2018 Honda HR-V

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MSRP: $19,670 - 26,540

2018 Honda HR-V Review

The 2018 Honda HR-V owes its high ranking to a versatile, spacious cargo hold and a roomy second row.

Pros & Cons

  • Adult-friendly back seat
  • Versatile cargo area 

 

  • Awkward available touch screen
  • Firm front seat cushions
  • Slow to reach highway speeds

 

Is the Honda HR-V a Good SUV?

The HR-V is one of the best choices in the subcompact SUV class. It has the best combination of quality and value in the class, making it the winner or our 2018 Best Subcompact SUV for the Money award.

Adults can easily get comfortable in the second row. The HR-V's seats fold in many different ways to let you haul oversized cargo like bicycles and tall plants. Honda's smallest crossover has an average predicted reliability rating, but it lacks the refinement and available safety technology that you'd find in the larger Honda CR-V.

Should I Buy the Honda HR-V?

You should consider the Honda HR-V if you need a solid commuting partner and want something in this class that can comfortably ferry a full load of passengers. It's also a great choice if you live an active lifestyle. The second row – cleverly dubbed the Magic Seat – offers more legroom than most small SUVs but also transforms to create a variety of configurations. For hauling bulky cargo or a combination of passengers and gear, the HR-V is very versatile.

Though you can outfit the HR-V with all-wheel drive, it’s not adept at hitting the trails like a Jeep Renegade or Subaru Crosstrek. Other rivals like the Buick Encore deliver a more upscale experience, while sporty competitors such as the Mazda CX-3 are more fun to drive. 

Compare the HR-V, Renegade, and Crosstrek »

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

Honda introduced the HR-V for the 2016 model year, and there weren't any major changes for 2017 or 2018. That means you can likely save money by buying a used HR-V that's basically the same as the new 2018 model.

If you're interested in a used model, be sure to read our reviews of the 2016 Honda HR-V and 2017 Honda HR-V. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 HR-V »

We Did the Research for You: 26 Reviews Analyzed

For our 2018 Honda HR-V full review, we researched dozens of professional evaluations, along with safety scores, reliability data, and fuel economy estimates, to help you decide if a new Honda HR-V is right for you.

This overview includes relevant reviews and data from all model years of the current generation, which spans the 2016 through 2018 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking and reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our editorial team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our full reviews are unbiased, we don't accept expensive gifts or incentives from car companies, and a third party handles our advertising.

How Much Does the Honda HR-V Cost?

The MSRP of a new Honda HR-V ranges from $19,670 to $26,340, depending on the trim level and drivetrain. The base LX (which starts at $19,670) is one of the least expensive models in our subcompact SUV rankings. Also available for 2018 are the EX ($21,720) and EX-L Navi ($25,140) trims.

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.

Honda HR-V Versus the Competition

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

The Mazda CX-3 sits near the top of our rankings and has arguably the best performance in the class. It boasts athletic handling and a peppy engine, but it lacks the back-seat space and large cargo volume of the HR-V. The CX-3 also excels in safety. It was named a 2018 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Also, it offers a long list of standard and available advanced safety features.

Which Is Better: Honda HR-V or Jeep Renegade?

The Jeep Renegade's base price of around $18,000 makes it one of the least expensive SUVs on the market. However, it retains most of the brand's legendary off-roading ability, so it's a great pick if you want to go adventuring on the cheap. The Jeep has a slightly lower predicted reliability rating, though. 

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

The Toyota C-HR is the brand's all-new and first foray into subcompact SUVs, but it doesn't stack up to its impressive larger siblings. The C-HR has a bland and low-rent interior, small rear seats, and meek engine power. It also doesn't offer all-wheel drive. You're better off with the Honda instead.

Compare the HR-V, CX-3, and Renegade »

HR-V Interior

How Many People Does the HR-V Seat?

The HR-V seats five people. Back-seat travelers get an exceptional amount of room for a vehicle this size, and most grown-ups will be comfortable in the back for brief errands. The front seats are fine for short commutes, but the unforgiving cushions and limited seat adjustments can be wearisome over a full day of driving.

HR-V and Car Seats

Installing a child safety seat in the HR-V is challenging. Its LATCH hardware can be difficult to find and takes an extra dose of elbow grease to use. LATCH points include three tether anchors and two sets of lower anchors.

HR-V Interior Quality

Most test drivers comment that the HR-V's interior has a solid build quality, with a clean, modern design and a sprinkling of upscale materials that dress up an otherwise drab cabin. Still, a few critics remark that many of the materials feel chintzy.

HR-V Cargo Space

The HR-V's versatile cargo space is one of this SUV's high points. The flat-folding rear seats can form a level cargo floor with up to 58.8 cubic feet of room. These same 60/40-split seats can also fold up straight, opening a space behind the front seat that's perfect for tall items. Depending on how you arrange the seats, you'll have enough room to carry items like bicycles, long lumber, or a flat-screen TV.

HR-V Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

In a rare twist, the base infotainment system in the HR-V gets more praise than the upgraded interface. Much of this is tied to the user-friendly knobs and buttons that come in the base LX trim, as opposed to the challenging menus and touch-screen controls in the EX and EX-L Navi trims. Standard features include Bluetooth audio streaming and a USB port.

