$16,977 - $22,501

2018 Honda HR-V Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2018 Honda HR-V was new.


Performance: 7.3

The 2018 Honda HR-V is easy to steer and park, with carlike handling that is stable and responsive. Its engine isn't overly eager, but there's enough power to get around town just fine.

  • "A lightweight chassis allows the HR-V's 141 horsepower to deliver decent acceleration especially with the CVT automatic that really knows how to make the most of the 1.8-liter engine's power. The responsive CVT is eager to kick down when asked, and switching to the Sport mode makes the processes even faster. When pushed hard, the engine does get a bit buzzy, but only at wide-open throttle. Those who want a more hands-on driving experience will enjoy the HR-V's slick-shifting 6-speed manual and light clutch pedal. … What the HR-V lacks in gusto it more than makes up for in the corners, where its nicely weighted steering and taut suspension deliver instantaneous turn-in and a compliant ride." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Handling is responsive and secure, despite vague and numb steering feedback that results in a lack of any actual driving enjoyment. The car inspires confidence when pushed to its limits in our avoidance maneuver test. But its ride is jarring, especially over ruts and potholes." -- Consumer Reports (2017)
  • "Handling is about average for the class, with reassuring composure and precise steering when cornering. The HR-V is not nearly as athletic or entertaining as the Mazda CX-3, but as a family crossover the HR-V's more refined and comfortable feel is a plus. The combination of excellent all-around visibility and maneuverability makes the HR-V easy to back into a tight spot." -- Edmunds (2017)

Acceleration and Power

The HR-V comes standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is available in LX and EX trims and standard in the EX-L Navi. With its 141-horsepower rating, the HR-V is best suited for city streets. At higher speeds, like merging into highway traffic or climbing a mountain pass, acceleration is slow. For spirited drivers, the manual transmission offers more-enjoyable performance, though the gas mileage with this configuration isn't great. Its EPA rating is 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The CVT is much more fuel-efficient, at 28 mpg city/34 mpg highway. Expect some droning at highway speeds with the CVT.

  • "The HR-V is one of the slowest subcompact SUVs we've tested. It went from zero to 60 mph in an unhurried 9.7 seconds. After lurching off the line abruptly, the HR-V feels weak, even in regular driving. When driving up hills, the CVT automatic is constantly adjusting engine rpm, which can get tiresome." -- Edmunds
  • "Honda's 2018 HR-V subcompact-crossover SUV isn't fast by any means, but it is fun to drive. The HR-V's 141-horsepower 1.8-liter engine has no problem delivering acceptable levels of acceleration and passing power for the 2,900-pound SUV, but a few more ponies would be nice. Delivering its peak power around 6,500 rpm, the HR-V's engine can get rather loud when laying on the gas, and you'll find yourself laying on the gas quite often. Honda's slick 6-speed manual is the preferred choice for enthusiast drivers, but it's not offered on models equipped with all-wheel drive. In all likelihood, the vast majority of HR-Vs will come with Honda's excellent CVT automatic." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The HR-V feels underpowered. Part of that impression stems from the nature of the CVT which makes the engine rev high early in the game before any significant acceleration has built up. The stopwatch confirms the leisurely semi-sprint, posting 10.5 seconds to reach 60 mph from rest. Front-wheel drive versions feel slightly sprightlier due to less weight, but not by much." -- Consumer Reports (2017)

Handling and Braking

Every HR-V comes standard with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available in every trim. This pint-sized SUV is adept at maneuvering through parking lots, and its carlike handling gives it extra agility on winding roads. The ride quality isn't buttery smooth, and while some say it's still comfortable enough for daily driving, others remark that it's too firm.

  • "We found the HR-V's nicely weighted steering and stiff suspension make it a blast to push through twisting curves, yet the overall ride is comfortable without feeling too soft." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "No vehicle in the subcompact crossover class is cushy. But the Honda HR-V does better than most, with a completely livable ride quality. Only when you drive over big bumps does the HR-V seem a bit choppy or still-riding." -- Edmunds
  • "For urban drivers who focus on practicality, parking and maneuverability are a snap. It feels as if you're driving a tall car, not a brawny SUV." -- Consumer Reports (2017)

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