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2020 Honda HR-V Performance

U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Honda HR-V Performance Review


Performance: 6.8

The 2020 Honda HR-V has an underpowered engine that's loud and unrefined, but it returns great fuel economy. Handling is lively and the ride quality is good overall.

  • "Honda's aging 1.8-liter is about ready to be put out to pasture. Yet, the HR-V is still a blast to drive once I'm up to speed. It feels flat enough during spirited driving, offering confidence as the thing gets thrown into corner after corner." -- CNET (2019)
  • "[It] 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." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "At full throttle or high rpm, the engine sends a considerable amount of racket into the cabin. Even at idle at a stoplight, there's noticeable engine vibration." -- Edmunds (2018)

Acceleration and Power

The Honda HR-V comes standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 141 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard. This engine feels underpowered and provides weak acceleration in most situations. The CVT is unrefined and loud.

With standard front-wheel drive, the HR-V gets an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. Those figures are great for a subcompact SUV. With all-wheel drive, fuel economy dips to 27 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.

  • "Slow, noisy, and unrefined, the HR-V's four-cylinder engine won't satisfy your inner street racer, and the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) exacerbates the engine's incivility." -- Car and Driver
  • "Driving the HR-V seemed fairly typical for its segment. The little 1.8L four felt eager around town but lost enthusiasm and turned noisy at higher-rpm wide-open throttle, while the CVT (though better than before) didn’t help by pushing engine rpm well ahead of vehicle speed." -- Truck Trend (2019)
  • "The HR-V is one of the slowest subcompact SUVs we've tested. … 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 (2018)

Handling and Braking

The HR-V has engaging handling and easy maneuverability thanks to tight, well-weighted steering. Ride quality is comfortable over most surfaces, but it gets rough traversing larger bumps in the road.

  • "The HR-V retains the sprightly and eager handling of the Fit hatchback on which it's based, but don't push it too hard. Choppiness when driving over rough roads and body roll in cornering could be resolved with better suspension damping, but when cruising on a level road or highway, the HR-V settles into a more even ride." -- Car and Driver
  • "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 (2019)
  • "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 (2018)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Honda HR-V

MSRP: $20,820 - $28,890

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