five trim levels: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring. All models come standard with a four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available ($1,500) in all but the Touring trim, which comes with AWD.

Most trims are only separated by a few thousand dollars, so there's a lot of value to be gained by spending just a little more money. Skip the bares-bones base model and upgrade to the Sport trim. That model adds a touch-screen infotainment system that isn’t very intuitive but features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It's also worth springing for the EX trim, which adds conveniences such as heated front seats, proximity keyless entry, satellite radio, and automatic climate control. To get leather seats, you'll have to opt for the EX-L trim.

Every trim offers optional front and rear parking sensors for $514 and remote start for $399.

Honda HR-V LX

The 2020 Honda HR-V LX starts at $20,820. Standard features include a 5-inch audio display, a rearview camera, the Magic Seat folding second row, Bluetooth, a USB port, and a four-speaker stereo.

Honda HR-V Sport

The HR-V Sport has an MSRP of $22,520. It adds a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and an additional USB port. Paddle shifters, sport pedals, active noise cancellation, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob are also standard.

Honda HR-V EX

For $23,970, the HR-V EX comes with heated front seats, a moonroof, proximity keyless entry, satellite radio, HD Radio, the LaneWatch blind spot camera, automatic high-beam headlights, a six-speaker stereo, automatic climate control, and heated outside mirrors.

The EX also features the Honda Sensing suite, which includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and road departure mitigation.

Honda HR-V EX-L

The Honda HR-V EX-L starts at $25,570 and adds leather-trimmed seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Honda HR-V Touring

The range-topping HR-V Touring costs $28,890. It comes with navigation, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, LED headlights and fog lights, and a universal garage door opener.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

See 2020 Honda HR-V specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Honda HR-V's middle-of-the-road rating isn't indicative of the many advantages this subcompact SUV offers. It's hard to match this Honda for its expansive cargo hold, great fuel economy, and roomy cabin. A comfortable ride also makes the HR-V a good everyday driver. You may be put off by its lackluster acceleration and sometimes frustrating infotainment system, however. If so, you'll want to shop around.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • Although the 2020 HR-V isn't as flashy or fun to drive as alternatives such as the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Kona, it offers unrivaled practicality and versatility." -- Car and Driver
  • "For those seeking compact-car dimensions, price and fuel economy in a SUV-like form, the … Honda HR-V pushes all the right buttons. Loaded with features and now with more trim choices and options, the HR-V offers more passenger volume than the Mazda CX-3, better fuel economy than the Chevy Trax or Jeep Renegade and, unlike the Nissan Kicks and Toyota C-HR, the option of all-wheel drive." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "Back when the segment was small, the HR-V stood out with a solid blend of sensibility, capaciousness and fun. It still possesses all those qualities, but as the segment has grown, the HR-V is slowly getting lost in the noise. I still recommend it … I just hope Honda has some more tricks up its sleeve in the near future to keep this car near the top of the segment where it belongs." -- CNET (2019)
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2020 Honda HR-V

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