Read more about interior »

HR-V Performance

HR-V Engine: Passable but Not Peppy

For in-town errands, the HR-V's 141-horsepower engine is adequate. It takes a bit of coaxing to get up to highway speeds or climb a steep hill, however, and the available CVT (automatic transmission) can drone under acceleration.

HR-V Gas Mileage: Good With the CVT

With the CVT, the HR-V gets 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. That's decent for the class and much better than rivals like the Fiat 500x (which gets up to 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway). If you opt for the manual transmission instead, the HR-V's fuel economy drops to the Fiat's level.

HR-V Ride and Handling: Steady and Predictable

The HR-V has carlike steering and body movements, giving it an extra boost of agility for navigating parking lots or twisty canyon roads. The HR-V's ride quality gets mixed reviews, with some test drivers saying it's plenty smooth and others complaining that it's too stiff for long drives.

Read more about performance »

HR-V Reliability

Is the Honda HR-V Reliable?

The 2018 HR-V has a predicted reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power. That's an average rating for the subcompact SUV class – and for a vehicle in general.

Honda HR-V Warranty

The 2018 HR-V comes with a three-year/36,000-mile new car warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

HR-V Safety

HR-V Crash Test Results

The 2018 HR-V has a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It earns a perfect five stars for its overall and side crash ratings and four out of five stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the HR-V the highest possible score of Good in four crash tests and a slightly lower rating of Acceptable in the small overlap front test. 

HR-V Safety Features

Every HR-V comes with a multi-angle rearview camera. EX trims and above include Honda LaneWatch – Honda's unique take on blind spot monitoring for the passenger side. It combines sensors with a sideview camera that's activated by the right turn signal. No other active safety features are available. Compare that with the options for the Subaru Crosstrek, which include adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, automatic high beams, and reverse automatic braking.

Read more about safety »

Which Honda HR-V Model Is Right for Me?

Narrowing down the right HR-V model is straightforward. Every edition comes with the same engine (a 141-horsepower four-cylinder), and a six-speed manual transmission is standard. In the LX and EX trims, you can upgrade to a CVT (a type of automatic transmission) for $800; the CVT is included in the EX-L Navi trim. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available in the base model for $2,100 and in all other trims for $1,300.

The usual assortment of factory accessories is available, but because Honda doesn't offer any packages for the HR-V, each trim level comes as is. The best bargain is with the HR-V LX. Though its infotainment system has less features than the other trims, its physical knobs make it easier to use. If you don't mind the touch-screen controls, the HR-V EX is a great value. It bumps your cost up by about $2,000, but with its moonroof, heated front seats, and convenient proximity key, the cabin feels swankier. We detail the notable standard amenities in each trim level below.

Honda HR-V LX

Standard features in the base LX trim ($19,670) include cloth seats, Honda's Magic Seat in the second row, a 5-inch color LCD display for the infotainment system, a USB port, four-speakers, Bluetooth, and a multi-angle rearview camera.

Honda HR-V EX

The midlevel HR-V EX comes with automatic climate control, a moonroof, heated front seats, a proximity key, push-button start, and Honda LaneWatch (blind spot monitoring combined with a sideview camera). Its upgraded infotainment system adds a 7-inch touch screen, two USB ports, Pandora compatibility, a text message function, and a six-speaker sound system. Pricing starts at $21,720.

Honda HR-V EX-L Navi

Leather-trimmings on the seats, steering wheel, and shift knob are added in the $25,140 EX-L Navi. Enhancements for the infotainment system include navigation, voice recognition, satellite radio, and HD Radio.

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 2018 Honda HR-V specs and trims »

The Final Call

Within the subcompact SUV segment, the Honda HR-V stands out by offering spacious second-row seating and a convenient cargo space in a well-built package. It's easy to drive, and its nimble handling is particularly helpful in parking lots and other constricted urban settings. The somewhat firm seats and ride quality, however, along with its timid engine, aren't road-trip friendly.

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

  • "If we could assign a slogan to the 2018 Honda HR-V subcompact-crossover SUV, it would have to be 'smaller is better.' Comparable in size to the original Honda CR-V, the HR-V displays Honda's talent for packaging a lot of vehicle into a very compact space. Case in point, the HR-V's flip-up Magic Seat that allows tall or bulky items to be easily stowed behind the front seats. In fact, the HR-V provides more interior room than a Mazda CX-3 or Nissan Juke, and delivers better fuel economy than either the Jeep Renegade or Chevrolet Trax." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • On the downside, the HR-V's efficient engine delivers lackluster acceleration, and the touchscreen infotainment system demands more of your attention to use compared to some competitors. The HR-V also feels somewhat unrefined because of the amount of cabin noise present, which is a little unusual for Honda. Shortcomings aside, though, the HR-V is still one of the better picks for a subcompact vehicle, and it offers decent value overall." -- Edmunds
  • "As the compact crossover class continues its big surge, the HR-V is a strong contender. It's fun to drive, affordably priced, and continues the Japanese automaker's long trend of offering excellent packaging and functionality." -- Autoblog (2016)
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